concentrating our fire on Fort Thompson, mounting thirteen guns, on which rested the enemy's land defences. The army having with great gallantry driven them out of those defences, the forts were abandoned. Several of our vessels were slightly injured in passing the barricades of piles and torpedoes which had been placed in the river. The upper battery having been evacuated on the approach of the combined forces, it was abandoned, and subsequently blew up. We now steamed rapidly up to the city. The enemy had fled, and the place remained in our possession. Upon our approach, several points of the city were fired by the enemy where stores had been accumulated. Two small batteries, constructed of cotton-bales, and mounting two guns each, were also fired by them. Two small steamers were captured, another having been burnt. A large raft composed of barrels of pitch and bales of cotton, which had been prepared to send down upon the fleet, was fired, and floating against the railroad-bridge, set it on fire, and destroyed it. In addition to the prizes, a quantity of cotton, pitch, tar, a gunboat, and another vessel on the stocks, several schooners afloat, and an immense quantity of arms and munitions of war, fell into our hands. At about four P. M., I sent several of our vessels to the right bank of the Trent River, to carry Gen. Foster's brigade to occupy the city of Newbern. I am respectfully,
Gen. Foster's report.
headquarters Gen. Poster's brigade, Department of North-Carolina, Newbern, March 20, 1862.I have the honor to report that in pursuance of the orders of Gen. Burnside, and in accordance with the plan of operations agreed upon, I proceeded to land my brigade, on the thirteenth inst., at Slocum's Creek. I took on board the Pilot-Boy about five hundred men of the Twenty-fourth Massachusets Volunteers, and towing the boats of my brigade, carrying about six hundred more, reached the mouth of the creek, and landed without molestation. I landed with the first detachment, and in structed Captain Messinger to remain on the Pilot-Boy, and land the balance of the brigade. I had sent orders to form the Twenty-fourth, and advance a short distance on the main road, and on landing I took command and moved on, giving the advance to the Twenty-first regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, of Gen. Reno's brigade, by orders of Gen. Burnside, assigning the advance to Gen. Reno. I left an aid to form the regiments as they landed, and to order them to follow. I advanced on the main road, throwing out skirmishers and an advance-guard of the Twenty-first Massachusetts, and at a distance of six miles I heard from Capt. Williamson, of the Topographical Engineers, the result of a daring reconnoissance made by him, accompanied by Lieuts. Pell and Fearing, of Gen. Burnside's staff, and by Lieuts. Strong, Pendleton, and Strong, of mine, discovering an abandoned breastwork. I then pushed on, and entered the work, accompanied by Gen. Reno, who had shortly before come up, and assumed command of the Twenty-first Massachusetts. The work was found to be a breastwork well constructed, and running in a straight line from the railroad to the river — a distance of about one mile; having a flank facing the railroad, and a fort on the river-flank. There were four flanking bastions for guns, and the fort was prepared for four guns. None were mounted, however. The troops were halted inside the fort to rest and eat. Gen. Burnside then coming up, I, agreeably to his orders, advanced my brigade about three o'clock, on the country road--Gen. Reno being ordered to take the railroad-track, which ran off to the left of the country road. We marched about four miles, halted, and bivouacked for the night near the enemy's position. At daylight of the next morning, (the fourteenth,) I advanced my brigade by order of Gen. Burnside, until I came to the enemy's position, (Gen. Parke was ordered to the left by General Burnside,) and made the following dispositions: the Twenty-fifth was thrown to the extreme right, followed in order by the Twenty-fourth in line of battle, their left resting on the country road, just on the left of which I placed the howitzer from the Highlander, under command of Capt. Dayton, supported in line of battle on the left by the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, and opened fire. On the arrival of the navy boathowitzers, under command of Lieut. McCook, they were placed in line on the left of Capt. Dayton's gun, and the Twenty-third was ordered to the left of the Twenty-seventh. The firing was incessant and very severe from the breastwork and within a very short range. Gen. Burnside arriving, I communicated to him the dispositions I had made, which he approved, sending over to Gen. Parke to push on the enemy's right, and leaving me to hold the front, he rode off to reach Gen. Reno's position. The Tenth regiment Connecticut Volunteers having arrived, were ordered to the left of the Twenty-third, and to support them if rendered necessary by want of ammunition. This being the case, they formed on and to the left of the position of the Twenty-third, and opened fire. Hearing from the Twenty-seventh that they were very short of ammunition, I ordered the Eleventh Connecticut, of Gen. Parke's brigade, which had just come up by order of Gen. Burnside, to their support, and sent one of my aids to conduct them to their position. The Twenty-seventh Massachusetts then retired in good order, with orders to lie in a hollow, out of the fire, with fixed bayonets, and wait further orders.
Capt. Lewis Richmond, Assist. Adjt-General:
Capt. Lewis Richmond, Assist. Adjt-General: