Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/296

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>!:> Southern Historical Society Papers.

went into position, fired upon us, limbered up, and fairly flew to New Berne, the Fayette Artillery not having a chance to reply to their shot. In running and chasing between the block fort and the railroad Sergeant-Major Robert I. Fleming, of- the Fayette Bat- tery, succeeded in capturing Colonel Fellows and his adjutant and orderly.

On the right of the county road and several hundred feet from the railroad the trees had been cut down, leaving stumps about knee high. In this place, with hardly room to move a gun, the command- ing officer of the artillery ordered the guns into battery, it having been learned through some source that a train was approaching loaded with troops destined for the town to reinforce the garrison.

A few minutes after the guns had been placed in position the Confed- erate infantry came up, and, moving to the right and to the left, formed a line of battle near the railroad.

The infantry had not been in battle array more than half an hour when the noise from the approaching train was heard. All hands were on the gut vive. The artillerists quickly came to their post to the guns, and patiently waited the turn of events. The train soon came into sight, and, as it got in range of the guns firing was opened upon it, but, being protected by an embankment, no damage, so far as could be seen, was done to the cars, nor were any of the soldiers killed or wounded.

As the train thundered by, going at a rapid rate of speed, the infantry on board opened fire on the Southerners, and although the bullets flew thick and fast, not an artillerist or horse received a wound.

Just at this point it may not be out of place to say that, had the officer in command (as he was requested to do) permitted one or two of the guns to have taken up position in the road, where a fair sweep could have been had at the moving train, it is believed by survivors of that engagement that the train would never have reached New Berne, but would have been brought to a standstill, and the train, with its load of infantry, particularly the latter, brought back as prisoners.

The section of artillery from the block-fort and the train having got safely into the town, the next move of the Confederates was to make a forward movement on that place. The guns were limbered up and the infantry brought into column, and the forward movement begun. The column moved down the county road, crossed the rail- road, marched up a slight incline, reaching a level plateau. On th'e