by the enemy in force. The Tenth Connecticut and Forty-fourth Massachusetts were ordered into position on right of road in support of battery; the Fifth Rhode Island and Twenty-fourth Massachusetts on left of road to support Belger's battery. The Tenth Connecticut, Fifth Rhode Island, and Forty-fourth Massachusetts were then ordered forward to the advance.
The Tenth Connecticut made a gallant charge, under a very galling fire, on the enemy, who were rapidly retreating over the bridge which had been set on fire. The Tenth Connecticut poured in a very destructive fire, capturing a rebel stand of colors and a number of prisoners. By the exertions and gallant conduct of this regiment the bridge was saved, they being the first to cross. As soon as the fire on the bridge was put out our forces crossed, the enemy retreating in all directions. No more resistance being offered, my brigade bivouacked on the outskirts of the town.
Next morning we recrossed the river, continuing the line of march toward Goldsborough.
On the morning of December 16 the enemy made another stand at White Hall, occupying a strong position on the other side of the river, having burned the bridge. The Forty-fourth Massachusetts and Tenth Connecticut were ordered into position on the banks of the river, on the left of the road leading to the bridge. Belger's battery was then ordered to shell the woods, the enemy's sharpshooters being so completely concealed that the fire of our infantry had but little effect. The line of march was then taken up toward Goldsborough, the Fifth Rhode Island and a few sharpshooters of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts being left behind to engage the rebel sharpshooters till the rear of the column had passed.
At noon on the 17th arrived at railroad bridge over the Neuse River. Captain Belger's battery was ordered to the front, and did signal service in repelling the charges of the enemy. I formed my brigade in line of battle on the hill on the left of the road. The enemy having been defeated, I was ordered to take up the line of march toward New Berne; had got but a few miles when I received orders to countermarch and support a piece of artillery posted on the Everettsville road, where I remained about an hour. I then received orders to march on once more toward New Berne, arriving here last evening (December 20).
I cannot close this report without referring, as I do with gratitude, to the manner in which Colonel F. L. Lee, commanding the Forty-fourth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia; Lieutenant Colonel R. Leggett, commanding the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers; Major R. H. Stevenson, commanding the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers; Captain Arnold, commanding the Fifth Rhode Island Volunteers; Captain Belger, commanding the Rhode Island battery (which was attached to my brigade for the occasion), have seconded all my efforts throughout the whole expedition. Their prompt and efficient action has facilitated every movement which has been undertaken.
The valuable services of the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers at Kinston, as of Captain Belger's battery at White Hall and at Everettsville, were not rendered, I regret to say, without heavy loss, as indicated by the list of killed and wounded, which I transmit.*
THOS. G. STEVENSON,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade, First Division.
Major SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,
*Embodied in revised statement, p.60.