War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0112 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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attention, but hold New Berne and Morehead City (Fort Macon) secure as points for me to depend on. Don't risk anything; let me run the risk, but stand prepared to aid me as I approach. I leave my Chief quartermaster and commissary here to follow me up with boats and supplies.

I do not think Grant will spare you any more men, nor do I suppose them necessary for the simply defensive position you should maintain. As I approach you I may aim for the railroad, near where it crosses the Neuse near Kinston, as I suppose there the enemy will oppose me, and it may be prudent to open communication with you before I cross and attack the position at Kinston or Goldsborough, but Goldsborough is the strategic point I shall aim to secure in North Carolina.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., January 21, 1865.

Brigadier General I. N. PALMER, or

COMMANDING OFFICER DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA:

The District of North Carolina having been added to my command by the Secretary of War, at the request of General Sherman, in order to concentrate more effectually the resources of the seaboard in co-operating with the movements of his army inland, I have the honor to inclose you confidential instructions for your guidance. It is possible that I may not be present at the time your services are needed, in which case you will be prepared to act with promptitude in obedience to any orders which you may receive from General Sherman. General Sherman, as you will see by the inclosed orders,* has command over this department as well as those within his Military Division of the West.

Your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., January 21, 1865.

Brigadier-General PALMER, or

COMMANDING OFFICER DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA:

The present plans of General Sherman contemplate a devastating march through South Carolina and into North Carolina. Upon arriving in North Carolina he will draw his supplies from New Berne by striking the railroad at Goldsborough. He may also before reaching Goldsborough obtain supplies by striking the coast at Wilmington. There is more certainty, however, of his striking the railroad at Goldsborough. You will, therefore, make every preparation, not only to aid promptly and efficiently the forwarding of supplies when General Sherman reaches that point, but also to have your position perfectly secure against any attempts that may possible by made against you, by detachments from Lee's Army, for the purpose of preventing the attainment of the very purpose sought to be secured by these orders. In the first place be sure and watch the enemy, and prevent any attempt to destroy the railroad within the limits of your extreme outer pickets,

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*See Special Field Orders, Numbers 13, January 15, p. 52.

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