May 7, 1864

Newberne May 7th 1864

Dear Mother I received your
letter of the 21st and was glad
to hear that you were all well
we are at bachelor's creek now
doing picketing and scouting
Co. D is here with us we
have a good eel of duty to
Do the rebs are around pretty
thick they have drove in
our pickets at the deep
gully two or three times
the other day they went
down and shelled our men
at rocky run we have
to keep our things ready
for a move at short notice
there is lots of rebs on
the other side of newberne
our gun boats are shelling
them about evry day
Jim has got back but I
have not seen him
[page break]
we have been mustered for
6 months pay but I don't
know when we will get
payed off thing are so
up side down I am well
and hope this will find
you the same from
your affectionate son
Oren Wooster

[Oren appendeded the following P.S.
and included the description which
apparently had been composed by another
member of the 12th Cavalry.]

here is the taking of
Plymouth and the
evacuation of Washington
as one of our boys wrote
it off

Washington N.C. Apr 28th 64

I have just time to
forward you a few words
great excitement has
prevailed here since sunday
the 17th inst when the
town of Plymouth 28 mls
from here was attacked
by the rebels who sent
an iron clad down the
roanoke river and its
operations being supported
by a strong land force
the garison was taken
after a determined struggle
which lasted until the
morning of the 20th the
operations of the iron clad
vessle proved successful
in every respect our fleet
was completely conquered
and the town was
taken after the 5th
[page break]
desperate assault by the
enemy in losing the town
we also lost 2 vessels of
the navy and as brave an
officer as ever trod the
deck of a man of war
the name of the oficer
killed was Capt flusher
of the miami the enemy
lost at least fifty percent
more than the federals
the generals of the department
are proving themselves
capable of being able to
cope with the enemy
This town is to be evacuated
in a few hours the troops
are getting upon the boat
as fast as possible the
heavy guns are covering our
retreat as the enemy are in
sight of our entrenchment
the negroes are flying for
[page break]
protection in every direction
and tomorrow will probably
see this town in the hands
of the enemy no more
time to write now as
the evacuation takes
place now in a few
hours all is excitement
while I write
Later Friday 29th
The rebels did not come
on us last night nearly
all of the troops are gone
and the town of late so
lively is growing as quiet
as a graveyard a few
citizens alone remains sad
and lonely residents of
the beautiful town the
heavy guns and other army
stores are being moved
as fast as possible the only
troops in town are the
15 Conn & 17 Mass and
[page break]
a portion of a (undecipherable)
battery on sunday afternoon
the beautiful town of
washington was burned
and the seen presented
as our fleet moved out was sad
and magnificent the
boats crowded with
troops and negroes the
town and the long bridge
across the pamlico
sending forth volumes
of smoke and flames
was a sight not often
seen during the war
all the negroes sought
protection under the flag
and received it as the
policy of the rebs towards
them would result in
their deaths if left behind
The morning of the
day on which
the evacuation
[page break]
of the place was completed
was as still as could be
imagined and in the
stillness of the early hours
a body of rebble cavalry
made a charge upon our
infantry pickets on
the south side of the
river they did not succeed
however in driving our
infantry in but kept
possession of the fort with
the boats steamed down ok on
the river the Cav Comp
of B & D of the 12th NY &
the 23rd NY Battery left
washington for newbern
overland route the ride
was a long one but
safely accomplished
notwithstanding the
enemy were in strong
force in many places
on the route
[page break]
The above companys are
now stationed at bachelor
creek 9 miles from newbern
and but a short distance
from the late conflict
of february last when the
enemy attacked newbern
the 132 infantry are our
companions in camp
it was this regt that
kept the rebs in check
and done much in
saving newberne
Copyright © Kenneth Jennings Wooster
All rights are reserved.
Last Modified: December 31, 1998; December 23, 2002.