Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/295

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Fayette Artillery. 291

men could not see a great distance ahead of them. A forward move- ment was ordered, the men again being reminded to be as quiet as \\.i-> possible. Probably not more than half a mile had been tra- versed before another halt was ordered, the command given to unlimber the- .nuns and tor the third time was the company reminded to be very quiet in executing orders.

After the guns had been unlimbered, to the surprise of the can- noneers and the non-commissioned officers, the command was given to move the guns forward by hand. All orders were executed to the K-tUT, but in carrying out the last command (to move the guns by hand) the distance proved very short, for the men found themselves on the crest of an incline which led down to a small stream of water, which was afterwards learned to be Bachelor's creek. After the guns had been planted, orders were given to prepare for action; the guns were loaded and their fire directed on a block-house or fort on the opposite side of the creek, the outlines of which could barely be dis- tinguished, owing to the fog or mist. The firing was very rapid, solid shot and canister being used, which made it very hot for the Federal soldiers who held the fort.

Finding that the enemy still held on in spite of the heavy fire, and would neither vacate nor surrender, a movement was made by the Fayette artillery which had never been attempted before during the war, nor was it done by this company afterward, or by any other, so far as has been ever known. A charge was made on this block-house or fort by the artillerists, they moving the guns down the incline and across the creek by hand, stopping occasionally to fire a shot at the fort and loading as they advanced.

As the company crossed the creek and secured a position within about seventy-five feet of the fort, and before they could fire a shot, a section of artillery was driven out and started rapidly down the road toward New Berne. The horses of the Fayette Artillery were brought up, hitched to the guns as quickly as possible, and the bat- tery started in pursuit of the enemy, which was kept up for six miles ahead of the infantry. During this pursuit neither party fired a shot.

The horses of the Fayette Artillery having to be brought from the hill where the battery first went into position, and the guns having to be limbered up, this and the good condition of the enemy's horses gave the Federals great advantage over the Confederates. The flying section reached the junction of the railroad and country road running to the town several minutes ahead of the pursuers,