Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/292

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288 Southern Historical Society Papers.

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, March 28, 1897.]


The Movement on New Berne Thirty-three Years Ago.


Both Land and Naval Forces A Singular Charge and a Singular Chase A Quick Surrender.

RICHMOND, VA., March 23, 1897. To the Editor of the Dispatch:

Enclosed find an article on the movement to New Berne, N. C., by Pickett, in 1864. Much has been said about this movement, but very little credit given some of the Richmond men engaged.

Yours, etc.,



Thirty-three years ago the Confederate government conceived the idea of capturing New Berne, N. C., the movement being proposed by General George E. Pickett, who was at that time in command of the Department of North Carolina. As to why the movement was entertained, and what was to be gained, many opinions have been expressed by soldiers who were on the outside, rather than the inside, of councils held by their superior officers.

It was known that the government was preparing to build boats on the Neuse river at Kinston; in fact, one was under way. The move- ment was finally made, the forces engaged on the south of the Neuse river, consisting of Generals Hoke's and Clingman's North Carolina brigades and a portion of Corse's brigade, with the 38th battalion of artillery, consisting of the Richmond Fayette artillery, Caskie's bat- tery, Stribling's battery and Latham's battery; General Dearing, with his cavalry and three regiments of infantry, was to threaten the north of the Neuse, while Benton's and Terry's Virginia brigades and Matt. Ransom's North Carolina brigade, with some cavalry and artillery, were to move on the Trent road.

At the time of issuing of orders for the above movement, the