War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0559 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS OUTPOSTS,

March 13, [1863]-6.30 p. m.

Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: The information of the attack on our Trent River posts reached me just now, on my return from an expedition to Core Creek, Street's Ferry, &c. My companies have not yet returned, but for of them are expected every minute; too tired, however, to move by the Tuscarora road and try the flank of any enemy that may be there. The best I can do will be to strengthen my posts and wait further intelligence and events. Three of my companies who were sent to examine the country near the Neuse River and Core Creek will not probably be back to-night.

Meanwhile I have no immediate use for the locomotive and send it in. If I had a few fresh troops I would move on the line indicated, Tuscarora and Red House road.

In the course of an hour or so I shall proceed to the Red House.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. RICHTER JONES,

Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS OUTPOSTS,

March 14, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have the honor to report that from information received through Captain Willson, Company H, whom I sent on a reconnaissance at 3 p. m. this morning, I learn that a force of the enemy, not supposed large, are on Trent road near the Gully. My men are very tired, having marched 30 miles yesterday, and returned only at 11 p. m., but I shall move half my command by the Tuscarora road to re-enforce the Trent posts and, if opportunity be offered, attack the enemy's flank or front, according to circumstances.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. RICHTER JONES,

Colonel, Commanding Outposts.

I propose holding this post to the last extremity, even to the risk of having to cut my way through, and then shall leave a garrison in my unfinished block-house.

HEADQUARTERS OUTPOSTS,

March 15, [1863]-8 o'clock p. m.

Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have just returned from a reconnaissance to Deep Gully, &c. I found no enemy there, nor within 3 miles beyond, and from information I obtained it would seem that the main body of their force moved away last evening and the reside early this morning, in full retreat.

From the examination I made they had eight pieces in battery in the field behind the Gully, and had a front of about 1,200 yards deployed, enveloping and turning our Deep Gully position on both flanks. From