Companies B, C, D, H, and I, of my regiment, a section of Lee's battery, Lieutenant Cady, and Captain Moschell's company of Third New York Cavalry.
Passing through the pocoson around the head of Big Broad Creek we arrived at Cedar Point, opposite Swansborough, some 18 miles from Newport, about 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the 7th.
The steamer Wilson did not make her appearance at the mouth of the White Oak River as arranged, and as no other transportation could be procured to cross the river (about 1 1/2 miles wide at this place) the troops went into bivouac in the woods at Cedar Point. On the morning of the 8th, the Wilson not having arrived, I accompanied Captain Moschell's company of New York cavalry on a reconnaissance up the east side of White Oak Creek to a point called Dorton's Ferry (about 16 miles distant from the Point by road), about 6 miles from Smith's Mill, or Young's. En route we passed over Pettiford's, Hadnot's, and Hunter's Creeks; examined Dorton's Ferry, long since abandoned as a thoroughfare and entirely impracticable as such in consequence of the extended marsh over which a road must necessarily be built to the river bank. The marsh which borders the river at this point is nearly a mile in width and the river in the vicinity about 200 feet broad.
There is no ferry or ford between the Point and the mouth of the White Oak River. We returned to Cedar Point, arriving at the camp soon after dark.
On the morning of the 9th communicated with Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis, who had reached Swansborough, coming down on the other side of the river with a detachment of Third New York Cavalry.
At 6 o'clock a.m., 10th instant, left Cedar Point and returned to Newport Barracks.
Saw nothing of the enemy during our advance and absence, and am convinced that they do not cross White Oak River in force, and that Swansborough has only been occupied by some 15 or 20 of the enemy as an outpost.
Brigadier-General Potter, chief of staff, joined me in the expedition, and I respectfully to him in the matter of details, relative to ferry, fords, depth and width of rivers, &c., in conformity to original instructions.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. B. R. SPRAGUE,
Colonel Fifty-first Massachusetts Regiment.
Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Eighteenth Army Corps.
Numbers 8. Report of Lieutenant Colonel George W. Lewis, Third New York Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD NEW YORK CAVALRY,
New Berne, N. C., March 11, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that in obedience to the following order, viz-
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH DIVISION, EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Bivouac in Field, March 9, 1863-6 a.m.
Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis, with the cavalry and voltigeurs, will reconnoiter upon the road leading from this point to Snead's Ferry, and will pass from it toward
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