feeling our way through the strip of wood leading to the road. Arriving at the road and seeing the enemy crossing the bridge in retreat we charged rapidly toward it, delivering a rapid fire and receiving a raking fire from artillery and musketry. Arriving near the bridge our regiment was cut in two by the Tenth Connecticut crossing our line of march. Colonel Charles O. Gray, with two companies, charged up to the bridge, arriving,with the regimental colors,first upon the end of the bridge, where a portion of a rebel regiment was cut off, they throwing their guns upon the burning timbers and retreating to the left. At this moment our noble colonel was shot through the breast by a musket-ball, from which wound he soon died. Had it not been for this sad blow our regiment must have been the first to have crossed after the fleeing enemy.
GEORGE W. HINDS,
Captain, Commanding Ninety-sixth Regiment New York Volunteers.
Captain ANDREW STEWART,
Asst. Adjt. Ge., Third Brigade, Peck's Division.
No. 29. Report of Colonel Joshua B. Howell, Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations December 13-17.
HDQRS. EIGHTY-FIFTH PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS, Camp near New Berne, No. C., December 22, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on December 13 instant, while on the march on the recent expedition to Kinston, &c., at the Southwest Creek, when the firing at the place began I was ordered by the general to take my regiment to their right of the road leading to the bridge, and on the right of the battery attached to our bridge, to support the battery.
Soon after I had placed my regiment in the position ordered I was ordered by the general to send forward two companies as skirmishers, to examine the wood and swamps as far as the creek,to see if a crossing were practicable and to feel for the enemy. In obedience to the order I sent forward Companies B and D, under command of Captain Hooker (Company B),senior captain. Shortly afterward I was ordered to move the regiment forward and cross the creek if at all practicable, and attack and drive the enemy if we found them on that side of the road. By felling tress across the creek and with much difficulty and labor we effected a crossing. We had not only the creek to pass over but swamps on both sides of it. While crossing the creek we heard sharp and rapid firing in the advance of us, and on coming out on the road ascertained that the two companies (B and D), under Captain Hooker, on their approach to the road from the wood, had come in contact with a party of the enemy (First Mississippi Light Artillery), who had a piece planted on the road. They were promptly attacked by Captain Hooker and driven from their gun - repulsed with a loss of 4 men killed.
In the conflict our men received two discharges of grape and canister from the enemy before they were driven from their gun. The enemy were driven up the road, and in the earnestness of pursuit it was omitted