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[5] at once to Kinston, and finding the enemy had made no change, returned to Weldon, to give the shipment of my troops my personal attention. Saturday, the 30th, being the day for the movement from Kinston, I, on Friday, forwarded to that point from Goldsboroa, all of Kemper's brigade, and three regiments of Ransom's brigade from Weldon, together with six rifled pieces and cannoniers, which, with Barton's brigade, six hundred cavalry, and six Napoleons, now at Kinston, composed the column which was to leave that point on Saturday morning, and move down the Trent road as if upon Newbern. Thence across Trent river, and down the south bank across Price's creek to the rear of Newbern, under the command of Brigadier-General Barton. Two regiments of Corse's brigade were also forwarded to Kinston on Friday, which, with Whitford's battalion, now on duty on north bank of Neuse river, below Kinston, formed the column commanded by Colonel Dearing, which was to make demonstrations against Washington; or, if he could surprise Fort Anderson, was to go in. The remainder of Corse's brigade, two regiments of Clingman's brigade, the Fifty-sixth North Carolina regiment of Ransom's brigade, and my brigade, with four Napoleons, eight rifled pieces and cannoniers, arrived at Kinston during Saturday (the horses having been ordered from Wilson, so as to arrive there at twelve o'clock on Saturday), which being the column that was to the front of Newbern, moved at once upon the Dover road, five miles from Kinston. On this night, General Barton, with his command, was fifteen miles from Kinston. Dearing was progressing finely, and General Martin was en route from Wilmington towards Morehead City. Colonel Wood, with his party, arrived at Kinston Saturday night, and proceeded down the river on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, at 6 o'clock, I, with my brigade at the head of the column, proceeded on the Dover road, arresting all persons who saw us, and directed the march, so as to arrive at Stevens' Ford, a point (10) ten miles from Newbern, and two miles from the outpost of the enemy, after dark, where we encamped without fires until one o'clock Monday morning, the 1st instant, at which time I moved forward, and captured all the outposts, but not without being hailed and fired upon.

I moved down the road with all possible speed, in order to reach Batchelor's Creek before the bridge could be taken up, but upon reaching the point, found they had been alarmed by the firing of the pickets, and had taken up the bridge.

Here I lost a number of men killed and wounded. The enemy at this point were strongly entrenched, and also had a block-house erected. To avoid the loss of men by storming, I threw some trees across the

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J. M. Barton (3)
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