on the ground were buried by the victors. A large party worked all this day upon the railroad bridge and laying down sleepers and rails beyond to a considerable distance.
In the course of the day I received the further instructions to "assume an offensive and strongly defensive position on the line of Core Creek and hold the same until further orders." At night the troops were withdrawn to the right bank, on the railroad and on the Dover road, with pickets out on the left bank.
On the 18th Colonel Jourdan with the same forces crossed the railroad bridge and advanced something over a mile to the Core Creek Switch, whence a road leads to the Dover road, intersecting it at three-quarters of a mile from the Dover Crossing and about 1 1/2 miles from the switch. He extended his command to the Dover road and held the point of junction with it in force. At the same time Colonel Jones passed down Core Creek on the west side to take in rear any party at the Neuse road crossing of Core Creek. This operation occupied the whole day, the troops not getting back into their camps till some time after dark. Four rebel cavalry only were found at the Neuse Crossing, who were captured, with their arms and horses. The party then crossed the creek, having to construct means of crossing for their ambulance, and returned, by the road on the east side, to the Dover Crossing. The next day, Sunday, the troops were not disturbed in their bivouac.
On Monday morning having fully concerted the operation with Colonel Jones and Colonel Jourdan, I directed these zealous and energetic officers to advance, maintaining a constant communication with each other until the long sand ridge should be fully explored. The troops of the two camps moved at the same time. The left wing extended to the Dover road and scoured to the right and left of the railroad through most difficult ground; the right advanced by the open country bordering the Dover road and dashed first into the Sandy Ridge region, when they were opposed by skirmishers. The noise of this conflict was the first communication the left was able to obtain with the right, although nearly abreast with it. The enemy's pickets on the railroad retired along the track, firing, thus giving distant notice of our progress there. Arriving at the Biddle road, an avenue 1 mile long from the long sand ridge to the right upon it, with a battalion, and in support. The affair concluded on the Dover road about a mile in advance of the avenue. At that place the Sandy Ridge declines into a swamp, and the last end of it was roughly intrenched. The rapid movement and severe fire of the excellent skirmishers of the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania and gallant charge of 17 cavalry of company H, Third New York Cavalry, under Sergeant Dow, leaping the intrenchments, drove the main body of the rebels into the swamp, and detained a commissioned officer and 27 enlisted men of the Forty-ninth North Carolina Regiment in our hands as prisoners.
Our loss in this skirmish was 7 enlisted men of the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers and 1 of Company H, Third Regiment New York Cavalry, wounded. Three horses of the same cavalry party were killed.
On Tuesday, pursuant to orders from Headquarters Eighteenth Army Corps, my column returned to the New Berne lines and resumed their former positions.
I have to acknowledge myself under obligations to Colonel Jones, of the Fifty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, and Colonel