No. 8. Reports of Captain John F. Moschell, Third New York Cavalry, of operations December 11-16.
HDQRS. COMPANY B, THIRD NEW YORK CAVALRY,
New Berne, N. C., December 20, 1862.
COLONEL: On the morning of the 11th instant I, in command of Companies A and B, of the Third New York Cavalry, as the advance guard, proceeded on the Trent road as far as the Deep Gully (some 9 miles) and halted for further orders. Orders coming, I went on some 5 or 6 miles farther, capturing one of the enemy's pickets without firing a shot, and found the road so blockaded as to impede the farther advance of the column until the obstructions were removed. Sending Lieutenant Chamberlin and 30 men of Company A, dismounted, in the woods as skirmishers they captured a man and horse of the enemy.
While waiting to have the pioneers remove the obstructions we were sent, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Mix, to make a reconnaissance to the left of the main road about a mile. Returning we bivouacked for the night.
On the morning of the 12th I proceeded on the main road as far as the junction of the Kinston road, where Companies B and K, Third New York Cavalry, and two companies of the Ninth New Jersey formed the advance guard. We proceeded on the Kinston road some 3 miles and encountered a force of the enemy's cavalry about 100 strong, as the prisoners reported. I charged on them with Company B for about 1 1/4 miles, when, coming upon an ambush of some 150 infantry behind a ditch and rail fence in the pine wood, I ordered a retreat, and rallied a quarter of a mile this side of the ambush, at the corner of a road leading to a house on the right of the road.
I found 2 men wounded-Private Butler, slightly in the thigh with buck-shot (subsequently cut out by Surgeons Palmer and Douglas), and Private Kingsley, severely wounded in the thigh with a musketball-and 4 men missing, viz, Privates Brightman, Coon, Goodspeed (wounded), and Hart, said Butler's horse being killed and 9 horses missing. The cause of so many horses missing was a deep ditch filled with water, where the horses fell, throwing their riders, and recovering ran away into the enemy's lines.
We captured 1 lieutenant, 9 men, and 2 horses. We also killed 1 captain and 4 men, wounding 1 colonel (Baker) and several men.
Great credit is due to both officers and men, who showed personal bravery and efficiency in the charge. I cannot close this report without particular mention of Lieutenant Ebbs; also First Sergt. William B. Shearer and Corporal Kent and Farrier Allen. The sword of First Sergeant Shearer did not return to its sheath without vengeance on the enemy, as their arms and heads plainly show.
I have the honor, &c.,
JNO. F. MOSCHELL,
Colonel JOHN MIX,
Commanding Third New York Cavalry.
On the morning of the 13th I was sent with Company B, Third New York Cavalry, on a reconnaissance on the Kinston and Trent road, where it branches off, some 9 miles from Kinston. I proceeded about