Civil War in NE North Carolina

Burnside's Expedition and beyond

If you read through two of the major reports on Edward Wild's raid through northeastern NC (New York Times article and Wild's report - a third major article is the report issued by the Confederate Congress on their investigation into charges filed in the wake of the raid) you can piece together the identity of "Tewksbury," the writer of the New York article.


From Tewksbury newspaper article:

the correspondent of the times as bearer of dispatches.

Accordingly, a sailboat and a loyal pilot having been found, near sunset I set sail for Plymouth, 75 miles from Elizabeth City.  A few miles down the river I encountered the privateer Three Brothers – a little stern-wheel canal-boat, used by Gen. Wild to procure wood, and as a transport.  Quartermaster Birdsall, of the First United States, who had been installed commander of this formidable craft elated by his good fortune in capturing that day two stranded sloops, which he maintained were blockade-runners, and thinking to obtain a still nobler prize, put after me at full speed – two miles an hour – and it was for a time uncertain.  In the darkness of the evening whether I would not be towed back in triumph, lashed to the stern of his victorious "wheelbarrow."  I afterward almost regretted that this had not happened, for the wind being dead ahead, we were the whole night beating to the mouth of the river.  The Sound reached, with daybreak a furious wind arose, threatening my frail craft with destruction.  In fact, the pilot pronounced the voyage impracticable, and we were crossing to the rebel shore, where I had determined to land and attempt to reach Plymouth on foot, when a steamer was descried through the fog.  Tacking and steering for her, she proved to be the Whitehead, and I learned that Capt. Flusser was on board the Miami, at the mouth of North River, whether the Whitehead was also bound.  My boat was taken in tow, and in an hour we were alongside the Miami.  Capt. Flusser once accented to the General's request, and we were soon under way for Elizabeth City, before which we came to anchor about noon.


From Wild's report:

Dr. Ray, citizen, who had followed in our train, then volunteered to sail to Plymouth in an open boat and bring a naval Gunboat to support us.

            He did so, and returned next morning with Comm. Flusser and the Miami, having met them on the sound. 


Looks like a match in mission and outcome.


I give you Dr. Ray AKA Tewksbury.  Now, who is Dr. Ray you ask?  A sleuth's work is never done says I.




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Comment by Bruce Long on April 9, 2011 at 9:21am
Nice piece of detective work.


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