NEW BERNE, May 4, 1864 - 10.40 p. m.
It is my impression that there is only a small force in your front, sent to annoy. Colonel Claassen is certain that the rebels have blockaded the Dover road beyond Core Creek. This makes it certain that they are only fearing an attack from us. At daylight to-morrow a section of artillery and a small force of infantry will go out from here on the Trent road to stand by you in case you are obliged to come in. Captain Judson will be with them, and this force will be posted in some advantageous position to protect retreat. I may be wrong; but, as I said before, I think it is only a small force sent to feel us. Captain Webster will send you ten wagons very early in the morning. Don't let them stampede, and we will stand by you from here, and we will be on the lookout for you all the time. One of the wagons will carry 50 rounds of shell and shrapnel for your howitzers.
CAMP PALMER, May 4, 1864.
Your dispatch received. I shall not retreat, except before a force that I am certain is overwhelming. I think there is no danger of a stampede.
JAS. W. SAVAGE.
BATCHELDER'S CREEK, N. C., May 4, 1864.
I hear that pickets at Pine Tree are being attacked. Please send up a train here.
P. J. CLAASSEN,
Colonel, Commanding at Batchelder's Creek.
BATCHELDER'S CREEK, May 4, 1864.
I have ordered the four companies of the One hundred and fifty-eighth [New York] to fall back this way. I shall send two companies down the railroad below the crossing to watch any force that may come through the old race course. Nothing on my front of the enemy. I cannot think that it is an attack on New Berne. Am, however, ready for any emergency that may arise. Rocky Run should be held long enough for me to fall back.
P. J. CLAASSEN,
NEW BERNE, May 4, 1864 - 8.25 p. m.
Your last is received. I think, as you do, that there is a doubt of an attack in force; but we must keep everything alive. Colonel