dition started from Hatteras Inlet for its new object of attack.
The troops were disembarked the next day eighteen miles below Newbern, and at daylight of the 14th advanced upon the Confederate works four miles below the town.
These consisted of a line of detached forts of low relief.
The entire Confederate force, under command of Gen. Branch, did not exceed five thousand men — a great part of them militia-and had to contend against an enemy outnumbering them at least three to one.
Fort Thompson was the most formidable fortification on the river, and mounted thirteen heavy guns.
An attempt was made to storm the work, which was repulsed, and four Massachusetts companies which entered the fort from the railway track were driven out over the parapet.
Another attempt was made, with increased numbers; and perceiving the enemy's gunboats moving up the river, and fearing that he would be surrounded, Gen. Branch ordered a retreat.
It was commenced in good order, but finally became a