ordered to make a reconnaissance down the river and obtain information of a battery. About 3 miles from town we found a battery wagon just deserted, and pushing on deployed as foragers, after examining the position, and charged across the rifle-pits and through their works, finding in the first works extensive barracks and a secure work containing four 10-pounder guns loaded, with limbers, and one long 32-pounder ship-gun. A few hundred yards down we found a strong bomb-proof and earthworks, on which was an 8-inch columbiad, still warm, with lots of loaded shell, but no powder in magazine. Throwing out skirmishers I hastened to spike the two heavy guns and to gallop to town for teams to draw off the 10-pounders, and, obtaining these, drew off in the night the four guns, securely spiking the other two and setting on fire the carriages, magazine, barracks, &c., slowly covering the retreat to Kinston of the teams and guns, starting in the morning of the 15th for New Berne with seven guns, by order of General Foster. After proceeding some 6 miles on the Neuse road my advance guard observed a party of the enemy on a cross-road, and charging down with a platoon I took 7 prisoners from a South Carolina and 1 from a North Carolina Regiment, arriving safely in New Berne with guns and prisoners December 16, turning over guns to Lieutenant Prouty and prisoners to Captain Messinger.
I have the honor to submit the above report.
GEO. W. COLE,
Captain Company K, Third New York Cavalry.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN MIX.
No. 12. Report of Colonel Thomas J. C. Amory, Seventeenth Massachusetts Infantry, commanding First Brigade, First Division, of engagements at Kinston, White Hall, and Goldsborough Bridge, December 14,16 and 17.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., DEPT., OF N. C.,
New Berne, N. C., December 21, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the bridge under my command in the several actions of the 14th, 16th and 17th instant:
The First Brigade, consisting of the Seventeenth, Twenty-third, Forty-third, Forty-fifth, and Fifty-first Massachusetts Regiments (the last three being nine months' volunteers), marched from New Berne, with the army under Major-General Foster, on the morning of the 11th instant. The brigade numbered at this time nearly 3,500 men. Of these, about 100 were sent back on our second day out, being mostly convalescents from hospital who were found unfit to continue the march.
On our arrival at Southwest Creek on the 13th I was ordered to form my brigade in two lines on the left of the road, detaching one regiment to line the bank of the creek, the passage of which was disputed by the enemy. I sent forward the Twenty-third Massachusetts, which crossed at the mill-dam, the bridge having been destroyed; this regiment remained on the opposite bank, and rejoined my command on the march next morning. The Fifty-first Massachusetts had previously been