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Doc. 117.-expedition to bear Inlet, N. C.

Report of rear-admiral S. P. Lee.

United States flag-ship Minnesota, off Wilmington, North-Carolina, Jan. 14, 1864.
sir: I have the honor to report the result of a joint army and navy expedition from Beaufort, North-Carolina, for the purpose of capturing the salt landed by the Bigelow (the abandoned prize of the army transport Fulton) at Bear Inlet, and the cargo of naval stores reported to have been collected there for shipment in her, previous to her destruction by the Mount Vernon, of this squadron, as reported by me.

I arrived at Beaufort on December twenty-fourth, and found preparations for the expedition being made under Commodore Dove's directions. I directed that the Daylight and Howquah should offer their services to Colonel Jourdan, One Hundred and Fifty-eighth New-York State volunteers, (commanding the military force,) to transport troops. This offer was thankfully accepted. The vessels accordingly left Beaufort on the morning of the twenty-fourth, having an armed launch from the Iron Age, and some lighters, and carrying the troops, portions of the One Hundred and Fifty-eighth New-York State volunteers and the Ninth Vermont volunteers, arriving off Bear Inlet about four P. M. The troops were sent into the inlet in boats, eight (8) in number; only two landed that night, the tide being too low. Early on the following morning they proceeded up the inlet, found no naval stores, (as I learned when at Bear Inlet the next day in the Fah-kee,) but destroyed without loss or serious opposition three salt-works, one hundred and fifty (150) sacks of salt, and a large number of empty barrels for spirits of turpentine. The boats returned to the vessels about one P. M., and they immediately returned to Beaufort, arriving at half-past 5 P. M. The commanding officers of both vessels and Colonel Jourdan commend the good conduct of the officers and men of the navy concerned in this expedition. This inlet was found to have eight (8) feet of water on the bar at high-tide.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,

S. P. Lee, Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding N. A. B. Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.

Report of Colonel Jourdan, (one hundred and Fifty-Eighth New-York.)

headquarters sub-District, Beaufort, Morehead City, N. C., Dec. 27.
Commander Dove, United States Navy:
sir: I have the honor to inform you that our expedition to Bear Inlet has been a complete success, in destroying extensive salt-works, and a large quantity of salt, without having one man injured, or the loss of one cent's worth of property. The home-guards, numbering about two hundred men, made a great effort to assemble and attack us, as also did the cavalry, but the demonstrations of our cavalry up White Oak River, in the direction of Young's Cross-Roads, so completely diverted their attention in that direction, as to make it impossible to collect them in time to prevent us from destroying the property, and moving away at our leisure, uninterrupted. The conduct of the officers and men, so kindly placed at my disposal by you, deserves high praise, and reflects much credit on your branch of the public service.

Discipline, order, energy, and enthusiasm were their leading characteristics; and through you, as their commander at this port, permit me to extend to them my sincere thanks; and by your hearty cooperation, kindness, and courtesy, you have placed me under many obligations, and have my best thanks. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

J. Jourdan, Colonel Commanding.

A national account.

Morehead City, N. C., Dec. 29, 1863.
On Wednesday night, the twenty-third instant, we received orders to get volunteers from the different companies, to go on a scout. Accordingly, every thing was ready — about one hundred and eighty of this regiment, one hundred and fifty of the Ninth Vermont, and three pieces of artillery from the Second Massachusetts heavy artillery--When we embarked on the gunboat Daylight, at ten minutes after eleven A. M., of the twenty-fourth, we up stream and proceeded to about ten miles beyond Swansborough, to a place called Bougue's Sound, where we came to anchor, and took to the small boats and launches; went up the sound a long distance, and destroyed several large salt-pans; also forty thousand bags of salt. We then about ship and took another course to the left, and proceeded about five [465] miles up this Bear Creek, where we came to a house; found two men in it, with a double-barrelled shot-gun loaded to the muzzle; also several very large salt-pans, which we set on fire. The salt we carried in carts to the creek and throw it overboard We then returned to the gunboats and returned to Fort Macon, and were landed the next morning by eight o'clock. This is the first scout our commander (Colonel Jourdan) has done on his own hook; but I can assure you, since he has met with such success, it will not be the last one. Both Colonel Jourdan and his command are very well pleased with the success of the expedition. There are a great many rumors of another expedition very soon. Let it come; we are always ready.


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