Newbern on Goldsborough
's and Cox
's divisions were now ordered across the country to Kinston
; but the lack of wagons delayed their movement till March 6; when they started under Couch
, while Schofield
went by sea to Morehead city
, and thence by rail to Newbern
; whence he reached, on the 8th, Cox
's position at Wise
's forks, near South-west creek, on his way to Goldsboroa.
had sent up two regiments under Col. Upham
, 15th Conn., to seize and hold the crossing of the creek; but Hoke
, who had ere this been reenforced by part of Cheatham
's corps from the Tennessee
, had that morning flanked and surprised Upham
there; striking him suddenly in the rear, and capturing 700 of his men.
Elated by this stroke, Hoke
advanced on Schofield
; attempting to bore in betwixt Carter
's and Palmer
's divisions, after the Virginia
fashion; but was checked by the arrival of Ruger
's division, and desisted without serious fighting or loss.
, seeing the enemy strong and eager, directed Cox
to intrench and stand on the defensive till Couch
skirmished sharply next day, and struck heavily at Cox
's left and center the day after:1
the blow falling mainly on Ruger
's division, by which it was repulsed with heavy loss to the assailants.
reports our loss here at only 300; while he estimates the enemy's at 1,500.
retreated across the Neuse
and burned the bridge.
came up and reenforced Schofield
Lack of pontoons delayed Schofield
at the Neuse
till the 14th, when — having rebuilt the bridge — he crossed and entered Kinston
unopposed — Hoke
having hastened to Smithfield
to aid Johnston
in making head against Sherman
again advanced on the 20th, and entered Goldsboroa, scarcely resisted, next day; barely ahead of the arrival of Sherman
and his whole army, as has already been narrated.