Numbers 5. Report of Colonel Josiah Pickett, Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry.
HDQRS. TWENTY-FIFTH Regiment MASSACHUSETTS VOLS.,
Camp Oliver, New Berne, N. C., May 25, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Twenty-fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers in the late expedition to Gum Creek:
I left my camp in this city at 12.30 o'clock on the morning of the 21st. My orders were to proceed to Batchelder's Creek and report for orders to Colonel Jones, Fifty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. I reached Batchelder's Creek a little after daylight and immediately reported. Having some hours in which to rest my men, I placed them in the woods on the right of the road leading to the camp of the Fifty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. At about 3 p. m. I placed my regiment abroad a train of cars in waiting and moved up the railroad about 8 miles in the direction of Core Creek. There we disembarked and joined the other regiments of the Second Brigade, the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers and the Fifth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. We then marched to Core Creek and bivouacked until 11.30 o'clock.
At 12 o'clock we took up the line of march for Gum Creek, my regiment in the advance. After crossing the bridge at Core Cree I threw forward Company K, Captain J. Waldo Denny commanding, as an advance guard. We moved on quietly, meeting no opposition form or seeing any signs of the enemy until about 4 o'clock in the morning of the 22nd, when our advance guard met the enemy's pickets, exchanged shots with them, and drove them in. Advancing cautiously, we were soon in the neighborhood of the enemy's camp. By order of Colonel Peirson I filed my regiment into the field to the right of the road and took position on the left flank of the enemy, forming line of battle. I sent out Company K, Captain J. Waldo Denny, and Company E, Captain Thomas O'Neil, as skirmishers and to discover and report the position of the enemy. I instructed them to engage him closely, so as to draw with the enemy. I instructed them to engage him closely, so as to draw if possible his attention from his flanks and rear. This they succeeded in doing admirably. Our skirmishers exchanged their first shots with the enemy at his earthworks at about 6.30 o'clock. At 10 o'clock we heard firing in the rear of the enemy, which indicated the approach of Colonel Jones in that direction. I immediately strengthened my line of skirmishers by throwing forward Company A, Captain Goodwin, and moved forward my regiment in line of battle. Company A was soon over the earthworks. The enemy, outflanked and attacked in the rear, had fled precipitately to the woods and swamps, and I had the pleasure in a few moments of seeing my regimental colors planted upon their intrenchments. At 5 p. m. the enemy, no doubt re-enforced from Kinston, moved down the railroad and commenced shelling the woods.
The object of the expedition having been accomplished, after our artillery had thrown a few shells at them, we took up the line of march for Core Creek; my regiment, with Company-, of the Third New York Cavalry, and one piece of artillery from Battery-, Third New York Artillery, formed the rear guard. The enemy follows us, occasionally shelling the woods. They, however, did us no damage, and we arrived