War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0863 Chapter XXXIX. RAID ON WILMINGTON AND WELDON R. R., N. C.

Search Civil War Official Records

a million dollars` worth of property and captured between 40 and 50 prisoners and over 100 horses and mules. Nearly 500 contrabands (men, women, and children) were also brought in. Where all behaved so creditably, it is impossible to mention any in particular, either officers or men. I can only say that in no instance did either fail me in my requirements.

I have the honor to be, colonel, your most obedient servant,

G. W. LEWIS,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Forces.

Lieutenant Colonel S. HOFFMAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 3. Report of Captain H. W. Wilson, engineer.

NEW BERNE, N. C., July 9, 1863.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report to you that I left New Berne on Friday morning 3rd instantly, with the advance of cavalry going out under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis, taking with me 20 men as pioneers from the First North Carolina Colored Regiment. These men I found more efficient than any colored men I have taken out on former expeditions. I found the bridge at Mill Creek partially destroyed. I commenced to repair it at 10. 20 a. m., and had it ready for the column to pass over by 11. 30, but the columln did not pass over for more than two hours after. From this point, the work of the pioneers was confined simply to repairing small bridges, till Sunday, when we arrived at Warsaw, on the line of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad [?], when the pioneers unloaded the implements for railroad destruction, and cut a number of levers. But the cavalry gangs were not properly organized, although I called on Colonel Lewis two or three times distinctly for that purpose, the result of which was getting only four gangs to work with the irons a very short time, twisting less than 50 rails and turning over about as many; in all, breaking up less than one-quarter of a mile of track. No ties were burned. I was then ordered by Colonel Lewis to gather up the tools and put them in the wagons for a retrograde movement. Had sixteen or eighteen gangs been placed at my disposal while remaining at that point, I could have twisted from 1 to 2 miles of railroad track. There was but little repairing to do on bridges on my return. Should another expedition be in contemplation, I would ask permission to change the shape of the U-irons, and make some other necessary arrangements for more speedy work.

Yours, most respectfully,

H. W. WILSON,

Captain and Civil Engineer, Eighteenth Army Corps.

Major General J. G. FOSTER.

[Indorsements.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA, July 13, 1863. Respectfully referred to Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis for explanation of the discrepancy between this report and his own (of 2 miles de-