War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0191 Chapter XXX. ATTACK ON NEW BERNE, N. C.

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of Barrington's Ferry and halted, with all the guns except the 10-pounder Parrott of Captain Wyatt's battery, which I had placed in position under Lieutenant Rives at Pettiford's Ferry to enfilade the work at Barrington's Ferry and fire at the gunboats when expedient. This gun fired a number of rounds at the encampment and redoubt, the effect of which could not be seen, and eight at a gunboat, four of which Lieutenant [Charles M.] Rives thinks took effect, when she hauled off out of range.

The artillery, with the exception of this piece, was moved forward just about daybreak, and I was directed by General Pettigrew to place them in position so as to play upon the earthwork at the ferry and the gunboats upon the river. In obedience to this order I placed the guns of Captains Wyatt's and Graham's batteries in position about 400 yards from the work, and directed them to open fire with shell and case-shot, which they did, throwing the shell and case-shot with great precision in the work. After some rounds Captain Wyatt commenced firing solid shot from some of his guns to batter down the breastwork. It was soon found unavailing and stopped. As soon as the batteries of Captains Wyatt and Graham commenced firing I ordered up the rifle guns and placed them in position on the right and left of these batteries, giving them orders to direct their fire against the gunboats, except a section of 3-inch rifles under Lieutenant Aldon Alexander, which was placed upon the extreme right, with orders to fire upon the earthwork at a point where it seemed weakest. Though the guns were worked well and fired accurately the effect was small. The rest of the rifle guns fired at the gunboat, which was distant 1 3/4 miles, with but little effect. Although they struck her several times it was impossible, with the very inferior ammunition with which they were supplied, to shoot accurately enough to strike any vital part unless by chance. After the firing had continued about an hour the first piece of the 20-pounders burst, mortally wounding 1 man and severely wounding 2 others. About half an hour after this, by the direction of General Pettigrew, the guns were gradually withdrawn and taken back about 1 mile, with the exception of the smooth guns of Captains Wyatt's and Graham's batteries, which were kept close to be moved up if necessary. About 3 p.m. they were withdrawn and moved back to the halting place of the night before and halted there until about 12 o'clock at night of the 14th, when the artillery moved again until it arrived at the ground where I had encamped the night of the 12th, and halted there until about 12 m. on the 15th; then again moved to Swift Creek and took position to repel an attack which was anticipated.

During the march it was found necessary to dismount and leave one of the 20-pounder Parrotts, as the axle, which had an old crack in it, was found on examination to have broken in two during the fire of the 14th and could not be replaced. It was hidden, so that it might be sent for hereafter. I would most respectfully recommend that the 20-pounders be taken from the Macon Light Artillery, as it is a good company and deserves better than to have its members wounded and killed by defective guns.

I would beg leave, most respectfully, to call to the favorable consideration of the general, Lieutenant Aldon Alexander, who on the march down gave invaluable aid by his skill as an engineer and untiring energy in commanding, which would without him have been the cause of much greater delay than was experienced. All the men and officers behaved coolly and well.

The following were the casualties: Macon Light, Artillery had 1 man mortally wounded, 2 severely; Lieutenant Alexander's section had 1 man