This message was several times repeated, each time by order of Colonel Anderson in his extreme anxiety for re-enforcements. I sent several messages to the gunboats, directing their fire, such as, "Fire higher," "Fire to the left," "Fire to the right," &c., but having no blank book with me at the time could not record them.
I wish to recommend to your notice my flagman, Timothy S. Marsh, Company D, Twenty-first Massachusetts Volunteers, who throughout the whole affair behaved with admirable coolness under a fire the severest I ever saw.
I have the honor to remain, yours, very respectfully,
N. S. BARSTOW,
Lieutenant and Acting Signal Officer.
Captain D. A. TAYLOR,]
Chief Acting Signal Officer.
Numbers 4. Itinerary of the First Division, Eighteenth Army Corps, Brigadier General Innis N. Palmer, U. S. Army, commanding, March 7-15.*
March 7.-In accordance with orders from Headquarters Eighteenth Army Corps, five companies of the Fifty-first Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, of the First Brigade, marched from Newport Barracks to Cedar Point, opposite Swansborough, on White Oak River, where they bivouacked. Here the infantry remained while a reconnaissance, under General Potter, chief of staff Eighteenth Army Corps, was made some 16 miles farther on into the enemy's country. On the return of the reconnoitering party the infantry returned to Newport Barracks, arriving on the 10th instant.
March 13.-In anticipation of an attack upon New Berne three regiments of the Second Brigade, viz, the Fifth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, and the Forty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, were sent to Deep Gully, on the Trent road. On arriving at the Gully it was found that the enemy had crossed and were strongly posted. Bivouacking for the night, preparations were made for a morning attack. At daylight the movement commenced and the fire of the skirmishers had just opened, when orders were received to retire to New Berne, leaving one regiment, the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, to hold the enemy in check. This was done.
March 14.-The regiment at Deep Gully was re-enforced this a.m. by the Forty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, of the Second Brigade. An attack on New Berne being apprehended, the Forty-third Massachusetts Volunteer Militia and other forces, under command of Colonel T. J. C. Amory, marched 18 miles on the Kinston road on a reconnaissance, but, the enemy having retired, returned on the 16th camp.
March 15.-The enemy commenced falling back, closely followed some 15 miles by the Forty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia; but the road being rendered impassable at this point by the retreating force the Forty-sixth retraced their steps toward New Berne.
*From Returns of the Division and First and Second Brigades for March, 1863.