which rose and stood awhile, dipped several times, moved horizontally back and forth several times, then descended. Presuming from all these indications that a picket guard of the enemy intended to annoy the constructors of the bridge which I had to make here, I did not commence it till I had crossed a regiment, which I did soon after daylight in the morning.
Having deployed a company of skirmishers on the immediate bank of this side, I placed two Napoleon guns in position to command the opposite bank, and sent a regiment across in single file on the log. The regiment which performed this duty and formed its line beyond the swamp was the One hundred and thirty-second New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Hitchcock. The commander was ordered not to cross till three companies were over, and quite an emulation was excited among the captains as to who should go over first. Colonel Hitchcock ordered the left flank company forward, and its commander, Captain George Micha, Company A, One hundred and thirty-second Regiment New York Volunteers, was first on the log and on the opposite bank. No opposition was made till the verge of the swamp was reached, when half a dozen shots of small-arms were exchanged.
At 10.30 a.m. the bridge was ready, and the column, with three days' rations, moved over it,leaving behind to guard the bridge and train the Third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, a battalion of the One hundred and sixty-eighth Pennsylvania Militia, two sections of Parrott guns, one section of Napoleon guns, and a company of cavalry, Colonel Richmond, Third Massachusetts, in command.
It being open country for the 4 miles to the next defile, Colonel Lewis was permitted to go on rapidly to it with the cavalry, followed within supporting distance by the voltigeurs of Major Garrard. The cavalry of the enemy were seen upon all flanks and in rear by these forces, cut off and scattered by our movements, and they were either left behind us or found some course other than the road we traveled to get away by.
We marched a mile or so beyond where the road forks off to Snead's Ferry, which the guide-post there says is 20 miles distant, and, finding a good position, bivouacked at 6.15 p.m.
In the morning I detached the cavalry to go back to the forks, take the Snead's Ferry road, and proceed on that route and toward Swansborough, taking into consideration the imminent prospect there of unfavorable weather, as far as he thought he could, and join or communicate with me in the evening. At 12 m., presuming that the cavalry were at or near Swansborough, I marched back to and halted at the forks of the road to Swansborough till 4 p.m., at which time the cavalry joined me. Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis' report of this scout is appended. It was now evident from our reconnaissance that all the forces of the enemy in his region were withdrawn behind the New River; that the bridge at Jacksonville had been destroyed and not yet rebuilt, and that there could be no point whatever in marching my column any farther away.
No enemy could be met with without going farther than the organization and supply of the command contemplated. There was nothing left undone which the expedition set out to do; nothing more whatever which my imagination could suggest as within our reach to be done. I therefore returned from this point at once to Young's Cross-Roads, reaching there at 6 p.m. and on the following day, the 10th, pursued the route to New Berne. Of course there were many incidents occurring having an interesting bearing on the personnel of our troops. At a time when I was in the front with the advance guard of the cavalry I saw a corporal and two vedettes, who were 100 yards out beyond me on the