HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Berne, N. C., June 2, 1863.
GENERAL: Referring to my brief report of May 22, I have the honor to report that, learning from Colonel J. Richter Jones, commanding outpost, that he deemed it possible to capture the enemy's outpost regiments at Gum Swamp, 8 miles from Kinston, I ordered Colonel Lee's brigade, consisting of the Fifth, Twenty-fifth, Twenty-seventh, and Forty-sixth Massachusetts Regiments, three pieces of Riggs' battery, and a battalion of cavalry, to report to him.
Colonel Jones ordered to Fifth, Twenty-fifth, and Forty-sixth, with the artillery and cavalry, under command of Colonel Peirson, Fifth Massachusetts, to advance up the railroad and Dover roads to attack the enemy's works in front, while the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers and the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, under the immediate command of Colonel Jones, took a path through the swamp to reach the rear of the enemy's position.
The main column, under Colonel Peirson, met the enemy's pickets at daylight of the 22nd, and, driving them in, commenced an attack on the front. Colonel Jones, with his command, owing to the character of the road they had taken (the men having o go by single file), did not arrive at the desired place until 9 a. m. On arriving in rear of the enemy's position Colonel Jones deployed such portions of his command as could be used to advantages, opened fire, and advanced. The enemy fired a few desultory volleys, then broke and fled in great confusion, taking to the swamps, and escaping by paths know only to themselves. On hearing the firing of Colonel Jones' command Colonel Peirson advanced his command and entered the works in front. After securing the prisoners (165) and spoils, demolishing the enemy's works and resting his men, Colonel Jones made a demonstration and show of advance on Kinston. At dusk the same evening his pickets were driven in and he found himself attacked by the enemy in force and with artillery. He, in obedience to orders, at once retired, followed by the enemy, and reached our outpost line without loss. Colonel Lee's brigade was put on cars in waiting and returned to their camps.
The enemy, mortified at the success of Colonel Jones, and being strongly re-enforced from Goldsborough, attacked our outpost line on the p. m. of the 23rd. I sent out a supporting force to Colonel Jones and the enemy were repulsed at every point, but with great loss to us and the service in the death of Colonel Jones, who was shot through the heart as he was leading on two companies of his regiment to dislodge the enemy from a position he had taken up. By the death of Colonel Jones a most braver, zealous, and able officer has been lost to the service and to this department.
I have the honor to inclose a list of casualties and a list of prisoners and articles captured.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington D. C.