the centre, and a bridge crossing the creek. The bridge was prepared in such a manner that, after the retreat of the rebel troops over it, it could be destroyed before our troops could get over it. Colonel Baker, the rebel officer who had charge of the destruction of this bridge, did it skilfully after his retreating troops had passed it. The last rebel crossing this bridge sprung a trap, and the bridge was rendered untenable. On the opposite side of the river the rebels had a splendid redoubt, with just room enough for one horse to enter at a time. From this work the rebels opened a brisk fire of musketry on our troops, which fire was as promptly returned by ours. At the first fire of the rebels, private Charles Morey, of company C, Third New-York cavalry, was shot dead. He was struck in the head by a buckshot. The same volley wounded private Archibald McCarty, of the same company. He was shot in both hands, in the head, and in the leg. His wounds are not considered serious, and he will recover. Several horses were shot dead or wounded. After the first volley from the rebels, the cavalry howitzer-battery was brought to the front, and a shower of shrapnel sent into the rebel works. It was subsequently learned that the rebel loss in this affair — which was a success to our side — was heavy, including the rebel commander, who was killed. Three horses were seen on the rebel side galloping off without riders. Under cover of the fire of our howitzers the bridge was rebuilt, before the completion of which the rebels had retreated. This bridge was across what is known as the North-east River, four miles distant from Onslow Court-House. The rebels had got well off in the retreat, and had crossed the bridge of the New River before our troops could overtake them. When the last of the rebels reached the eastern bank of the river, they were only in time to set the Jacksonville bridge, three hundred yards long — a fine structure — in flames. The rapidity with which the torch was applied to this work, among the best public works of North-Carolina, shows that the rebels had anticipated our movements in that direction, and prepared for the destruction of this bridge. So far as the actual damage to us goes, it is a mere trifle; to the rebels the loss will be severely felt. Should it become necessary for our army to cross this stream at any time, our pontoons can soon be thrown over it. The destruction of this bridge ended for the present the pursuit of the rebels. Late in the afternoon Colonel Mix counter-marched his regiment, and returned to Young's Mills with three rebel prisoners and a numerous staff of contrabands, who joined the rear of our troops to escape from their masters. Some of these negroes had been living secreted from their masters in the woods for upward of five months, and sustained life only with what scanty food they received from friendly negroes. Our troops travelled fifty-two miles in ten hours on this, the fourth day. The regiment reached camp at eleven o'clock P. M., after being exposed to a most pitiless, cold, drenching rain-storm, the horses sinking hoof-deep at every step. The rebel troops opposed to ours in this raid were Rheinhart's cavalry, Perkins's cavalry, Nethercoate's Partisan Rangers, Oglesby's cavalry, and Ned Wade's cavalry. These troops wear no uniforms. They wear common homespun of various hues, and seem to eschew attempts to appear like soldiers. The return home was ordered to-day, and the regiment marched from Young's Cross-Roads to Newbern, twenty-one miles, bringing with them the prizes. They entered Newbern with flags flying and trumpets sounding, and, although somewhat bespattered with mud, yet every man bore a cheerful countenance, and seemed ready for another dash at the rebels. From some of the prisoners it was learned that Stonewall Jackson is in command at Wilmington, and Longstreet, each with their respective corps, at Goldsboro. Among the trophies captured at Trenton, were two American regimental standards, one belonging, to the Twenty-first brigade North-Carolina militia, and the other to the Eighteenth brigade. Both these regiments held themselves loyal until the pressure of public opinion made them give way. Another important capture by the gallant Third was a numerous pack of blood-hounds, belonging to Mr. McDaniel, which were used for catching runaway negroes. An old negro, the trainer, had charge of them when the capture was made. In reply to a question relative to the leading dog, the old negro replied: “Dat he would fotch a nigger from a swamp quick enough, if he only smell his heel.” The result of this raid was, that three counties of North-Carolina--Onslow, Trent, and Jones — on which our troops have never been before, were secured, and the rebels driven out; prisoners, arms, negroes, mules, and colors captured, and much valuable information obtained. Colonel Mix, Lieut.-Col. Lewis, (recently promoted,) the gallant soldiers Garrard and Cole — both of whose names belong to the history of the battles of Kinston, Whitehall, and Goldsboro — were on this occasion ever on the alert, and were prepared at all times for a desperate opposition to the rebels. The Government should send to this point without delay at least two additional cavalry regiments. There is a wide field for them here to operate upon, and this measure would afford some relief to the Third cavalry, which have been hard at work for the last year.
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Table of Contents:
Rebel reports and Narratives.
Doc . 91 .- General Sherman 's expedition.
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