War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0988 MD., e. N. C., Pa., Va., except S. W.,& W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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to Stony Creek and two to Nottoway. These with the defenses and infantry force there will be sufficient to defend these bridges against any raid the enemy are likely to make.

Meherrin River.--Over the Meherrin River, about twenty miles north of Weldon, is a covered bridge about 310 feet in length. The guard on the 1st instant consisted of forty-two men of Louisiana Zouaves, armed with muskets, and twelve commissioned officers. Also a detachment of thirty men of Captain Bradford's (Mississippi) battery and a detachment of fifty men of battery connected with Colonel Griffin's Sixty-second Georgia Regiment, Lieutenant Dees commanding detachments, the whole under command of Colonel Coppens. There are extensive works on the south side. I directed earth-works for artillery to be thrown up also on the north side of river, more completely to protect the approaches to the bridge from that side. Five pieces of artillery there-two heavy bronze 12-pounders, two brass 12-pounders, and one small howitzer. The reserves of the counties of Southampton, Greenville, Surry, Sussex, and Brunswick were ordered to rendezvous at this point (Hicksford). There were seventy-five reserves there on the 1st instant; the whole will not probably amount to more than 300 men. They were being organized under direction of Colonel Garnett.

Weldon Bridge.--The importance of this bridge is well [known]; defenses very extensive. Troops stationed in and around Weldon on the 1st instant were:

Men.

Sixty-eighth North Carolina Regiment, Colonel J. W.

Hinton ................................................. 548

Mallett's battalion, Major Hahr ........................ 349

First Battalion Reserves, Major Broadfoot .............. 269

Captain Shaw's artillery company ....................... 29

Captain Cherry's cavalry company, Fourth Regiment ...... 63

Captain Chappell's infantry company .................... 32

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Total .................................................1,290

The bridge guard consisted of thirty men, well armed, from the Sixty-eighth North Carolina Regiment, two commissioned officers. Colonel J. W. Hinton, commanding post.

Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.--Over Quaker Creek, near Halifax, eight miles south of Weldon, is a very high bridge, 150 feet long. No guard and no defenses there on the 31st ultimo.

Fishing Creek.--Over Fishing Creek, about twenty-two miles south of Weldon, is a fine covered bridge, 240 feet long. No guard and no defenses there on the 31st ultimo.

Tar River.--The bridge over Tar River, about thirty-seven miles south of Weldon, was burned some time since. There is now a strong trestlework about 500 feet long, half over the water and the balance over low ground. No guard and no defenses there on the 31st ultimo.

Contentnea Creek.--The bridge over this stream, about sixty miles south of Weldon and five miles from Wilson, is 230 feet long--a covered bridge. No guard and no defenses there. There were watchmen at all these bridges on this road, employed by the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Company, to prevent evil-disposed persons from setting fire to or otherwise injuring the bridges.

Neuse River.--The bridge over the Neuse River, eighty miles north of Wilmington and three south of Goldsborough, has been burned. It has been replaced by a trestle-work 600 feet long, 250 over the river and the balance over low ground. Works of defense have been constructed here, but not armed. The guard consisted of 160 senior reserves, armed with muskets and rifles, furnished by the State. Major B. F. Hooks, commanding.