tia from below. They intrenched themselves there. The pickets of the enemy occasionally appeared through the night, but in the morning they had entirely disappeared from the vicinity.
In the mean time I returned to New Berne and proceeded to organize operations so as to effectually raise the siege. To distract the enemy I directed General Prince to march up the railroad as far as he could toward Kinston and make a vigorous attack, continuing it for several days. At the same time I crossed the Neuse with all my available force and marched directly toward Blunt's Creek, the point where General Spinola was repulsed in the first attempt to relieve the siege, sending at the same time General Spinola, with his brigade, to make an attack on the enemy at Swift Creek, which is on the direct road between New Berne and Washington. The movement toward Kinston with this latter movement, together with the enemy's information of the accession of strength of Heckman's brigade and the fact that after fourteen days of close siege of Washington General Hill had failed to obtain a single advantage or to advance one step nearer his object, in all probability caused him to retreat.
On arriving at Blount's Creek I found it abandoned. General Naglee, with detachments of two companies of cavalry, pushed on in advance toward Washington. He succeeded in capturing 5 of the enemy's rear guard by a brilliant dash on them made by himself, Captain Johnston, assistant adjutant-general; Captain Cohen, and Captain Gouraud, aide-de-camp.
The next morning, April 19, he pushed on, with the cavalry, and fought the enemy's rear guard, driving them from breastwork to breast-work and finally forcing them to retire, taking some prisoners, killing and wounding some, and capturing the battle-flag of the Seventh Confederate Cavalry (Georgia).
The column pushed on, arriving at Washington Sunday evening, April 19. After making necessary dispositions at Washington I returned to New Berne to make general dispositions for the defense of the department, which I will report. General Hill has returned up the country with his forces and all our posts are now relieved from pressure.
I take advantage of this opportunity to say that the garrison of Washington-the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, Forty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, two companies of the North Carolina (Union) Volunteers, one company of the Third New York Cavalry, and one company of the Third New York Artillery-behaved nobly; and regarding the intrenchments which by their cheerful and zealous labor I had been enabled to throw up, together with the courage shown in all cases, I believe they could have successfully resisted an assault of all the forces under General Hill at the Point. I must also acknowledge the timely assistance of the Fifth Rhode Island Volunteers, brought up on the Escort by Colonel Sisson.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Major General H. E. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.