War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0970 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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Sharp skirmishing commenced as the enemy endeavored to force us back, but he was kept in check by a portion of Company C on his right flank and covered by the river, as also by Lieutenant Gregory, of Company H, and some men deployed in the open field on our right. This having continued for about two hours, and the enemy appearing in force at the edge of the swamp, I sent for a howitzer, which was brought up by Lieutenant Myers, and three shells sent with remarkable precision by Lieutenant Clark, who had just approached on our flank, having escaped from the enemy; after which I sent the howitzer and support, and dismounted men and led horses, half a mile to the rear, fearing these discharges might give the enemy a point on which to direct his fire; and in this I was not mistaken, for i a few moments he opened on the spot with grape and canister, severely, but with no effect, and there were but three or four of us there. I ordered my skirmishers to fall back slowly under cover as much as possible, and sent a shell occasionally from our howitzer, under Lieutenant Myers, but found we could not at all compete with the long-range gun of the enemy, which kept pouring shot and shell on the road down which we were slowly retiring, and threw shell with precision at least twice as far as we could. Having covered the recrossing of our troops, and recrossed the bridge, I remained to cover it while burning, which was necessary, as I stopped a party of citizens hastening to it after the column left town. While here, I learned that Major Jacobs was approaching, and waited till his arrival; then proceeded to overtake the column, the enemy continuing to shell our column, but without effect. Having overtaken the column at night, where it was stopped by a force of the enemy, I was ordered to take the advance on the Snow Hill road, which I did, and proceeded several miles, when we were fired into from an ambuscade on our right very sharply, wounding several. Then I charged past, and fired to the right, soon silencing them. Company K, of my battalion, I ordered to the rear at Tarborough, to cover the rear of Major Jacobs' fatigued battalion, and they yet remained in rear. We then proceeded rapidly till near morning, halted and fed at a house on our right, and awaited the closing of the column. On the morning of the 21st, I was placed in the rear, and was annoyed all day by the firing of a squadron of rebel cavalry on my rear guard, but caught them once by a double charge of grape and canister at short range, as they were in column of fours, preparing for a charge on my rear, and a shell dropped among them on their retreat. They still kept following, though more cautiously, and again attacked us while feeding, slightly wounding Lieutenant Budlong in the face. A charge of canister scattered them, and we proceeded again to Scuppernong Bridge, or within a few miles, and halted, my command still in rear. While here, Lieutenant Nourse brought to me your order to pass the negro column, and close up on Major Clarkson. While passing the ambulances, Lieutenant [Henry S.] Joy requested me to let him have a platoon to guard the ambulances, which I ventured to do without orders. We passed on over the bridge, and followed the column on the Swift Creek road all night and on the morning of the 21st (?), I having left Lieutenant Leyden with Companies H and F as rear guard, to burn the bridge, &c., which they did, after waiting at least an hour for the negroes to cross, and none approaching, as they were