eighth Pennsylvania, Lieutenant-Colonel Troxel, to embark at once in the schooners Annie L. Edwards and Flambeau, these vessels to be towed to Washington by the Allison and Phoenix, commanded, respectively, or guided, by McKeever and De Camarra, of the Louisiana and Hunchback, both of whom volunteered for the purpose.
The following is a copy of the orders to the troops:
HEADQUARTERS, Numbers 1.
Blount's Bay, April 5, 1863-12 p. m.
The One hundred and fifty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers will embark to-nigh in the two transports, in which it is to run the batteries of the enemy, to join the commander of the Eighteenth Army Corps in the defense of Fort Washington. The steamers Allison and Phoenix will tow the transports through.
By order of Brigadier General Henry Prince:
First Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
The plan was as follows: When the vessels were ready they were to run up to the Hunchback and there receive the orders to start from Captain McCann, who was to have the passage through the barricade marked and was to engage the battery with all the gunboats.
Myself and staff were up all night attending to this, and at 4 o'clock, having called General Spinola for the purpose, we stood on the upper deck of the Escort to see them pass.
At this hour they had reached the Hunchback, near the barricade, and were stopped by Captain McCann, because, as he afterward reported to me, he thought it would be daylight when they would be passing the upper (Rodman's Point) battery.
At 6 o'clock on the morning of the 6th I left for New Berne, having given orders to each transport that was to accompany me and each one that was to remain. At evening I arrived at New Berne.
On the 7th I appointed Major Frankle chief of staff for an expedition which I expected to conduct, and I passed the day with my staff examining persons who knew the country between the Neuse and Washington and endeavoring to form a plan of operations conformable thereto and to General Foster's wishes.
During the day I was quite ill and constantly retching, to the interruption of the investigation. This was increased about 9 p. m. on learning that the Allison and Phoenix had arrived here and brought the schooners with the regiment I hoped had reached General Foster.
I received from department headquarters a list of the troops that would be over the Neuse in the course of the night and available for a march, and I organized them into brigades and constructed an order of march.
Early on the 8th I awoke with a blinding headache and sickness, and sent an officer of my staff with the organization and order of march at once to General Palmer, with the message that I was too ill to attend to any duty.
Indisposition has prevented my making this report before.
I have the honor to be colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,
A. A. G., Hdqrs. Eighteenth A. C., New Berne, N. C.
N. B.-I have inadvertently omitted to say that in the night of the 5th instant I sent through the barricade in an open boat all the 6-pounder and 3-inch guns' ammunition which arrived in the Northerner.