Late in the afternoon of the 17th one section of Starr's battery, in charge of First Lieutenant T. C. Fuller, engaged the enemy south of the river, near the point where the county road crosses the railroad. All speak in terms of praise of the gallantry displayed here, and of the efficiency of Lieutenant Fuller's fire. The details of this engagement do not come within the scope of this report. Justice will be done by the brigadier-general commanding at that point.
I cannot close this report without expressing my admiration of the coolness with which my officers and men stood fire for more than two hours without an opportunity of returning it, and of the gallantry displayed by all of Captain Starr's office and men engaged. Killed, 3; wounded,6. Captain Starr received a slight wound on arm from fragment of spent shell.
I have the honor to be, colonel, yours, very respectfully,
STEPHEN D. POOL,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Battalion Artillery.
No. 39. Report of Brigadier General Beverly H. Robertson, C. S. Army, commanding Brigade, of engagement at White Hall, December 16.
HEADQUARTERS, Goldsborough, N. C., December 19, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in accordance with your order I left Mosely Hall, on the Goldsborough and Kinston Railroad, at 11.30 a.m., 15th instant,and, with Leventhorpe's regiment, portions of Ferebee's and Evans' regiments, and a section of artillery from [J. W.] Moore's [Third North Carolina] battalion, commanded by Lieutenant [N.] McClees, proceeded to White Hall, on the Neuse River, to burn the bridge at that point and dispute the enemy's crossing should he attempt to turn our right. Having no cavalry I impressed a citizen guide and pushed forward to reconnoiter in advance of my command. Upon reaching White Hall I learned that the enemy had not made his appearance there. I then ordered my guide to scout toward Kinston to prevent surprise. One hour later my force arrived and I made rapid preparations for burning the bridge. Making a personal examination some miles to the front without finding the enemy, I returned to White Hall. Shortly afterward citizens, with jaded horses and apparently much excited, announced the enemy was advancing. I ordered Major Jackson and Lieutenant [W. N.] Worthington to watch his movements, but they could not find him. I waited his approach until nearly dark and determined to recross and burn the bridge, according to my orders. The torch had scarcely been applied when the enemy's cavalry appeared with artillery. They shelled the woods until late at night, destroying the gunboat in process of construction on this side. Several men, taking off their clothes, attempted to cross the river by swimming, but were driven back by our sharpshooters. From the force displayed it was evidently his intention to cross the White Hall Bridge.
About 9 a.m. on the 16th a brisk picket skirmish commenced. I visited the bridge, and after giving the necessary instructions went back to order up the Thirty-first North Carolina Regiment, Colonel [John V.] Jordan, which had arrived during the night, and which I placed in position as much sheltered as circumstances would permit. I then posted the artillery as well as the nature of the ground would admit and ordered