APRIL 16, 1863-7.30 p. m.
I am 4 miles from Core Creek, having stopped at dark, working till that time bringing along rails and laying them down. I shall drive in the pickets on this road to-night with a company, reconnoitering to the bridge.
Colonel Jones, with his own and the Eighth Massachusetts, will go to the crossings on the Dover road and beat up the enemy's quarters on the other side of the creek, if possible, in course of the night.
In the morning early I shall go ahead. It is thought the enemy's pickets are watching us.
Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,
HDQRS. FIFTH DIVISION, EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Berne, N. C., April 22, 1863.
COLONEL: Pursuant to instructions, dated Headquarters Eighteenth Army Corps, New Berne, April 16, 1863, I advanced on that day in the direction of Kinston with Colonel J. Jourdan's command, consisting of five companies of the One hundred and fifty-eighth Regiment New York Volunteers, nine companies of the One hundred and thirty-second Regiment New York Volunteers, nine companies of the Third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, and four companies of the Eighth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, with four pieces of Riggs' battery, and with Colonel J. Richter Jones' command, consisting of the Fifty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers and 21 enlisted men of Company H, Third New York Cavalry.
In the evening I re-enforced Colonel Jones with a battalion of the Eighth Massachusetts Volunteers and directed him to follow the Dover road and take possession of its crossing of Core Creek. The main column followed the railroad, which required some repairing as we went along, and encamped about 4 miles from Core Creek. Camping places being very sparse, the route does no admit of much choice in this respect. I sent forward immediately Captain O'Connor, of Company G, One hundred and fifty-eighth Regiment New York Volunteers, with his company, to reconnoiter to the railroad crossing of Core Creek. He found a picket there of about 25 men; exchanged a volley with them and drove them to the other side. Colonel Jones marched his command in the night to Core Creek and endeavored to cross at a blind ford, but failed on account of the depth of water from recent rains. He then bivouacked near Dover Crossing.
The next morning Colonel Jourdan advanced over Core Creek, at the railroad crossing, with all the force not already stated to be with Colonel Jones, excepting the Third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers and the battery held in reserve and some companies on picket. He extended to the right, after crossing, to the Dover road. Colonel Jones, finding Nethercutt's men opposed to his crossing, forced the passage, and in a smart skirmish, in which he followed them 3 miles, drove them beyond reach.
In this skirmish we lost 1 man killed and 4 wounded, all of the Fifty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. Three of the enemy left
15 R R-VOL XVIII