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[356] was then backing at the rate of about five miles an hour, having not yet got under full head or back way. White immediately dismounted, sprang upon the locomotive, reversed the engine and brought the train to a point where it and its reight — except some rebel officers who were on board — could be destroyed. The ammunition was effectually destroyed and the locomotive essentially smashed. They also captured a rebel paymaster, with all his funds, some $50,000 in North-Carolina and South-Carolina notes. building, of similar dimensions,

The quartermaster's train captured consisted of eighteen six-mule teams, well loaded with stores and stuff, which, with the teams, were destroyed. The mules were taken, and negroes, who were ready and willing, standing by grinning, were given a chance for a free ride. The paymaster referred to was captured in the road, while on a tour distributing to families the allotment money appropriated by the State for their support. The money was placed in the hands of Lieutenant Gardner, of the Third cavalry, who acted as provost-marshal of the expedition.

After accomplishing all this destruction, and I do not know how much more, Major Jacobs returned to the main column, having made a march of ninety miles, and executed his important orders to the letter, within the brief space of twenty-four hours. Truly a maguificent day's work.

After Major Jacobs had started with his detachment to Rocky Mount, the main column (about five A. M.) commenced its march for Tarboro, where, report alleged, a large amount of rebel government stores was housed, some steamboats built, and some rams and other rebel deviltries under way. The town is an important ant one, and once the seat of considerable traffic and commerce. It is situated on Tar, or Tarr, River, ( “River of health” in the Indian tongue,) and is the terminus of a branch of the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad, running from the town of Wilson.

Our advance, Major Clarkson's detachment, reached Tarboro about nine A. M.; and, without waiting for any ceremony, Major C. dashed into the town, and drove the enemy's pickets (cavalry) across the bridge on a full run. The flying troopers were pursued until the danger of falling into an ambuscade was to be appre-hended. Indeed, such was the report at one time, accompanied by a rumor that Major Clarkson had lost severely, and had made a very narrow escape with his command. It afterward appeared, however, that the report was much exaggerated, and it is believed at headquarters had no foundation, in fact, so far as the ambuscade was concerned. Major Clarkson's loss during the entire expedition was but three officers (Captain Cyrus Church and his two lieutenants) and some fifteen or twenty men — all missing.

Without proceeding to give in detail the mode and manner by which the rebel property in Tarboro was destroyed, it may suffice to say that the amount was immense and consisted of--

1. Two steamboats, one a very fine one.

2. The framework of an iron-clad which has been in the course of construction for several months.

3. A number of iron rams or rebel devils.

4. Four cannon, with caissons and ammunition, which were thrown into the river.

5. A large building, two stories high and one hundred and fifty feet long, filled with commissary stores, such as bacon, flour, rice, sugar, etc., etc.

6. Another building, of similar dimensions, containing quartermaster's stores, such as camp equipage, wagons, harness, etc.

7. The railroad depot, consisting of two large brick buildings.

8. About six hundred bales of cotton.

9. The extensive bridge over the Tar River, the destruction of which was attended with probably more inconvenience and distress than any other event during the expedition.

The work of demolition in Tarboro was accomplished without much resistance, so sudden was our arrival, and so alert our movements. Major Cole's command did good work. A few inhabitants fired upon our men from windows; but that work stopped soon after a few summary examples were made. The enemy attempted to shell us from the other side of the river, but desisted as soon as they found they were doing more damage to their own property than they were to us, and also, probably, from the effects of the shells from Clark's howitzers.

Some infantry and cavalry also showed, themselves, and, the appearance gradually becoming more and more formidable, General Potter, as soon as Major Jacobs's command had rejoined the main column from its successful raid at Rocky Mount, ordered the line of march to be taken up on the return of the expedition, via Sparta.

The order to apply the torch to Tarboro bridge, so as to prevent the advance of the enemy from the opposite side upon our rear, was executed a little to soon. A large number of contrabands had just got over, many were still on the bridge, and many were yet on the other side, all eager to join our column and flee from their masters in Dixie to their worshippers among the Yankees. Some of our own men were also on the other side; but, with a few exceptions, they contrived to make their escape. When the burning bridge fell, it is feared it carried into the stream below, or consumed in the vain effort to extricate themselves, between five and six hundred poor frantic negroes.

No sooner had the enemy ascertained that we were retreating than they began to make a movement to cut us off, having been foiled in the rapid execution of their plan of advancing on our rear by the destruction of the bridge.

The rebels who had by this time been largely reenforced with cavalry, infantry, and artillery, having six pieces of the latter, followed our retreating column closely. Their force is under-stood to have been composed of Martin's brigade, consisting of the Seventeenth, forty-second, Fiftieth, and Sixty-third North-Carolina infantry; Whitford's battalion of rangers, and a part of

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