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[446] It arrived in Newbern by transports about Oct. 30, 1862. It formed a part of the brigade under the command of Colonel Horace C. Lee, of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, in which it remained during the whole period of its term of service, very much to the satisfaction of the whole regiment.

Before the regiment had been forty-eight hours in Newbern, orders were received to be prepared to start on an expedition immediately. Arriving by transports to Washington, N. C., on the 31st of October, on the 2d of November the whole force, under command of Major-General Foster, took up its line of march to Williamston. There were some slight skirmishes with the enemy on the route, but nothing of importance transpired during the time. On the morning of the 10th December, the regiment left its camp to join an expedition to Goldsborough, having for its object the destruction of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. The Fifth was assigned the second post of honor, and the care of the wagon train was intrusted to it. Companies H and E were posted about three miles from regimental headquarters, and, on the 14th, were attacked by a large force of rebel cavalry. The men stood their ground manfully, and, after a very spirited engagement, repulsed the enemy, and drove them in great disorder towards Kinston.

On Dec. 15, the regiment rejoined the main column. On the 16th occurred the battle of Whitehall. After the battle had been raging nearly an hour, Lee's brigade was ordered to the front, and three of the Fifth Regiment were wounded.

On the morning of the 17th, the whole column was again in motion; Lee's brigade having the advance, reaching the railroad. The bridge spanning the Neuse River, and the telegraph-wires, were soon destroyed; companies D and H protecting the parties destroying the railroad.

After the object of the expedition had been accomplished, a return to Newbern was ordered. The retrograde had already begun, leaving Lee's brigade, to which the Fifth Regiment was attached, still on the field, when the enemy advanced from the cover of the woods to make a charge upon the brigade.

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