Numbers 3. Report of Colonel James Jourdan, One hundred and fifty-eighth New York Infantry, commanding brigade.
NEW BERNE, N. C.,
July 20, 1863.
MAJOR:I have the honor to report that, in compliance with verbal orders received by me from Major General J. G. Foster, on the afternoon of Friday, July 17, I marched with my brigade, re-enforced by one section of Angel's battery, en route for Swift Creek Village. Upon approaching Whitford's Mill, I detached the One hundred and fifty-eighth Regiment New York Volunteers, to make a detour to the right, with a view of securing the position at the forks of the road in the rear of the mill, for the purpose of capturing any force that might be there. I then pushed forward with the remainder of the command, and found the place deserted. While the One hundred and fifty-eighth New York, were making the above-mentioned detour, Lieutenant-Colonel McNary, in command of that regiment, arrested 7 citizens, who were detained until we passed the mill on our return, when they were set at liberty. We then resumed our march to the village, and, when we arrived to within about half a mile of that place, I detached the Twenty-fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, to make a detour to the right, and effect a crossing at Jackson's Mills; then to push on, and obtain possession of the forks of the road, at the upper or extreme end of the village, so as to cut off the retreat of any portion of the enemy who might be found in the village. After allowing sufficient time to elapse for the Twenty-fifth Regiment to execute this movement, I pushed forward with the balance of the command, and, on arriving at the village, my advance (one company of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers), were fired upon by a small force of the enemy, who were posted on the opposite bank of Big Swift Creek. My skirmishers returned the fire promptly, whereupon the enemy fled in the direction of Lane's Fork. There was one soldier of Company A, Whithord's battalion, with his arms and equipments, captured by the Twenty-fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers. On our return to this place, I ordered him to be turned over to the provost-marshal. No casualties occurred on our side. There were scattered clothing and equipments found by two companies of the One hundred and fifty-eighth New York Volunteers, which I had sent across the creek to scour the country in the direction taken by the retreating enemy, which indicated that our fire had been partially effective. Had I been furnished, as I requested, with one company of cavalry, I would have captured a number of prisoners. Our advance was a complete surprise until we reached a point about 2 miles from the village by the direct road. We seized five head of cattle and one ox-cart, the property of a rebel; also one double-barrelled shotgun, loaded with large size buckshot, and one brace of old flint-lock pistols. We found abandoned on the road one horse and cart, and in the cart one Colt's revolver (navy size). Of the above property, Lieutenant T. F. King, acting assistant commissary of subsistence, will account for two head of cattle. The balance will be accounted for by Lieutenant John C. Gerard, acting assistant quar-