War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0096 Chapter LIX. OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA.

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HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, THIRD DIV., 20TH ARMY CORPS,

Purysburg, S. C., January 19, 1865.

Captain SPEED,

Asst. Adjt. General, Third Div., Twentieth Army Corps:

I have the honor to submit the following report for the information of the general commanding:

Early this morning a party of eighteen mounted men under charge of Captains Easton and Kellam, of my staff, started out to examine the Grahamville road; they returned this evening and furnished the following information; Meeting with no resistance they moved out as far as Grahamville, fifteen or sixteen miles from this place. There are no troops stationed there, though Colonel Bennett with a detachment from General Hatch's command was there temporarily and returned to General Hatch's headquarters at Dubois Neck, eight miles from Grahamville, while my scouting party was there. As appeared by my report of last evening, there is a low place a quarter of a mile in length, about five miles from this place, which will need to be corduroyed before the trains can pass. There are also two or three small bridges torn away still farther on, but which the pioneer corps can easily replace. About a mile this side of Ferebeeville, where the railroad crosses the Grahamville road, there is nearly a mile of road entirely impassable for trains in its present condition, and will require much thorough work to make serviceable. The steamer General Lee, with 100,000 rations for the corps, convoyed by gun-boat Pontiac, arrived this evening.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DANL. DUSTIN,

Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Savannah, January 19, 1865.

Major General J. G. FOSTER,

Commanding Department of the South:

GENERAL: At my suggestion your command has been re-enforced by the troops serving in North Carolina and a division under command of Major-General Grover. I have also turned over to you the city of Savannah and forts dependent, and beg now to indicate in general terms the course which I propose to pursue, and your share of the undertaking. I propose to march, as soon as my wagons are loaded with forage and provisions, to the railroad leading from Augusta to Charleston, striking it to the west of Branchville, breaking up that road effectually. I will then move in compact order and occupy that space of country lying in the triangle formed by Kinston, Columbia, and Camden. There I propose to devote some attention to Columbia and the railroads in that neighborhood. If I find sufficient forage and subsistence for my army and meet with no reverse, I may move with rapidity to Florence, S. C., in hopes to rescue some 10,000 prisoners confined there. At all events, breaking up the road there, I will move direct for Smithland [Smithville], at the mouth of Cape Fear River, or to New Berne, N. C., according to the condition of my army at the time. When you hear of our being in motion about Coosawhatchie, toward Barnwell, I want a diversion created at Bull's Bay, against the Mount Pleasant and Georgetown road, about the Twenty-four Mile Post, to