War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0861 Chapter XXXIX. RAID ON WILMINGTON AND WELDON R. R., N. C.

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to Mill Creek, and hold that point till a bridge could be built and the column arrive. At 8 o`clock I moved with my whole command from New Berne, by way of Bryce`s Creek, and arrival at Mill Creek at 1, 30 p. m. At this place I halted. At 3 p. m. I moved on toward Trenton, and found nothing until about 5 miles of that place, when the advance saw 3 vedettes, and I immediately ordered the first squadron to charge, which they did, and captured them all. At Trenton there is a wide and very deep ford, which delayed the advance long enough for the reserve stationed in the town to receive the alarm. I pursued them (taking one or two prisoners) for 2 miles, when, owing to the extreme heat and my horses suffering from the effects of a charge of 7 miles, I halted, and, throwing out my pickets, bivouacked for the night at Trenton. On the morning of the 4th, at 5 a. m., I took up the line of march for Comfort, and met nothing until arriving at Comfort, where the road forks, one on the right leading to Kenansville and the left to Richlands and Wilmington. I seized the mail bags at this point, and my advance captured a courier stationed there. After scouring the left road, I moved on the road to Kenansville, seeing nothing until about 4 miles from Comfort, where a courier was surprised, but escaped by abandoning his horse and taking to the woods. Two or 3 miles farther, surprised and captured two pickets from Hallsville. One mile from where these pickets were captured, were three roads intersecting the main road, two on the right leading to Kinston and Whitehall, and one on the left to Richlands. At this point I rested until 4. 45 p. m. There being a very long bridge at Hallsville, which the enemy would destroy if time were allowed them, I pushed on rapidly toward that place, some 10 miles distant. The country along the route was very low and thickly wooded, deep fords occurring every few miles. At a distance of 4 miles from Hallsville was one of such a depth that all my ammunition had to be carried across on the wagons to avoid the water. About 1 mile from Hallsville was a picket station, but I ordered my advance platoon to charge through them, and hold the bridge at all hazard. They dispersed, but I took all of their arms, horses, and accouterments, and pushed on to Hallsville, arriving there after dark. The bridge being safe, I ordered one battalion, under Major Jacobs, to proceed to Kenansville, attack and capture, if possible, a company of cavalry (said to be there by all of the prisoners taken), while the rest of the column moved on as fast as the transportation and artillery would permit. Major Jacobs moved on rapidly, and, on arriving at Kenansville, surprised and completely dispersed a company of cavalry, commanded by Captain [W. K.] Lane, taking all their transportation, nearly all their horses and equipments and arms, and 4 or 5 prisoners. The Confederates had established an armory and saddle manufactory at that place, both of which I destroyed, burning the former, with a large quantity of sabers, saber bayonets, knives, and all kinds of arms of that description, a large and splendid engine and boiler (the latter I destroyed), all the tools, saddles, and all the stock, but did not burn the building, there being no machinery in it. I also destroyed a large quantity of stores, bacon, flour, and corn, and captured a considerable number of horses. The whole column coming up about 1 o`clock, I bivouacked here for the night. At 4 o`clock on the morning of the 5th, I started for the nearest point on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. Seven miles from Kanansville, on the railroad, is Magnolia, at which place was stationed