[2] brigade, five rifle pieces, five Napoleons, and thirty cavalry, started on the evening of the 30th ultimo.

The attack was to have been made simultaneously by the different parties on Monday morning. Barton, with his cavalry, was to have cut the railroad and crossed Brice's creek, taking the forts on the bank of the Neuse (which ascend to the water) and pass across the railroad bridge, effectually, should he only succeed in the first cutting off of rein-forcements; Dearing, by taking “Fort Anderson,” would have a direct fire upon the town and an enfilading fire upon the works in frontof it; Commander Wood, having received the gunboats, would co-operate, and I, with the party under my command, create a diversion, draw off the enemy and, if the chance offered, go in the town.

Accordingly, on Monday morning at 1 o'clock, I pushed forward General Hoke, who upon his arrival at Bachelor's creek, nine miles from Newbern, was met in strong force by the enemy, although they were evidently surprised; still the night being dark, and the enemy being posted in a strong position, and having destroyed the bridge, it was impracticable for General Hoke to force a passage till after daylight. This he did in most gallant style. At this time the enemy, reinforcing heavily by railroad and trying to rake our lines with the guns on the steam iron-clads, they attempted to turn my right flank with these reinforcements. I threw Corse forward to drive them in, which he did handsomely, and Clingman, with his two regiments, following General Hoke. After effecting the crossing the enemy were hotly pursued, but having no cavalry, and the men much worn by the long night's march, and not having been allowed fires, we were unable to press our advantage as we would have done had there been fresh troops on hand; in fact it was 3 o'clock before General Corse could come to the crossing of the Neuse road with the railroad, some two-and-a-half miles from the town; there was unfortunately no co-operation, the other parties having failed to attack, and I found we were making the fight single-handed. Commander Wood went down the Neuse on the night of the 31st with his party but did not find the gunboats. Dearing found “Fort Anderson” too strong to attack. Barton's cavalry failed to cut the railroad and telegraph to Morehead City — nor was it ever done by his party. This was afterwards done by General Martin, but no communication was received of the fact from General Barton till some time after we moved back. General Barton communicated to me by courier, on Tuesday morning, saying he found the work laid out for him impracticable. This not being satisfactory to me I sent Captain Bright, my aid-de-camp, across the Trent to communicate with him in

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J. M. Barton (4)
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