War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0199 Chapter XXX. SKIRMISH NEAR FRANKLIN, VA.

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MARCH 10-13, 1863.-Demonstration on Plymouth, N. C.

Report of Major Walter G. Bartholomew, Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Infantry, commanding Post.

PLYMOUTH, N. C., March 13, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on the 10th instant, at about 3 o'clock p.m., the enemy made their appearance, about 50 strong, within rifle-shot of our outpost. I immediately ordered the garrison to take position in line of the inside pickets and sent a company out as skirmishers, who proceeded about 2 miles and found they were in force one-half mile farther on. I reported to Captain Flusser, of the gunboat Perry, but the enemy not making any further demonstrations at that time did not open upon them. After standing an hour in a drenching rain another alarm was given. As the enemy advanced and fired upon our pickets the gunboats commenced to shell them, and they retired. They made their appearance again about 10 in the evening so close to our lines that we could hear them speak distinctly. At a signal from the boats the pickets were drawn in, and they were again shelled, as I learn, with good effect, as several were reported killed and wounded. We were under arms the remainder of the night but were not molested. In the morning I sent a party to reconnoiter, who went as far as Corpeur's blacksmith's shop, which had been used as a picket post, and burned it in sight of the enemy, and ascertained their strength to be about 800 men of the Seventeenth North Carolina Regiment.

This morning (the 13th), about 2 o'clock three rockets were sent up by the enemy and were answered by two blue several miles up the river. Thus we are still in doubt as to what they intend to do, but expect to meet them with determination whatever way they come. Both officers and men behaved with their usual gallantry, and expressed much disappointment that the affair should end so quietly.

I am, general, your very obedient servant,

W. G. BARTHOLOMEW,

Major, Commanding Post.

MARCH 17, 1863.-Skirmish near Franklin, Va.

REPORTS.

Numbers 1.-Major General John J. Peck, U. S. Army.

Numbers 2.-Colonel Samuel P. Spear, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Numbers 1. Report of Major General John J. Peck, U. S. Army.

SUFFOLK, VA., March 17, 1863.

DEAR SIR: Colonel Spear was delayed from four to five hours, and reached the vicinity of Franklin about 9 o'clock. He charged with cavalry, capturing one lieutenant, but his men failed to get over the earthworks, ditches, &c. He made a second charge with like results. He shelled them with effect. He went down toward South Quay and is now returning. Major Stratton led a charge and was twice wounded,