with their commands, without exception, displayed marked bravery and coolness, and proved effectually their efficiency and gallantry.
As soon as the bridge was sufficiently repaired to permit the crossing of the artillery I received the order forward. We marched through the town, the Ninth having the advance and the Seventeenth Massachusetts following. We marched along the bank of the river, crossed the railroad, and bivouacked for the night about 2 miles from Kinston, on the Goldsborough road.
At 6 a.m., the 15th instant, received orders to return to the bridge. On arriving at the bridge we crossed and continued our march in the direction of White Hall. Nothing of interest occurred throughout the day, and at night bivouacked 3 miles from White Hall.
At 7 a.m., 16th instant, we were again in motion, the Ninth New Jersey in advance. Upon our arrival at White Hall my advance guard drew the fire of the enemy, who were strongly intrenched and fortified on the opposite side of the river, having previously burned the bridge to prevent our crossing. I immediately ordered the fences thrown down on each side of the road for the artillery to take their position. In the mean time I had ordered four companies to deploy as skirmishers, which they did, the entire length of our front, and the engagement soon became general. The remaining six companies of the Ninth were immediately ordered forward to support the skirmishers and, when an opportunity offered, to engage the enemy. The Ninth warmly engaged the enemy until their ammunition (60 rounds) was expended. The regiment was the ordered to retire and send for ammunition. The Seventeenth Massachusetts relieved us to the left and the Twenty-third Massachusetts on the right. While waiting for ammunition the column was ordered forward. We received orders to wait for our supply and bring up the rear.
Our loss was 3 killed, 42 wounded, and 3 missing.
I then received orders to take the Seventeenth Massachusetts and proceed in advance toward Goldsborough Bridge. Bivouacked the night of the 16th about 5 miles from the bridge.
Morning of the 17th column again moving, Seventeenth Massachusetts in advance, Ninth New Jersey following. About 2 miles from the bridge commenced driving in the enemy's pickets. On coming in sight of the bridge saw a regiment of the enemy passing along the railroad. I immediately ordered the Seventeenth Massachusetts to send out skirmishers and advance on the right as far as the railroad. Found the enemy here in force on both sides of the river. The Seventeenth, on reaching the railroad, by my order left one company where the country road crosses the railroad and then marched down the railroad in the direction of the bridge. The company left in position on the country road were charged upon by a squadron of cavalry whom they repulsed, and captured 2 prisoners, without loss on our side. The Ninth advanced on the right of the Seventeenth to within 30 feet of the river and bridge. As soon as the artillery arrived on the ground I withdrew the Ninth New Jersey and Seventeenth Massachusetts to give the artillery position. Torches were sent us and orders to burn the bridge. I rode up to the Ninth New Jersey and called for volunteers to burn the bridge. Numbers volunteered instantly, but as I wanted but three, Lieutenant Graham, acting aide to me, and two privates, one of Company E, William Lemons, and ---, took the port fires and started on their dangerous mission. The enemy were thickly posted on both sides of the river and all about the bridge, but the volunteers were successful, and we soon