JANUARY 19, 1865. - Reconnaissance to Myrtle Sound and Skirmish at Half-Moon Battery, N. C.
Numbers 1. - Bvt. Brigadier General Joseph C. Abbott, Seventh New Hampshire Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, First Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps.
Numbers 2. - Captain John Thompson, Seventh Connecticut Infantry.
Numbers 1. Report of Bvt. Brigadier General Joseph C. Abbott, Seventh New Hampshire Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, First Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps.
HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, FIRST DIV., 24TH ARMY CORPS, Before Wilmington, N. C., January 20, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of that portion of the reconnaissance of yesterday, January 19, of which I had charge:
By order of Brigadier-General Paine, at about 11 a. m., with about 250 men of the Seventh New Hampshire Volunteers, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Rollins, and 50 of the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, under command of Captain John Thompson, I moved to the head of Myrtle Sound, where I halted, according to orders from General Paine, until the firing of the reconnoitering force on my left was heard. While thus waiting the gun-boat Governor Buckingham, Captain McDearmid, opened fire upon the outpost of the enemy in the rear of the Half-Moon Battery. The fire was very accurate and effective. When the firing was heard on my left I advanced fifty men of the Seventh Connecticut and twenty of the Seventh New Hampshire as skirmishers up in front of the short line of works near the houses in rear of the Half-Moon Battery, and developed a fire of apparently about 100 men. The skirmishers having halted, I sent seventy men of the Seventh New Hampshire, under command of Lieutenant Paul Whipple, in on the right flank of the work.
They advanced promptly, enveloped the work, and took 2 officers and 51 men prisoners. I then advanced a skirmish line, under Lieutenant Whipple, beyond the works across an open field to the edge of a swamp in which was a thick and tangled growth of wood and bushes. This swamp is not far from 100 yards in width, and runs parallel with Myrtle Sound. The main line of the enemy is at this point close on the inside of it, but near the head of the sound there is an angle, and thence it runs westerly toward the Cape Fear River. My skirmishers approached within about 100 yards of this main line, but I was unable to develop its fire. The points of the line, however, which could be seen through the wood, and such parts of it as I saw from the top of an old house, appeared to be well manned. No artillery appeared. I remained in the last position mentioned until dark, when I withdrew the skirmishers and returned to camp. My loss in this reconnaissance was 2 officers and 10 men wounded, and 3 men missing. Among the slightly wounded was Captain Trickey, of the Third New Hampshire, who accompanied the reconnaissance, he having before become familiar with the ground.
Lieutenant Albert Foster, of the Sixteenth New York Heavy Artillery, one of my staff, was severely wounded in three places while directing, with good judgment and coolness, the flanking party of the Seventh New Hampshire. Lieutenant Whipple, who commanded the flanking party,
* See also Paine's report, p. 424.