feet front, with an embrasure looking down the Dover road, but without a gun. Both these lines were parallel to the railroad and strongly protected on the flanks by marsh and thick underbrush, which was taken advantage of by the enemy's sharpshooters.
Colonel Jones immediately opened fire upon the enemy's works, gradually advancing, and was making preparations to turn both flanks of the position at the same moment, when a brisk fire was opened from down the railroad from the column of Colonel Amory's brigade under Colonel Codman. After delivering one volley two companies dashed down the track with fixed bayonets and took possession of the work. This decided the affair, the enemy retiring in disorder up the railroad toward Kinston, leaving 4 milled and 2 wounded (1 mortally) on the ground. One of the wounded was brought in.
The force of the enemy is variously estimated; probably about 300 men. He had no artillery. It was impossible to get in the rear and capture this force, for they had taken care to keep the line of retreat perfectly clear. After destroying the enemy's camp, both columns returned to their respective camps.
The following day (the 29th instant) I directed that one regiment of Colonel Amory's brigade be sent up the railroad beyond Core Creek to support a fatigue party, which was to make a show of repairing the railroad. The Forty-third Massachusetts was sent upon this duty, and on this and the day following succeeded in putting the road in good condition for a distance of 2 1/2 miles beyond the creek.
During the day of the 29th two cavalrymen, with some of the infantry and artillery, went out a short distance from camp, when they were attacked by a party of guerrillas. The two cavalrymen were killed. they had permission from their commanding officer to leave camp. The other men, I have no doubt, were on a pillaging expedition, and I am rather sorry that they were not the sufferers. Cavalry and infantry were immediately sent in pursuit. They brought in several prisoners, evidently citizens. A careful examination of these men convinced me that they could not be the perpetrators of the deed. I therefore released them, with the admonition that if anything of the kind again occurred in their neighborhood they would be held responsible.
On the 30th a general move was made on different roads in such a way as to create the impression that all the roads leading to Kinston were filled with troops advancing on that place, and I have no doubt that the enemy at Kinston believed it. The column on the railroad worked at the repairs with a will, while the occasional whistle of the cars undoubtedly conveyed the idea that troops were coming up from New Berne. Colonel Lee, with a portion of the Twenty-seventh and Forty-sixth Massachusetts Regiments, was sent to reconnoiter the road leading from a point a mile or two across Core Creek (Dover-road Crossing) to the Neuse road, while Colonel Jones, with the cavalry only, moved by still another path to strike the Neuse road higher up. The Fifth Massachusetts, Colonel Peirson, of the Second Brigade, moved down the Dover road toward the point at which the skirmish took place on the 28th instant. Colonel Lee went through to the Neuse road, a distance of about 6 miles, and returned, finding nothing but the traces of a small party which had been in the neighborhood a day or two before. Colonel Jones, with the cavalry, moved to a cross-road in front of the one followed by Colonel Lee and struck the Neuse road at Biddle's, a point some 6 miles from Core Creek. Here he expected to find a picket, which he hoped to capture, but on arriving he found they had fallen back. He then pushed on toward Moseley's Creek. The inhabit-