command of General Hill. The engagement was commenced by a company of the Third New York Cavalry with a mountain howitzer. The howitzer, under command of Lieutenant Burke, and the company of cavalry, under the command of Captain
, were under the direction of Major Garrard, Third New York Cavalry, temporarily detailed on my staff. The cavalry detachment constituted part of Colonel Amory's brigade, who engaged the enemy at the bridge for nearly two hours. Owing to the condition of the ground it was impossible to develop a large force against the enemy, and therefore only two regiments of infantry, the Seventeenth and Forty-ninth Massachusetts Volunteers, two sections of Captain Belger's battery, and one section of 32-pounder howitzers, under command of Lieutenant ----, together with the cavalry above named, were actually engaged. Though we succeeded in silencing the enemy's battery, yet we were unable to drive them from their position, as our infantry and artillery fire were without much effect upon them, owing to the nature of their earthworks and the position of our guns. It was equally impossible to enfilade their works or to cross or ford the creek at any other point, and, as stated above, the bridge being destroyed we were unable to charge the enemy or build the bridge under their heavy musketry fire. Seeing that it was impossible to cross the creek, I was obliged to return, and did so at 5 o'clock this afternoon, in regular order, without being molested in any way by the enemy.
I take pleasure in stating that Colonel Amory's conduct during the march and engagement was of the most creditable character, as was also Major Frankle's, Major Garrard's, and Major Stone's, temporarily detailed on my staff. The Seventeenth Massachusetts Volunteers, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Fellows, is especially deserving of notice; while all the officers and men of the command manifested an anxious determination to reach Washington at all hazards and relieve the garrison there, but failed to do it for the reason that they could not perform impossibilities.
I deplore the necessity of stating the casualties of officers and men during the engagement, which was very slight considering the nature of our engagement. Captain Belger was wounded in the hip, the ball passing through his thigh and killing his horse; Lieutenant Roberts, Seventeenth Massachusetts, left arm broken by a Minie ball; 2 men of Battery F, First Rhode Island Artillery, 1 slightly, the other severely; 5 men of Seventeenth Massachusetts, 1 severely.
I shall leave this place for New Berne to-morrow morning, feeling conscious that I have done all that was in my power to comply with the requests of General Foster as well as to carry out your instructions.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. B. SPINOLA,
Brigadier General I. N. PALMER.
CAMP AT NEW HOPE SCHOOL-HOUSE,
Tuesday, April 14, 1863-5 p. m.
GENERAL: Pursuant to instructions received last night I left Fort Anderson with my command at 10.30 a. m. and arrived at this place at 4 p. m. At the forks of the road, about 8 miles from Fort Anderson, I sent the whole detachment of cavalry (but 10) and the cavalry howitzer on the road leading to the right, which terminates at the road leading to Blount's Creek and about 1 mile from the school-house. I expected