The Editor of the Suffolk Sun learned several incidents worth relating during his trip to Kinston and vicinity last week. The following are recorded in the Sun of Saturday last:
George Perry, a prominent and worth citizen of Jones county, for helping our retreating soldiers across the Trent with his flat and preserving the guns they were compelled to leave behind, was seized by the Federals and threatened to be shot in his own yard. His wife entreated, and he was put in irons and jailed at Newbern. At last accounts the irons had been removed, but he was still in jail.
John Richardson, Esq. Living about six miles from town on the Washington road, had to call on General Burnside for protection from his own negroes, who had entered his house declaring that he was no longer their master and they intended to eat and drink whatever they pleased and he dare not interfere with them. Burnside sent a guard to protect him.
The Yankees went to the farm of J. M. F. Harrison, a prominent merchant of Newbern, and destroyed everything they could. When enquiry was made as to the bitterness manifested toward Mr. H. they said he was a “Rebel Captain.” This was contradicted, but they said his negroes so informed them and they believed it. Mr. Harrison had commenced recruiting for a company but had not succeded, and this his negroes had probably learned. This it will be seen that should we be overcome, our negroes are to be the witnesses examined against us, and they are to inform against us.
Old and infirm persons who sought protection at the hands of Burnside, were protected by a guard. Thus when Miss Ellis the Matron of the Griffin orphan school, was disturbed by soldiers, Burnside had a guard placed near the premises, and no soldier was permitted to enter.
Among the families who remained in town after its capture, we heard the following: Mr. Coles, Alexander Justice, Lacy Philips, Z. Slade, Joseph Robinson, Dr. Disosway, L. Heritage, Prof. Doherty and Dr. Boyd. Some of them sent away some members of their families. Prof. Doherty sent his children to Graham, and he and his wife remained.
The Yankees entered the house of Mr. Robinson and seeing a watch in his wife’s sick room, deliberately took it down and carried it off.
The lowest order of Yankee soldiers with the negroes went from house to house and where the family was found to be absent they entered and took whatever they desired. All who know anything of the Yankee disposition to steal, and the like disposition of the negroes can well imagine the state of things.
Col. Z. B. Vance, whose Regiment fought so well at the late battle of Newbern, was formerly a member of Congress from the Buncombe District. He was captain of a Company stationed at Suffolk during the most of the summer. When the battle commenced, he cried out to his Regiment – “Stand firm my brave boys, I am with you for victory or death.” This Regiment was the last to leave the field, refusing to believe the order to retreat when it was first given. Of this Regiment, Maj. Carmichael was killed after having on an eminence fired more than 40 guns at the enemy.
While our soldiers were retreating, a courier overtook them a few miles from town, and informed them that the Yankee cavalry would soon be upon them. Col. Lee called for 45 volunteers to bring up the rear and receive the enemy on his approach. Capt. Lassiter commanding the Haw river Boys from Chatham, and of Col. Sinclair’s Regiment, stepped forward and tendered his company. This was regarded as a very gallant act, and Capt. Lassiter and Lieut. Petty were both highly commended for bravery, as well as every other officer and the privates of the company.
It was currently reported by the Yankees on their arrival in Newbern that Burnside had previous to the battle, visited all our camps in the guise of a fisherman, and had sold fish to many of our soldiers.
The Yankees declared that Col. Avery was the bravest man they ever saw, and after the battle would cry about the streets of Newbern, “Hurrah for the gallant, gallant Avery.” It will be remembered that Colonel Avery was taken a prisoner by them.
Such havoc did Captain Whitford’s Artillery company make among them that after the battle they expressed a willingness to pay a heavy reward for him dead or alive.
Our troops on their arrival at Kinston were hungry, tired and much disorganized. The citizens opened their houses, and they were filled, and the town was almost entirely stripped of all eatables before the army could be provided for. The people of Kinston deserve much praise for their patriotism.
Hardly a Union man could be found at Newbern. We note this with pleasure.
Source: The Greensborough Patriot, April 17, 1862 as found in Confederate Newspaper Project