command of Lieutenant John D. Clark; and four companies of the Third New York Cavalry and Allis' battery, under command of Captain Jacobs.
The Twenty-fifth and Forty-sixth Regiments, with the artillery, left New Berne at midnight of the 20th instant and arrived at Batchelder's Creek at daybreak on the morning of the 21st.
The Twenty-seventh and Fifth Regiments arrived at Batchelder's Creek by rail at 8 o'clock on the 21st, and soon after the cavalry reported near the creek, on the Neuse road. Colonel Jones then took command, sent forward by rail the Twenty-seventh and Fifth Regiments to White's house, in the vicinity of a mile from Core Creek; the cavalry and artillery by the Dover road, and subsequently, on the return of the train, transported the remaining infantry to White's house. From there, about 5 o'clock, the Twenty-seventh Regiment was sent up the railroad to a depot on Core Creek, there to halt and await further orders. The remaining regiments marched to Core Creek, on the Dover road, where were joined the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania, previously sent forward by Colonel Jones.
The object of the expedition was to surround and capture a rebel regiment at Gum Swamp, the outpost of the enemy, 8 miles from Kinston. I have now the honor to state in detail, so far as I am able, the means taken to accomplish it.
It was decided to send two regiments by an unfrequented and circuitous path to the enemy's rear, while the main column moved up and occupied the enemy's attention and prevented his escape in front; both columns were to arrive at the enemy's intrenchments as near daybreak as possible on the morning of the 22nd, and thus make a joint attack front and rear. Accordingly, at dusk on the 21st, Colonel Jones moved at the head of his column, consisting of the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania and Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, which he subsequently joined at the depot, and stealthily proceeded, under cover of the night and by direction of a faithful guide, to gain the enemy's rear.
Not being able to state from personal knowledge the movements and doings of this column I quote so much of the reports of Lieutenant-Colonel Lyman and Curtiss as appertains to this:
FROM THE REPORT OF LIEUTENANT-COLONEL LYMAN.
At 8 o'clock Colonel Jones, with his regiment, joined us, when the march commenced. We left the railroad to our right and took a path through the woods and swamp running, in its general direction, parallel with the railroad and I should judge from 1 to 3 miles from it. The path was almost impenetrable for a large part of the way, and it was with great difficulty we succeeded in getting through. The guide is deserving of great praise for bringing us out at the point indicated, showing a thorough knowledge of the county. We arrived at a point about 1 miles in rear of the enemy's works at 7 o'clock in the morning, only halting during the night to clear our way. The march was necessarily slow and very tedious; the distance was said to be 14 miles; in my opinion it was much farther. Here the men were allowed to rest for a half hour to eat their breakfast. Moving on to within a short distance of the breastwork Colonel Jones ordered me to send four companies to hold the Dover road to prevent an attack upon our rear by the enemy coming from Kinston. I detailed Companies B, C, G, and K, under command of Captain Caswell, and sent them as directed; three more companies of the regiment were ordered to advance and take possession of the railroad at a point above the works. Companies H, I, and D were sent forward under command of Captain Sanford. The remaining companies of the regiment were held in reserve for the support of Captain Sanford under my own orders. Captain Sanford came upon the enemy almost immediately, directly in front of his advance; they having retreated from their works and taken position behind the railroad embankment, he attacked them immediately. A brisk musketry fire was kept up for a short time on both sides, when Captain Sanford ordered a charge with the bayonet, which was done in splendid style, the enemy retreating to the woods, our men