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 bridge, the flooring of which, of latticed wood-work, is supported by stone piers. Having once reached the right bank, the track runs for some distance in close proximity to the river, and, following a south-easterly direction, crosses several small streams over wooden bridges, in the vicinity of which one meets successively the stations of Everettsville, Dudley and Mount Olive. Several wagon-bridges connect the two banks of the Neuse between Goldsboroa and Kingston; the most important is situated at an almost equal distance from these two points, near the village of Whitehall, another a little above the great railroad bridge, and a third, called Thompson's Bridge, between the first two. On the 15th, Foster advanced to within six kilometres of Whitehall, sending three squadrons and two field-pieces, under Major Garrard, to occupy that village. Garrard had orders to burn the bridge, so as to prevent the enemy from using it the next day to harass the flank of the column; but the Confederates, being under the impression that he intended to cross it for the purpose of marching upon Goldsboroa, set it on fire themselves before his arrival, and Robertson's brigade hastened to dispute the passage of the Neuse with the Federals at this point. Before retiring Garrard made an attempt to destroy an unfinished ship of war which lay moored to the opposite shore by firing cannon-shots into her, but did not succeed, and soon resumed his march to join the rest of the column. On the 16th the Federal vanguard reached at last the great Richmond and Wilmington Railroad line at Mount Olive, burnt several bridges, and destroyed the track for a distance of seven kilometres. A Confederate regiment had passed over this track a few hours before, on its way from Wilmington to Goldsboroa. Other reinforcements, sent from Petersburg, having reached that town at the same time, Smith placed these forces under the command of General Clingman, to whom was entrusted the guarding of the great railway bridge over the Neuse, the destruction of which was evidently the main object of the campaign undertaken by Foster. The latter encamped, on the evening of the 16th, thirteen kilometres from Goldsboroa. On the 17th he sent a detachment from the left of the main column to destroy the railroad track at Dudley and Everettsville, while Garrard on the right, keeping close
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