unfortunately, to leave any one in charge of the piece captured. The Ninth New Jersey, coming up immediately thereafter, took the piece into their possession,and from this circumstances might have the entire credit of having captured it awarded to them; whereas the credit of the capture belongs to the two companies of my regiment exclusively. I do not believe, however, that that gallant regiment would claim the credit to the prejudice of my companies. I wish to state here that the timely arrival of Captain Hooker with the companies and the gallant achievement in capturing the gun and driving the enemy manifestly saved that brave regiment (the Ninth New Jersey) from being seriously cut up.
I desire, captain, to communicate to the general, in the very highest terms of commendation and praise,the promptness and gallantry manifested by the brave officers and enlisted men engaged in that affair; and I also desire to do the same justice to the other gallant officer, and enlisted men of my regiment for their untiring zeal and indefatigable industry and energetic efforts made and exhibited in effecting the crossing of the creek,overcoming difficulties that seemed almost insurmountable, and also for the rapid movement forward (exhausted as they were) after the crossing was effected.
On December 14 instant, at the battle of Kinston, I was directed by the general, at the very commencement of the fight, to deploy my regiment in line and move it forward through the woods and swamps which lay on the left of the road leading to Kinston. That order was promptly obeyed - as promptly as the almost impassable character of the ground admitted of. After getting through we came to the open field on the left of the road, on the line with the fire of the enemy and in advance of the fire from our side. We met with some of the enemy in our passage. I sent my adjutant back to inform the general of our position (having received an order to halt), and to ask for further orders. The adjutant returned with orders to return to the road and there support the battery which was under the command of Captain Morrison,which order was obeyed. I found,however,a part of the left wing of the One hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers directly in front of us. Our position was on the left of the battery and left of the road.
Shortly afterward, in obedience to an order of Lieutenant Beegle, aide to the general, I moved my regiment, deployed in line of battle, forward, preceded by a part of the left wing of the One hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers. On coming out of the wood and swamp we came to an open field in front of us, and there we received sharp, rapid, and continuous fire from the enemy. I should think we were under the fire there for an hour. We returned their fire as rapidly. The firing on our part was splendidly done. We then moved rapidly forward across the field, driving the enemy from the wood in front of us and from the church. We passed through the wood to a large open field lying between the wood and the river.
The fire of the enemy during this time was very heavy, but the gallant officers and enlisted men of my regiment and of that part of the One hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers which was with us dashed forward, with a shout and with cheers, through the fire without flinching. When about midway over the field I discovered,by ascending a slight elevation which we were approaching, that may own regiment and the One hundred and third would be cut to pieces by pursuing that line, and that I could accomplish as much by moving to the right, which I did. We succeeded,as I have before stated, in driving the enemy from our front and from their position in the church.