whereon they marched.
No resistance was encountered by land; but the fleet found the channel of the Neuse
obstructed, half way up, by 24 vessels sunk in the channel, several torpedoes, and a number of iron-pointed spars firmly planted in the bed and inclined down stream, under water, after the manner of the snags of the Mississippi
These obstructions were speedily removed or surmounted; while two or three batteries along the bank were successively silenced by a few shots from our flag-ship Delaware
The fleet halted for the night nearly abreast of the army; which had had a hard day's work, dragging its guns through the deep clay of the roads, sodden with several days' rain; and the men sank on the ground at night around their pitchpine fires to enjoy a drenching from the freshly pouring skies.
A dense fog covered land and water next morning,1
as our fleet, having safely passed the obstructions, steamed up past Forts Thompson
and Ellis; which, after firing a few shots, were hastily evacuated, a shell from one of the gunboats having exploded the magazine of the latter.
, the last and strongest defense of Newbern
on the water, was more carefully approached, in expectation of a sanguinary struggle; but it had by this time been likewise evacuated, in deference to the successes of our army; and our fleet steamed directly up to the wharves, shelling the depot and track whereby the Rebels
were escaping from the city.
The Rebel defenses consisted of a well constructed breastwork, running a mile and a half from the Neuse
across the railroad to an impenetrable swamp which connects Newbern
with Morehead City
, with a battery of 13 heavy guns next the river, several redoubts, all of them well mounted, 3 batteries of field artillery, and 8 regiments of infantry, numbering about 5,000 men, commanded by Gen. Louis O'B. Branch
Our guns were few and light, because of the difficulty of landing and dragging heavier.
was on the alert at 6 A. M., and by 7 had his forces in motion.
Moving up to within sort range of the enemy's intrenchments, his men were formed in order of battle, and opened fire along their entire front; the ground being swampy on the left, and elsewhere cut up by