The Maryland in the Civil War Message Board

Battle of New Bern, NC

Battle of New Bern, NC March 14, 1862

The Daily Dispatch: March 19, 1862.

The battle at Newbern--Authentic particulars.
We had an interview last evening with Capt. Edelin, of
Company "B."1st Maryland regiment [Charles C. Edelin], who arrived
yesterday from North Carolina, on official business. It will be
remembered that the gallant company commanded by Capt. Edelin , after
re-enlisting for the war, came to Richmond from Manassas on furlough
of sixty days, about the time of the surrender of Roanoke Island, and
that every man at once relinquished his furlough and proceeded to
North Carolina, to aid in resisting the advance of the Federal army
into the interior. They were stationed in Fort Allen during the time
of the fight at Newbern, and rendered efficient service. The
following particulars are furnished by Capt. Edelin, and may be
relied upon:

The enemy, with fifty-six gunboats, approached Newbern on Wednesday,
and dropped anchor for the night some twenty miles below the town.
Early on Thursdaymorning they were reinforced, and commenced landing
troops below Fort Dixie. They then approached opposite Fort Thompson
and opened fire from the boats, which was kept up until night. The
force in this fort consisted of two companies of North Carolina
troops, commanded by Captains Whitford and Herring. The loss during
the day was four men wounded.

On Fridaymorning, the 14th, the Yankees commenced the attack upon our
lines at seven o'clock, and were repulsed three times successively by
our infantry, with the assistance of Fort Thompson. The fight lasted
till ten minutes past 10 o'clock A. M., when the enemy flanked our
forces on the right, which caused a panic amongst the militias.
Captain Latham's battery sustained a loss of twenty-seven killed, and
all the guns were-captured. During this period, Forts Allen and Ellis
remained quiet. The fleet then approached within point blank range,
when Capt. Edelin received orders from Col. Lee, (the second in
command of the field,) to evacuate his position in Fort Allen, a
casemate battery.--Capt. Edelin opened on the fleet, sunk one of the
gunboats; and crippled three others. Col. Lee then told him to retire
as quickly as possible, which order was obeyed, and the men were
safely landed on the other side of the river. Before retiring,
however, the Maryland boys blew up the magazine and destroyed the
guns. Captain Mayo, who had command of Fort Ellis, also blew up his
magazine and dismounted his guns, but lost one of his eyes and had a
leg broken by the explosion. It is supposed that he was captured.

All the batteries on the river were under the immediate command of
Col. Crossen. In the attack upon Fort Allen twenty-six gunboats were
engaged. The prompt fire of the Marylanders put a stop to the chase
up the river and protected the retreat.

Our loss will not exceed 500 killed, wounded, and prisoners, while
that of the enemy was acknowledged to be 1,200. The statement that
the enemy commenced shelling the town while the women and children
were running about frantic with fear, is confirmed. All the cotton in
the place, with most of the Government stores, and several houses,
including the Washington Hotel, were destroyed by fire, in pursuance
of orders. The Gaston House was not burnt, and Gen. Burnside now has
his headquarters there.

Col Campbell, who was reported killed, returned safely with his
regiment to Kingston on Sunday; also, Col. Vance. Our army arrived at
Tusen in good order.

The Maryland company lost but one man Andrew O'Niel who was sick
at Newbern and taken prisoner.

The enemy's attacking force is variously estimated from 20,000 to

1st Regiment, Maryland Infantry

1st Infantry Regiment was assembled at Winchester, Virginia, during
the early summer of 1861 with about 600 men. It fought in General
Elzey's Brigade, then the Maryland Line, and was active at First
Manassas, in Jackson's Valley Campaign, and the Seven Days' Battles.
On August 11, 1862, the unit disbanded at Gordonsville, Virginia. Its
commanders were Colonels Arnold Elzey, Bradley T. Johnson, and George
H. Steuart, and Lieutenant Colonel Edward R. Dorsey.

Edelin, Alexander W.
Co. E Private Private

Edelin, Charles C.
Co. B Captain Captain

Edelin, W. J.
Co. A Private Private

O'Niel, Andrew
Co. B Private Corporal

O'Neil, John
Co. D Private Private

O'Niel, Patrick
Co. B Private Private