of Company E, permission to dash on with 5 men until he either encountered the enemy or ran on the Federal pickets. In less than half an hour he returned with the intelligence that he met the Federal pickets about 1 mile from the bridge we had just crossed and in sight of the town.
The citizens estimated the force of the enemy at 1,200 infantry and four pieces of artillery, and their loss at 6 or 7 killed and wounded. Five prisoners were captured, 4 from the infantry, who said their regiment was the Twenty-fifth South Carolina, numbering 850 men, and that they lost but 1 man. One said he belonged to Rhett's South Carolina Battery, and that they had four pieces at the bridge cut could only get two in position. The prisoners also stated that their officers variously estimated our forces to be from 5,000 to 10,000 at that place.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
F. JACOBS, JR.,
Captain, Commanding Detachment.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN MIX,
Commanding Third New York Cavalry.
No. 11. Report of Captain George W. Cole, Third New York Cavalry, of operations December 12-16.
SIR: Having been ordered to take the advance on the morning of December 12, nothing of importance occurred to my command till on the morning of the 13th, when I was ordered to make a charge via Sandy Foundation and obtain a bridge on Southwest Creek, about 5 miles from Kinston, to prevent the destruction of it and hold the position if possible. This I proceeded to do, capturing three pickets and thus surprising the rebels destroying the bridge, and by dismounting 12 of my men and advancing under partial cover obtained the first volley, but received in return a shower of canister from a gun placed back of the bridge, and musketry, which severely wounded Jack Costello, of Philadelphia (canister-shot through the head). We succeeded by rapid sharpshooting in keeping them from the bridge and gun (which as often as they endeavored to load we would pick them off) for over an hour, till relieved by the skirmishers of the Ninth New Jersey Regiment.
After the bridge was repaired General Wessells ordered me to report to Colonel Heckman, who ordered me to feel of the enemy. On advancing we were fired into by concealed enemies in force, and B. F. Chapman, of Syracuse, was severely wounded by a rifle-ball in the thigh. After sharp skirmishing the rebels fell back and we encamped on the field, advancing with company of skirmishers in the morning, and, while the battle was raging, frequently changing position to the right and left, as the enemy's batteries got our range, till ordered by General Foster to make a detour to our right, capturing 4 prisoners, and, endeavoring to cross the bridge to make a charge in the rear of the flying column, I was ordered by you to return and charge up the river. I did as far as the ground permitted, and, as there was no appearance of any enemy or tracks, returned and crossed the bridge, being then