Report of Brigadier General Robert Ransom, jr., C. S. Army, of skirmish at Sandy Ridge, April 20.
Kinston, N. C., April 21, 1863.
GENERAL: Your note of to-day is received. I have started five different parties to vicinity of Morehead City and New Berne. Whitford reports the Yankees retiring from Swift Creek; says Foster declares he will give you a hard fight, which do to write in the history of the war. In an hour after your telegram came I started a regiment and four pieces of artillery to Coward's Brigade. I have now here sixteen field pieces. I kept [A. D.] Moore, [Company E, Tenth North Carolina Volunteers, or First Artillery], as I deeded his battery of importance. Yesterday there another skirmish on Sandy Ridge; there companies of the Forty-ninth and about 70 of [Major J. H.] Nethercutt's men, [Eighth North Carolina Battalion]. The enemy was first driven back, but got a strong re-enforcement and in turn we had to retire. We had 1 killed, 6 pounded, and 12 or 14 missing. Three horses were killed by our men belonging to the field officers. We went forward to in sight of Core Creek after the fight. To hold Core Creek would require at least two regiments. I cannot afford to fritter away strength. We shall soon know if the enemy is going to come this way. I should have to fight him on Southwest [Creek] or not at all until he gets to the river. We are working on Southwest. If I have time will destroy the works over the bridge. For three days I have been getting sink, and am now hardly able to write this. If morning finds me no better this place will need you presence or some one else. I have no horses. Where are the Wheeler forces? I heard that the men were permitted to sell them or send them home. If an attack be made here we cannot well have too many guns. I am almost ill.
Yours, respectfully and truly,
R. RANSOM, JR.,
General D. H. HILL.
P. S.-I have just heard (9 p. m.) that the enemy is rebuilding the railroad; finished to Core Creek, and were working this side with very large force.