War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0862

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Page 862
N. C>< VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

part or the whole of a brigade and four pieces of artillery. Taking a road to the right. I avoided this place, and moved on toward Warsaw, 10 miles distant. I reached this place about 8 o`clock, and immediately cut the telegraph wires. A train was expected in about one and a half hours, with troops, to defend this place. I tore up all of the track, and totally destroyed the rails for between 3 and 4 miles in both directions; destroyed the depot and warehouses, filled with flour, bacon, and corn; destroyed all of the rolling-stock, and about 1, 000 or more barrels of tar and turpentine; took all of the mail bags at the place; intercepted a courier and mail about 2 miles out, in his endeavors to escape. My pickets fired on guerrillas repeatedly while at this point. The distance from Magnolia being considerably less to three or four places between Warsaw and Kenansville and to a cross-road 2 miles farther on, between Hallsville and Kenansville, than by the main road, I did not delay longer than to rest my horses, but started for Kenansville about 1 o`clock. As I approached Kenansville, I found pickets and a strong reserve in the town, who fired on my advance, killing 1 horse and wounding a man of the North Carolina Union Volunteers. They fell back, however, in the direction of Magnolia, from which place I learned a large force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery were moving up to intercept me. I pushed my advance on rapidly, seeing indications of the enemy all along the lines, and the citizens boasting that I would never get back again all right. Arriving at Hallsville, we found the enemy`s pickets in the town, but they escaped; I bivouacked here for the night. My pickets fired on a patrol of 3 mounted men soon after arriving here. At 1 o`clock in the morning of the 6th, I took up the line of march for Trenton, and learned that Nethercutt with his battalion was or was expected to be at the cross-roads, 12 miles farther on. On arriving at this point, I captured a courier and my advance some guerrillas in the woods, and I learned that a column of infantry was marching to that point and not far off. Marching on to an open field where forage for my horses could be found, I fed my whole command. My advance was here fired upon from the woods; therefore, I sent one platoon, under Lieutenant Greig, to go as far as Comfort, and hold that point. Arriving there, he sent a messenger back to me, who was stopped by a squad of guerrillas, and forced to go back. He then asked for volunteers, and sent 4 men back, who succeeded in getting through with his dispatches. The woods in my rear being full of infantry from the force which had arrived at the cross-roads while I halted, I moved on to Trenton as rapidly as possible, for, hearing firing there, I hoped to come in upon the enemy`s rear while the force under General Heckman engaged him in front. Arrived at Comfort and Kinston Cross-Roads, I found it held by our own forces, under General Heckman, who had intercepted the force intended to attack us in front while the main force came up on my rear. This I learned, from citizens and pickets that I had taken, was the plan adopted by the enemy. At 9 o`clock I started, and marched to within 4 miles of Pollocksville, and bivouacked for the night. At 5 o`clock the morning of the 7th, I started for New Berne, at which place I arrived about noon, having marched 170 miles in five days, and during that time been out of the saddle less than twenty hours, having destroyed nearly



Page 862
N. C>< VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.