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 been burnt, but the great railway line was destroyed; the bridges of this line throughout a distance of from twelve to fifteen kilometres no longer existed; the cross-timbers had been made into fires upon which the rails had been heated and twisted out of shape; in short, the passage of the Neuse was interrupted for a considerable length of time. Foster had no interest in marching upon Goldsboroa, where Smith could mass considerable forces, nor could he have destroyed the piers of the bridge without taking possession of the left bank, which would have been a difficult attempt, and very uncertain of success. In short, having ventured thus far from his base of operations in a country where he could find no provisions except by scattering his troops, he was in danger of seeing the enemy, whose ranks were rapidly increasing, cross the Neuse behind him and cut off his retreat. He gave the signal for departure without any further delay, and again took up his line of march in the direction of Newberne. Lee's brigade was directed to cover this movement. Meanwhile, Smith had succeeded in massing all his forces upon the point menaced. Evans' brigade, which had been detained for some time at Goldsboroa by obstructions on the road, had arrived at the commencement of the fight; it had been joined by that of Robertson and by Pettigrew, who was recalled from the neighborhood of Tarboroa. As soon as the Confederates became aware of Foster's retreat they recrossed the wagon-bridge which they had preserved, and tried to capture the rear-guard of the Federals. But Lee had posted a battery in thickets, from which it commanded the road; and when Pettigrew's brigade boldly advanced against him, it was stopped and driven back in disorder by a fire which inflicted severe losses upon it. This last engagement ended the conflict. Smith did not deem it prudent to pursue his adversary, who reached Whitehall on the 18th and Newberne on the 21st. The Federals had ninety men killed and four hundred and seventy-eight wounded; the Confederates, seventy-one killed and two hundred and sixty-eight wounded. In little more than ten days the small Union column had travelled nearly three hundred and twenty kilometres, fought two successful battles, captured ten pieces of cannon and nearly five hundred soldiers from the enemy, carried dismay into a region where it was thought it could not penetrate, and, above all, interrupted
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