Lieutenant Ebbs, of the Third New York Cavalry, informed me that the rebels were trying to flank me by the way of Taylor's house in strong force. I kept the creek about ten minutes loner, and as I could not see any re-enforcements on our side (the cavalry having taken another position not known by me) I went slowly in retreat across the field toward the roads, the enemy charging in line of battle at my former position, their shots having no effect on my men. At the same time the right of the enemy charged the bridge with cavalry, and placing a howitzer on a bluff on the right of the road they sent a few shells over us without doing any damage.
At French's gate I formed my squad in line on one side of the road to give you a chance to pass down with your fresh command, which was approaching me. As my men were tired out by running up to the place of action I took position in your rear, throwing out pickets to the right of the road toward French's house, which road leads to Taylor's, Lieutenant Drennan doing the same on the left of the road leading to the mill near Jackson's house. There I reported to you when the battalion fell back, and dismissed my pickets to their respective companies.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
HENRY M. RICHTER,
First Lieutenant Twenty-fifth Regiment Mass. Vols., Officer of the Day.
Captain J. W. DENNY, Commanding Battalion.
Numbers 5. Reports of Captain John F. Moschell, Third New York Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS OUTPOST ON TRENT ROAD,
Harrison's House, November 13, 1862.
On the 11th instant I authorized Lieutenant Drennan and Lieutenant Tew, of Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, to go to near the red house to get some fresh meat, they having failed to supply us any from the subsistence department at New Berne. On the way back they came across a force of rebels, with three cannon, some cavalry, and infantry. They kept them at bay from 2.30 p. n. until 3.30, and fell back to my cavalry vedettes; they fired at them, and, the infantry assisting them, kept them back until word was sent to me at this place. I immediately went to their assistance with the balance of my force. I also sent word down to the commanding officer at New Berne, Colonel Kurtz; he sent Major Garrard out with three more companies of cavalry and the two mountain howitzers belonging to the regiment, when I was relieved from command by him. He ordered my forces to fall back to camp and afterward to New Berne, leaving all the Government and private property belonging to the command. Fortunately the rebels did not come down any farther than the Jackson house.
As far as I could ascertain the enemy's force consisted of two companies of artillery, four of cavalry, and three or four regiments of infantry. It is reported they are out about 8 miles from New Berne, on the Trent road, now.
I have the honor to be, yours, &c.,
JNO. F. MOSCHELL,
Captain, Third New York Cavalry, Commanding Outpost.