Numbers 3. Report of Captain Ferris Jacobs, jr., Third New York Cavalry.
RED HOUSE, March 7, 1863.
Colonel J. RICHTER JONES,
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that pursuant to your permission I proceeded yesterday with my own and Captain Chamberlin's company up the Trent road, joined Colonel Pickett, Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, encamped a concealed point near Nethercutt's, and at 12 o'clock at night marched with the two companies cavalry, and three companies infantry furnished by Colonel Pickett, to the Kinston forks (4 miles beyond Nethercutt's), the cavalry keeping pace with the infantry.
On the knoll immediately beyond the Kinston forks my advance vedettes, were fired upon, whereupon I set the whole cavalry column in motion, charging at full speed up the Kinston forks my advance vedettes were fired upon, whereupon I set the whole cavalry column in motion, charging at full speed up the Kinston road with the intention of capturing the reserve picket station of about 30 men. Not finding them at the place specified I continued the charge, without halting, to the house of one Jones, being about 3 miles from the place where we met the first picket. The infantry followed at double-quick and in a few minutes joined me.
At this place it was ascertained that we were within 1 mile of the enemy's camp, which was near the house of one Green. After a moment's consultation the line of march was again taken up, with cavalry in advance. At this moment, and while I was giving instructions to the vedettes, two mounted men approached, and upon being apprehended purported to have been sent out to ascertain the cause of the disturbance. About a quarter of a mile farther, on encountered a party of six infantry, who surrendered, and while the sergeant (Mosier) in charge of the advance was receiving their arms, four of them fired upon him wounding him severely in the hip and 1 man in the arm. Four of six escaped. At this point I drew in the cavalry, threw out lines of skirmishers upon the flanks, and advancing quickly upon their camp received a severe fire from their barricaded camp in the direction of the skirmishers.
The skirmishers escaped by falling to the ground and covering themselves in a ditch a few rods in front of the enemy's breastwork of trees. Captain Denny, in command of the infantry, then pushed forward in fine style and after a few minutes' sharp firing entered the camp, the enemy escaping in a sort of chaparral so dense that a footman unopposed could barely have passed through.
The infantry companies under Captain Denny behaved exceedingly well. The enemy in their haste had left everything, even their knapsacks (which were new, having been issued to them three days previous), and 15 or 20 Enfield rifles which they had just received.
There were two streets of tents, about ten in each, and two officers' tents and a commissary tent in addition. In short, they abandoned everything. After an examination of a few minutes I ordered the camp and its contents burned, which was done, producing quite a smart explosion of fire-arms, which had been concealed or overlooked.
Only one prisoner was captured here. The camp was exceedingly strong by natural position and artificial defenses, and could have been held by the same number of resolute men for hours against an army