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[392] November 3d; Hamilton, November 4th. We pushed on towards Tarborough by rapid marches, hoping to surprise the enemy; but on the morning of November 6th, General Foster, hearing that the enemy were in force at Tarborough, decided to retreat. His men were very much exhausted, his provisions almost gone, his force inadequate. He prudently withdrew to Plymouth, North Carolina. We left this place for Newbern on transports, November 11th. For a month we were in camp on the banks of the Neuse River.

December 11th, we began the Goldsborough expedition, undertaken for the purpose of destroying the railroad between Goldsborough and Wilmington. December 14, 1862, I was in the battle of Kinston; December 16th, in the battle of White Hall, where the regiment suffered severe loss. December 17th, we reached the railroad, which was destroyed for a considerable distance, the bridge over the Neuse destroyed, and the telegraph wires cut. After a hard march we reached Newbern, marching nearly seventy miles in three days. We remained in Newbern until February 1, 1863; we then went to Plymouth, North Carolina, on the Roanoke River. We marched out from Plymouth on a provision-destroying expedition, marching all night, making nearly thirty miles, destroying a lot of pork and bacon. This was called the “ham-fat” expedition. We reached Newbern, February 10th. On March 14th, the anniversary of the capture of Newbern, the Rebels made an attack on the place, but finding it too strong they retired. General Foster, expecting them to attack Washington, North Carolina, immediately sent the Forty-fourth Massachusetts to reinforce the Twenty-seventh, then stationed at Washington. The Rebels did not make their appearance for two weeks after our arrival. General Foster arrived at Washington, March 30th, and immediately sent out a scouting party, who discovered the Rebels in large force around Washington. The force at Washington was so small that the Rebels expected, on the appearance of a large force, the surrender of the town. They blockaded the river by planting batteries along the shore, where the current of the river was near the shore. For seventeen days we were thus besieged, cut off from all help. For a considerable part of this time we were on half rations, six hard-tack and a small piece of salt pork constituting our daily fare. All this time we were almost sleepless, as the force of the place was so small that we were constantly on guard or digging. On the night of April 13th, the steamer Escort,

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