War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0176 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

Search Civil War Official Records

the teams being frequently stuck. We arrived at the place of bivouac (Young's Cross-Roads) with the whole train at 3 a.m. on the morning of the 8th, having marched about 10 miles.

March 8.-My regiment with the One hundred and sixty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Belger's battery, and a small company of cavalry, the whole being under my command, were detached from the column and ordered to hold this place while the main column moved on toward Swansborough. The larger portion of the subsistence train was left with us. My whole force amounted to 1,120. I immediately parked the train in a large field near White Oak River, threw out strong infantry pickets with cavalry patrols beyond on the different roads, disposed of the remainder of my force to be best of my judgment for defense, and awaited the result. The remainder of the day passed very quietly.

March 9.-The night passed without any occurrence of importance, as also did the day until 6 p.m., when the main column returned, the advance reporting to have been to Swansborough without meeting the enemy in force. During the absence of the general my cavalry patroled the roads as far as Pollocksville in the rear and some 9 miles to the right on the opposite side of White Oak River, and also about 15 miles on the road to Peletier's Mill, meeting no opposing force or signs of the enemy. The whole column again bivouacked here for the night.

March 10.-Had the train straightened out and my regiments in line before 7 a.m., but had no wait some time for the First Brigade, they having the advance, my regiment coming next in column, the train following and the remainder of the Second Brigade in the rear. The column moved at about 8 a.m., taking the direct road to Pollocksville. On arriving at the last-named place, in accordance with orders I halted my regiment and the train until all the force in the rear had passed on; we then moved on. Colonel Jourdan destroyed the bridge after we crossed. It now commenced to rain very heavily and continued to do so about two hours. This rendered the roads very bad indeed. My regiment was distributed through the train in the same manner as on the first day out. We moved very slowly and with much hard labor in assisting the train. The head of the train reached New Berne about 9 o'clock but the rear did not get in until after 11 p.m. The distance marched this day was 22 miles.

Both my officers and men were much exhausted with their constant exertions to assist the train along. There were no severe casualties in my command during the expedition. I am pleased to say that although my command occupied the hardest and most responsible position during the entire expedition, yet there was but very little complaint, the men, with but few exceptions, doing their duty nobly.

All of which is respectfully submitted.


Colonel, Commanding Third Massachusetts.

Colonel J. JOURDAN, Commanding 2nd Brigadier, 5th Div., 18th A. C.

Numbers 7. Report of Colonel Augustus B. R. Sprague, Fifty-first Massachusetts Infantry.


Beaufort, N. C., March 11, 1863.

COLONEL: In obedience to instructions from department headquarters I left Newport Barracks on the morning of the 7th instant with