War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0371 Chapter XXX. DEMONSTRATION UPON KINSTON, N. C.

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safely at Core Creek at about 10.30 that night. We bivouacked here without fires for the night.

At 6.30 o'clock on the morning of the 23rd we took up the line of march for the railroad; there to take the cars for Batchelder's Creek. The column had been in motion but a few moments when the enemy's advance guard fired upon our troops from the other side of the creek. Our artillery soon dispersed them, and, being in the advance, I threw forward one company as advance guard, with orders to proceed to the railroad and report the condition of things there. In a few moments messengers came in with information that the enemy had driven in the pickets of the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, who were stationed upon the railroad, and that they were moving down in force (three regiments), with the very evident intention of striking our left flank and rear before we could reach the cars. In order to prevent this movement, which would have proved very disastrous to us, by order of Colonel Peirson I filed the head of the column to the left into the woods, intending to run parallel with the railroad for some distance and then to strike it far enough down as to enable us to bring our whole force into position and give them battle. The head of the column struck into a swamp, which at first seemed but little likely to impede our march, but ere long it became almost impenetrable and seemed interminable; without guides and in endeavoring to reach the railroad we lost our way. Finally a pocket-compass was obtained, and in a short time we struck the railroad some distance below where we intended to and about 2 miles above Tuscarora Depot. Here we met the cars, and the men were picked up as they came out of the woods, and without any further occurrence of importance were conveyed to New Berne. I reached my camp between 3 and 4 p. m. Saturday, the 23rd.*

I have the honor to be, respectfully, yours,

JOSIAH PICKETT,

Colonel, Commanding Twenty-fifth Regiment Massachusetts Vols.

Captain GEORGE W. BARTLETT,

A. A. A. G., Second Brigadier, First Div., Eighteenth A. C.

Numbers 6. Report of Colonel Silas P. Richmond, Third Massachusetts Infantry, Second Brigade, Fifth Division, of operations May 23.

HDQRS. THIRD MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER MILITIA,

Camp Jourdan, near New Berne, N. C., May 25, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the movement of my command during the last disturbance at the outposts:

At 4 p. m. on the 23rd instant I received orders to have my command in readiness to march at a moment's notice with 60 rounds of ammunition.

At 7 p. m. about 200 rebel prisoners were committed to my charge, and at the same time news came that Colonel Jones, Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania, was killed at Batchelder's Creek, and that his regiment, together with Lee's brigade, had been driven in with some loss.

At 8 p. m. I received orders to march immediately. I did so, having written instructions to govern my movements. Being obliged to leave

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*Nominal list of casualties shows 3 men wounded and 1 missing.

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