HYDE COUNTY RAID (I) - MARCH 7 - 14, 1863
(From: Official Records of the Union
and Confederate Armies - Concerning the
101st Pennsylvania Infantry)
Hdqrs: One Hundred and First Regt. PA. Vols.,
New Berne, N.C., March 17, 1863.
I have the honor to submit the following as my report of the expedition under my command around Lake Mattamuskeet, Hyde County, North Carolina.
In obedience to instructions from corps headquarters of March 7 I embarked the troops under my command, viz, One hundred and first and One hundred and third Regiments Pennsylvania Volunteers, Company F, Third New York Cavalry, and one piece and caisson Third New York Artillery, on the afternoon of 7th instant, on board the Northerner and Escort. Accompanied by the North State and two scows, we proceeded to Swan Quarter, Hyde County, arriving at 7 o'clock a.m., 8th instant, and the gunboat Allison at once proceeded to Rose Bay Bridge to prevent its reconstruction. After eight or ten hours delay, caused by the captain of the steamer Northerner failing to go nearer than about 13 miles to the landing, we commenced debarking the troops in the afternoon of the 8th instant. Seven companies of infantry and one platoon of cavalry, with howitzer, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Armor, One hundred and first Pennsylvania Volunteers, were debarked and marched to Swan Quarter, l ½ miles from the landing, arriving about 5 o'clock p.m. The remainder of the troops debarked at 11 o'clock on the morning of the 9th and proceeded to Swan Quarter.
Acting on the advice of Captain Richardson, Third New York Cavalry, we then advanced in two columns, one in a southwest direction, under command of Colonel Morris, the other in a northwest direction, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Armor, forming a junction at Mason's house at the earthwork, distant about 8 miles from Swan Quarter, where we bivouacked for the night, after posting our picket. During the night our picket captured 1 man (Thomas Voliva), attempting to fire upon the picket.
We resumed the line of march at 6.30 o'clock a.m., 10th instant, proceeding around the lake from north to east, marching 25 miles, and bivouacked for the night on Spencer's farm. At 6 o'clock a.m., 11th instant, resumed the march; arrived at Swan Quarter about 6 o'clock p.m., having marched 30 miles. During the 10th and 11th it rained almost incessantly, consequently the roads were very bad. No armed force at any point was to be seen. A few stragglers, whose names were on the guerrilla muster-roll, were captured and brought to New Berne. A few others, supposed to belong to the company, were also brought with us --11 in all. They are now in the hands of the provost-marshal at New Berne. About 60 citizens were made prisoners, but released at Swan Quarter upon taking the oath of allegiance.
From the best information that could be obtained the band of guerrillas in this county were scattered about in small parties of from 6 to 8, through the almost impassable swamps. Quite a number of horses, oxen, and carts were captured, but the greater part were abandoned, not deeming them of sufficient value to warrant the delay of transportation and expense of subsistence. On the morning of the 12th instant Captain Richardson, with 300 men and all available transportation, was sent out 7 miles, to the farm of Judge Donald, for the purpose of bringing in a quantity of cotton, corn, and bacon. The following is an approximate list of all the property turned over to the proper authorities: Seventeen horses; 13 buggies; 1 yoke oxen; 1 schooner, Snow Squall, of Washington, of about 35 tons burden; 8 cart-loads cotton (small portion unginned), not baled; about 1,500 pounds bacon; about 400 bushels corn; about 40 slaves, who followed us to the landing. We embarked on the 13th instant and arrived at New Berne on 14th instant. The only buildings burned by my order were the outbuildings of a farm-house near Fairfield, in which we found a rebel officer's coat, ammunition, &c. I regret to state that a small mill at Swan Quarter was fired and burned, and also a barn filled with corn adjoining Spencer's farm was burned by an unknown party; also a number of stacks of fodder on the farm of Judge Donald was burned without my order.
I would also call attention to a lack of proper discipline among the line officers of the One hundred and third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. They seem to have little or no control over their commands, and lack energy to enforce proper discipline. To this there are some exceptions. The One hundred and First Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers also lacks discipline, which I attribute to my long absence from it, but which in the course of time I will bring about again. As an instance of insubordination in the One hundred and third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, while embarking on board the Northerner from the steamer Escort the officers and men, contrary to repeated orders, rushed forward before the boat could be made fast to such an extent as to endanger life and to render it impossible for the officers of the boat to manage her. Having repeated the order for the men to remain in their places and await orders, and all to no effect, I seized a gun and fired down the side of the boat for the purpose of deterring the men, but with no intention of injuring any one. At the moment of firing a man rushed forward and was slightly injured. My thanks are due the officers of the Escort, North State, Lockwood, and Allison for their valuable assistance.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. B. Morris, Colonel,
Lieut. Col. Southard Hoffman,
The War of Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume XVIII, page 181.
New Berne, March 28, 1863.
Major-General Foster, Commanding, &c.:
General: I deeply regret to be compelled, in the last hours of my stay here, to distress you by complaints of the outrages of our forces in the last expedition to Hyde County. In numerous instances, well authenticated, they entered and robbed the houses of loyal men, destroyed furniture, insulted women, and treated with scorn the protections which by your advice I had given them. Can I give to people whose loyalty is not and has never been questioned any assurance that you can see them protected? As matters now stand the loyal men and women, aged and infirm, outside of our lines are the most unfortunate and oppressed in our country; both sides pillage and rob them. I know you have uniformly rebuked these atrocities, but your words have been treated like my protections. I invoke for the people referred to such interposition as your sense of duty and humanity will suggest. With high respect and regard, yours, &c.,
March 29, 1863.
Referred to Colonel Morris for report.
J. G. Foster,
The War of Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume XVIII, Page 182.
Anyone having information on the actions described above, or on Thomas Voliva and the 11 men who were captured and sent to the Provost Marshal at New Bern, please contact me.
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