2 miles and came across 4 mounted pickets at a farm or plantation house. My vedettes fired upon them and succeeded in capturing a carbine and saddle, but the men horses escaped across the field to the woods. I continued on this road some 3 miles and came in sight of 1 mounted and 2 foot pickets. The vedettes fired at them, one running one way, the other two the other way. Continuing on a mile farther we came upon several pickets at a bridge about 3 miles from Kinston. They fired upon my vedettes, who returned the fire.
Owing to limited instructions I returned the same road and joined the main column at the church, some 6 miles south of Kinston.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. F. MOSCHELL.
No. 9. Report of Captain Newton Hall, Third New York Cavalry, of operations December 12-16.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the afternoon of December 12 I was ordered by Major-General Foster, in command of the forces then marching against Kinston, to take three companies of the Third New York Cavalry, viz, Companies A, D, and G, with one piece of Lieutenant Allis' section of artillery, under his (Lieutenant Allis') command, and march forward on the direct road to Kinston, feeling the enemy and making as strong a demonstration as possible with my command. I was also ordered to retire after having made this demonstration, to build large camp fires for the night, and hold the road until commanded to retire. I immediately moved forward, throwing a platoon of Company A, under command of Lieutenant Chamberlin, armed with carbines, in front of the column, with orders to proceed cautiously and give immediate notice of the presence of the enemy. Proceeding in this manner about 2 miles our advance came upon two cavalry vedettes, dismounted, with their horses saddled, but unbridled, and tied near the road. We were so close upon them that they were unable to mount, and started off across the field for the wood on foot. A shot from a carbine caused them to halt and they were taken prisoners. We again moved forward, and, having gained the information that part of a company of infantry was stationed at a large white house within three-quarters of a mile of the rebel forces encamped at Wise's Cross-Roads, I determined if possible to surprise them. Moving with even greater caution than before, we had advanced, as I judge, nearly half the distance when our advance came unexpectedly upon two mounted pickets, and, charging forward upon the instant, captured them without noise or alarm. Sending them to the rear we again advanced, and when within about a mile of the main guard we came upon an infantry picket, and, learning from him the distance to the house, charged in a body. As our advance approached the rebel station the rebels rushed in alarm and confusion from the house, and as they endeavored to get into line fired a few shots at us, when, unable to withstand our onset, they fled.
The skirmish here lasted but a few minutes, our men using their carbines and revolvers freely, leaving, as was subsequently ascertained, 13 dead and dying rebels upon the ground and taking 11 prisoners, besides those previously captured, among whom was 1 commissioned officer. The men killed and 11 of the prisoners taken belong to the Twenty-second South Carolina Regiment; the others were a part of Major