my pursuit. Immediate preparations were made for removing the blockade, and the bridge across the river at Trenton was burned and destroyed to the water's edge. The blockade of the road in the mean time having been removed I marched up the White Hall road about 6 miles and destroyed a bridge which crossed the Trent River at that point.
This accomplished and night arriving I countermarched my regiment to Trenton and encamped for the night. I countermarched to Trenton as a matter of necessity, inasmuch as the road leading to Comfort, as I ascertained, was blockaded to such an extent as to defy all farther progress in that direction.
On the morning of the 19th, at 7 o'clock, I marched from Trenton without obstruction to Young's Cross-Roads, taking a road southward, which intersects the main road from Trenton to Pollocksville, 4 miles from the latter place.
The distance from Trenton to Young's Cross-Roads by this route is 17 miles. I reached Young's Cross-Roads about noon and found the bridge across White Oak River, I mile below Young's Cross-Roads, on the road leading toward Jacksonville, destroyed, and a strong barricade erected on the opposite bank to oppose its reconstruction.
From this barricade my advance was fired upon without effect as it neared the stream. A howitzer was brought forward and the barricade stormed with canister, which had the effect to silence the enemy's fire and cause him to retreat from the position. In so great haste did the enemy retire that he left behind five sabers and a quantity of ammunition.
Preparations were made to rebuild the bridge across White Oak River, and my regiment, after carefully reconnoitering, the adjacent roads, encamped at Young's Cross-Roads for the night. During the evening two contrabands came within our lines, who stated that they were with the enemy at the time of my firing into the stockade at White Oak River, and that the rebel officer in command received three severe wounds at the first of the howitzer. I retained these contrabands as guides, and procured from them reliable information.
The brigade across White Oak River was completed and crossed on the morning of the 20th instant at 10 o'clock. Leaving all my transportation behind a Young's Cross-Roads with the infantry, I pressed my regiment forward in the direction of Jacksonville with great rapidity.
Five miles from Young's Cross-Roads my advance guard met and surprised a company of rebel cavalry, about 50 in number, which was pursued at a gallop for nearly 12 miles by a portion of Major Cole's battalion, my regiment being kept up at supporting distance.
When within about 5 miles of Jacksonville, and about 20 distant from Young's Cross-Roads, our pursuit was checked by the destruction of a bridge across Big Northeast Run, a stream about 20 feet in width, which bridge had been previously arranged for speedy removal; a stockade had been erected about 100 yards on the opposite of this stream, at the end of a deep, wooded gorge, from which a heavy volley of buck-shot was poured back upon our advance.
The howitzer was again brought to bear, the stockade cleared, and the bridge repaired. At this point I had 1 man killed and 1 seriously but not fatally wounded by the enemy's fire. My regiment again moved forward and reached the intersection of the road leading from Comfort to Jacksonville, 3 miles from the latter place, where I halted, after ascertaining that the bridge across New River at Jacksonville would be destroyed by fire on our approach and all communication with the enemy