Important Military Movements
The very air is filled with rumors, and for the last forty-eight hours the most extravagant reports have been related at every street corner and elsewhere, where two or more persons came together. As yet we have no details –no facts—no nothing, but there is no longer any use in concealing the fact that an important expedition left Kinston a few days ago for Newbern, or in that direction, and that skirmishing took place between our forces and the enemy several miles this side of Newbern, on Monday morning.
We would not allude to these movements if the success of the expedition could be affected thereby, but as the main object has most probably been accomplished before this time, no harm can come of such facts as we shall disclose. It seems our forces left Kinston, the last of them on Sunday morning, in the direction of Newbern. Of the strength of the expedition we are not apprised, and if we knew we should not publish it. On Monday morning, rumor has it, they encountered the enemy at Batchlor Creek, seven or eight miles above Newbern, and drove them back to their line of defences. Here it was that Col. Shaw, of the 8th NC Troops, was killed. He was shot down while engaged with his command in laying down pontoons over Batchelor Creek. And the sad intelligence of the death of this gallant officer is not in doubt, for his body has arrived at Goldsboro. Our troops were within a few miles of the town on Monday, and if the place is to be attacked, the assault has been made before this time.
Some are of the opinion that the enemy’s force at Newbern is very small, and that the place will be easily taken’ while others are not so sanguine.
We think it very probably that the expedition will result in the destruction of the town. If take we trust we shall be able to hold it and drive the invaders out of that whole section of the country.
There were also rumors on yesterday at Suffolk was taken the day before, with five hundred prisoners. The enemy have had no garrison at Suffolk for some time, and it is very probably that our forces may have entered the town.
Source: Greensborough Patriot, February 4, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org
An account of this action was recorded by the Union commander, in an earlier post: http://wp.me/p1qIB8-1SR