Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/151

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proceeded to Richmond at once. As soon as proper arrangements could IK- m. idr the command was summoned to pay the last rite of burial of the dead. At three o'clock in the afternoon, under the >tately pines that bordered the stream, your speaker read the church service for the burial of the dead, and the bodies of our lamented comrades were tenderly laid in mother earth, there to rest until we shall all be summoned to the great assize.

General Pickett's plans miscarried, it was alleged, by the failure of one of his brigadiers to make an attack at the appointed time on the Trent river side of the defense.

He withdrew his force leisurely and retired upon Kinston.

I could never understand why the other gunboats at New Bern did not attack the Underwriter after her capture by us. Instead of that two of them got under weigh and steamed around into Trent river, as fast as they could. While we were getting ready to abandon the ship, it worried us very much to see one of those boats coming directly toward us, but she soon turned and went in the other direc- tion, much to our relief.

In speaking of our casualties, it was said that there were two miss- ing, and it was under laughable circumstances. When we took to our boats two of the men rushed to the stern where they saw a boat made fast, and they slided do\vn into her. In a few moments other men piled into her, and " shove off" was the word. It soon devel- oped that the boat had eij^ht Yankees and two rebels on board, and these two poor fellows set up a fearful cry for help. We heard them howling from our boat, but could not see, nor imagine what it meant. The poor fellows were rowed ashore to New Bern by their Yankee prisoners so to speak. They were afterwards exchanged and I met one of th^m in Richmond. He said he never felt so mean in all his life, and he almost split his throat hallooing for us to get them out of the scrape.

The attack upon New Bern was well planned, and we all know that the assault of that intrepid division was irresistable, but here was another case of somebody has blundered. If General Pickett's plan had been carried out, there would have been another exempli- fication of the power of a navy, by its very absence in this case; for the neutralizing of the help given by the Underwriter in the defense of New Bern would have made General Pickett's assault upon the right flank of those defences a very different affair.

Referring, to this capture, Admiral Porter, U. S. N., wrote at that time: