Camden N.C., April 20th 62
Sir: I was instructed by Dr. Humphreys to bury the dead in the morning. I accordingly remained determined to discharge that duty. I take pleasure in saying that this morning at day-break I set some slaves to work and had the graves dug. I found the members of the band asleep in the corn-husk cribs on the field, and woke them up, and after considerable difficulty got them to assist me. We buried all the dead that we could find, remembering six of our own comrades of the 9th, and two from other regiments. I performed a short funeral service. I held a sort of a council of war with the band and others and, finding ourselves as we were, alone, I stated to them our only course of duty, which was 1st to bury our dead, and second to save ourselves if possible, in order to do which I instructed them to gather up some stray muskets and all the ammunition possible, and that we would do with them the very best we could. To this there was general consent, and we took on our line of march to join our regiment. Some cavalry passed us giving chase to three of our troops, who finally joined us and were saved. Previous to my sad duties of gathering and burying the dead, I scoured the wood, and the field but saw none there, except many Georgians - perhaps thirty, some of whom had their heads shot away. We picked up two men who came from Norfolk, and who were trying to get to Hatteras. They inform me that they saw the rebels were reinforced last night, but that hearing that we were on their rear, turned about and retreated for Suffolk. On our way down we met some men from the "Commodore Perry" who took us on board, although I had concluded that my next turn would be toward Norfolk as a prisoner of war. I am thankful that our dead are buried well, and we safe.
P.S. I regret to say that nearly all the members of the band performed the work of aiding in the burying of the dead with the utmost grumbling and complaint; and some refused to carry muskets, which alone constituted our safety. The Drum-Major done better than the others. T.W.C.
Commanding 4th Brigade &c.