cavalry having rode up two or three of the roads leading from Trenton without discovering an enemy, we marched through the village and on toward Pollocksville, halting at 8 o'clock and spending the night at a plantation belonging to Mr. McDaniel, who we learn left it in March last. It was not the headquarters of the rebel cavalry scouts or pickets. The artillery and baggage train found some difficulty in fording a small creek near this place, but all got safely through in the course of the evening. It rained very hard most of the night, but the men were well sheltered in the large barns and sheds, the officers occupying the house. Picket guards were thrown out, the guns of the battery stationed so as to command the different roads, and the baggage train well secured within the yard. Just previous to arriving here four prisoners were taken, who reported themselves as conscripts from Swansborough on their way to Trenton to join their company.
As we were about to move the next morning I discovered that a large grist-mill the side of the road, below the house, was in a blaze, having been fired by some one or more of the men. It was completely destroyed. The house was also sent on fire in the attic, together with a small house in the rear. By my orders a party of the Twenty-fifth, headed by Adjutant-Harkness, succeeded in stopping the flames and saving the house. Although I should not have given my consent to the burning of the mills and should have prevented it had I supposed it in danger, I think it may, perhaps, have been well to have had it destroyed, as it must have been extensively used by the enemy and contained quite a quantity of grain, which could not be brought away. A guard was left to prevent any more burning, and we proceeded on to Pollocksville, being obliged to build a small bridge on the way for the artillery and baggage. Arriving at 10.30, we found there the six companies of the Seventeenth and Captain Cole's company of cavalry, who had arrived the day before. They had lost 4 men of the cavalry; six of them on a foraging tour having been fired upon by a party of guerrillas in ambush, 2 were killed, and 2 wounded and taken prisoners. Lieutenant-Colonel Fellows immediately sent out three companies of infantry, but did not succeeded in discovering the rascals. Two prisoners were taken the morning we arrived, who were suspected of being concerned in the affair. We were delayed until nearly 3 o'clock on account of the bridge built by Lieutenant-Colonel Fellows' command across Mill Creek not proving strong enough for the artillery. It was strengthened. The artillery and baggage train got safely across, and we arrived in New Berne at 10 p. m.
Although we did not meet with as many of the enemy as we should have been glad to, I feel very well satisfied with the result. From information given us by citizens on the road and at Trenton I am satisfied that there is no force this side of Kinston, with the exception of about 100 rebel cavalry and parties of citizens as guerrillas. These are divided into small squads and scour the country from Deep Gully to Pollocksville.
The troops behaved extremely well throughout the entire march, and notwithstanding the heat of the weather and the many streams to be forded, some of them 3 and 4 feet in depth, there was no murmuring and but few stragglers.
The heavy rain had made the roads in many places very bad for artillery, but they came safely though, Lieutenant Pope managing them with much skill and with little bluster.
I am greatly indebted to Captain Hoffman, of General Foster's staff, who accompanied me, and by his advice did much to make the recon-