War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0129 Chapter XXX. RECONNAISSANCE AND SKIRMISHES.

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in that direction would be cut off, he having safely arrived on the opposite side.

After a short halt at this last-mentioned place, night approaching and a terrible storm of a rain and wind setting in, I countermarched my regiment to Young's Cross-Roads, which point was reached at 10 p.m., where I again encamped for the night. My entire return arch was through a heavy storm of wind and rain, which caused the road to become very heavy and difficult to travel.

I captured 3 prisoners between Young's Cross-Roads and Jacksonville, and also took of the enemy's transportation three wagons with three pairs of mules attached, and one mule-saddle,with holsters, pistols, &c. With one of the prisoners a horse was captured.

Believing my orders had been obeyed and carried out to the full extent of my ability to perform the same, on the morning of the 21st instant I returned with my command to New Berne, N. C., reaching that place at 3 o'clock p.m.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,



Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Eighteenth Army Corps.

No. 2. Report of Colonel Augustus B. R. Sprague, Fifty-first Massachusetts Infantry.

FOSTER BARRACKS, January 21, 1863.

On the 17th instant, in conformity to Special Orders, No. 14, joining a portion of the First Brigade and a detachment of artillery and the Third New York Cavalry, I marched with seven companies of my command (Companies F, E, and G being on detached service) by Brice's Creek and the south side of the Trent River to Pollocksville, about 13 miles distant; arrived at 5 p.m. and went into bivouac for the night. On the morning of the 18th, under the command of Major Harkness, marched with the main column toward Trenton, while I was ordered, with the five remaining companies and a detachment of cavalry, to guard the approached and hold Pollocksville till the return of the main force. This was successfully accomplished, and upon the return of the main body at noon of 19th instant, I received instructions to move five companies to Young's Cross-Roads and hold that point till the arrival of the main column.

Without a guide we passed the spot known as Young's Cross-Roads (about 7 miles from Pollocksville), and coming suddenly upon White Oak Creek my advance guard received the fire of the enemy's outposts on the other side of the river, the bridge having been destroyed and a breastwork of logs formed for their protection. The advance, under the direct command of Lieutenant-Colonel Studley, returned the fire and the enemy retired.

In obedience to instruction we bivouacked at the cross-roads, and at evening were joined by the Third New York Cavalry. Soon after daylight, 20th instant, crossed White Oak River with a detachment and established an outpost on the Jacksonville road to guard the approached while the bridge over the creek was being rebuilt. The main force,