The column then moved forward slowly, the road being blocked up by trees cut by the retreating enemy to retard our advance which for two hours was very slow. A breastwork was found on our left which had the appearance of having been hastily deserted. The advance, composed of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, soon came upon a bridge burning over the creek by Rawle's Mill. The Twenty-fourth, whilst extinguishing the flames,w ere fired upon by the enemy, with both musketry and artillery, in position on the opposite side of the creek parallel with the main road, the twenty-fourth losing 1 killed and 2 wounded. Captain Belger soon got his battery in position, when he opened fire and completely routed the enemy.
Too much praise cannot be awarded Captain Belger and his command for the masterly manner in which his guns were maneuvered, and for the coolness and discipline displayed by all.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. G. STEVENSON,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
Major SOUTHWARD HOFFMAN,
Numbers 3. Report of Captain Job Arnold, Fifth Rhode Island Infantry, of skirmishes at Little Creek and Rawle's Mill, N. C.
HDQRS. FIFTH Regiment RHODE ISLAND VOLUNTEERS,
Camp Anthony, New Berne, N. C., November 13, 1862.
SIR: I beg leave to submit to you the following report of the part taken by the Fifth Rhode Island in skirmishes of Sunday, November 2, 1862:
At the commencement of the action were received orders to support Belger's Rhode Island battery. We formed in line to the right and rear of the battery, in the corn field to the right of the road. When the battery moved to take its position we filed down the road and formed a line about 20 paces in the rear of the battery in the field to the left of the road, our right resting toward the road, and there remained till ordered to follow the battery across the ford. We had nearly reached the road when we were ordered to remain to support a section of Belger's battery, left in its former position.
We then formed in line in rear of a rail fence to the left and rear of the pieces, our left resting on the woods. As soon as the battery was ordered forwarded we joined the main column, and, crossing the ford, proceeded with it up the road to the rifle-pits this side of Rawle's Mill, and remained within supporting distance of the battery while it was engaged in shelling the enemy. At about 1 o'clock we entered the rifle-pits and there remained until daylight. At one time the regiment was under quite heavy fire, and it gives me much pleasure to state that both officers and men, without exception, behaved with the most perfect coolness.
Colonel THOMAS G. STEVENSON,
Commanding Second Brigadier, First Div., Dept. of North Carolina.