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[320] that burst by accident; but I have very good proof that such is not the case. A panic was now created, the rebels flying in all directions, leaving the Fort to us, without injury in the least. One more little fort lay before us; that passed, and the city of Newbern would be at our mercy, and in a few minutes more in our possession. We carefully approached Fort Lane, expecting a hard fight, the men on all the vessels only too anxious to show how they could handle a gun, and much elated by their previous victories. But a bitter disappointment awaited us; the rebels had seen quite enough of the way in which we handled them and offered little or no resistance. Fort Lane was small and well built, and had the rebels a particle of pluck, they might have annoyed us exceedingly. As it was, on we went to the city, and as we approached, we could plainly see the light of a large fire in the northern extremity, which, upon examination, we found proceeded from a number of large scows that had been filled with turpentine and other combustible articles. It was intended that these should be used against our vessels to try and burn them; but when they wanted to float them away to us, not an inch would they move, but burned away most vigorously on the spot where they were lighted. As we neared the city, trains could be seen crossing the railroadbridge, and several shells were thrown at them, but without any effect, the cars passing over in safety. Had we arrived twenty minutes earlier, we might have cut off the retreat of the rebels and captured a large number of them; but as it was, they escaped. We then shelled the depot, and the track as far as possible, and the Delaware and two other vessels passed off to the right side of the Neuse River, and moving round in a circle to the north part of the city, fired a few shells at some vessels lying there. A white flag was soon raised and the vessels given up. The gunboats now had but very little to do, as shortly after the troops crossed over to the city and took possession of it.

It is somewhat singular that with the number of forts captured by the fleet, and the immense amount of firing done, the navy did not lose a single man or sustain any injury of consequence to the vessels. All the officers and men acquitted themselves nobly, and it is only to be regretted that they had not a foe better worthy of their steel to contend against.


--N. Y. Herald, March 19.


Rebel Narratives.

From various North-Carolina papers we take the following particulars of the battle:

The enemy's gunboats first appeared in sight on Wednesday afternoon, at a point known as Slocum's Creek, and commenced shelling the woods in every direction. A company of cavalry, Capt. Evans commander, stationed here as pickets, were forced to retire. Two of his men were wounded-one in the heel.

Thursday the fleet advanced as far as Fort Dixie, a strong fortification, mounting four heavy guns, distant from Newbern about five miles. This fort was surrounded by a breastwork, and though shelled for three or four hours during the afternoon by the enemy's gunboats, was manfully defended until dark, when the enemy's fire ceased. At night it was discovered that the enemy were landing in heavy force. One estimate is that they sent ashore twenty thousand infantry, a squadron of cavalry, and thirty pieces of field-artillery. It was deemed impossible to hold this post against such a force, aided by the gunboats, so the guns were spiked and the position abandoned.

Friday morning the fighting was commenced at early dawn, and continued until half-past 10 o'clock, when our forces, being almost completely surrounded by an army outnumbering them at least three to one, splendidly armed, disciplined, equipped and officered, were compelled to retreat. The retreat, we hear, was well conducted at first, and in good order, but finally became a rout.

Fort Thompson was the most formidable fortification on the river. It was four miles from Newbern, and mounted thirteen heavy guns, two of them rifled thirty-two pounders.

Fort Ellis, three miles from Newbern, mounted eight heavy guns. It was commanded by Capt. Edelin's company B, First Maryland regiment. Finding that the other fortifications had fallen, Capt. E. ordered his guns to be dismounted, (having no spikes,) and they were thrown down the embankment.

Fort Lane, mounting eight guns, two miles from Newbern, was blown up, Capt. Mayo losing his life by remaining to fire the magazine. He was killed by the explosion.

Union Point battery, one mile from Newbern, mounted two guns. It was manned by the Confederate Minstrels, under the command of Charles O. White, manager. This battery fired but twice, and then with but little effect, the enemy being out of range. Three of the Minstrels are missing. It is thought they were taken prisoners. Their names are given us as Prof. Iradella, James Wood and Frank Hineman.

Col. Avery's regiment, the Thirty-third, suffered severely, and fought well. Col. Avery and Major Hoke are reported killed. We trust that it is not so, but fear that it is. Col. Lee was reported killed, but we learn that this is not so. His horse is said to have been killed under him, and this, no doubt, gave rise to the report that he had been killed. His regiment also stood as long as standing was possible. Col. Vance's regiment was so placed, we think, that it did not get into the main battle, but also so that it had to cut its way out by some of the hardest kind of fighting. It did do so. Our cavalry, we fear, did not do as they ought to have done. They did no good at all. Perhaps they did harm. They were not in the fight at all.

Our loss in persons known to be killed and wounded is, perhaps, one hundred to one hundred and fifty. The enemy's is reported at anything from six hundred to sixteen hundred. The first panic reports, which represented a large number of our people as being taken prisoners, appear to be almost wholly without foundation. The whole number of prisoners will not reach two hundred.

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