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[460] the organization of the Goldsborough expedition in December, in which, and the engagements with the enemy that occurred in the successful movement, it took part; after which it returned to its old duties in camp until Jan. 23, 1863.

The two detached companies rejoined the regiment; the drill continued; and, daily, large fatigue parties were detailed for the work of fortification, until March 13; the enemy began what seemed a determined attempt to repossess himself of Newbern, in resistance to which the Forty-sixth was assigned an honorable position, the enemy demonstrating in great force on the Trent road. When upon the eve of an encounter, General Foster recalled the main portion of the forces to the city, the enemy having attacked an outpost on the northerly side of the Neuse. This regiment, with the Fifth Massachusetts, were at once withdrawn by General Palmer, commanding the division, and assigned a position within the lines of the entrenchments.

On the 14th, it was sent out upon the same road to reinforce Colonel Amory, but had only to observe and follow a retreating enemy. After three days pursuit, the regiment returned to its quiet routine until March 26, when, with the exception of two companies, it was sent to Plymouth, N. C., an important post on the Roanoke River, threatened by a force of the enemy. The whole land force was immediately applied under command of Colonel Pickett, of the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, a brave and efficient officer, to the work of perfecting the fortifications of the post. During the eighteen days siege of Washington, and always within hearing of its cannonading, the force at Plymouth, anxious for the result, and confidently waiting its turn, was occupied in constructing fortifications, and preparing for defence against a daily expected attack; but the defeated and discouraged enemy retired, and Plymouth was thoroughly fortified undisturbed.

The regiment went into barracks on the Neuse River, May 8, and was employed in the construction of earthworks and other means of defence, at Newbern, during the remainder of its stay, with the exception of the period occupied in the expedition and successful attack upon the enemy's outposts at Dover Swamp, eight miles from Kinston, in which it took part.

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