War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0163 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Pocotaligo, January 29, 1865.

Major General J. G. FOSTER,

Commanding Department of the South:

GENERAL: I have just received dispatches from General Grant stating that Schofield's corps, the Twenty-third, 21,000 strong, is ordered east from Tennessee, and will be sent to Beaufort, N. C. That is well. I want that force to secure a point on the railroad about Goldsborough and then to build the road out to that point. If Goldsborough be too strong to carry by a rapid movement, then a point near the Neuse, south of Goldsborough, but holding the bridge and position about Kinston and fortify strong. The movement should be masked b the troops already at New Berne. Please notify General Palmer that these troops are coming and for him to prepare to receive them. Major-General Schofield will command them in person, and is admirably adapted for the work. If it is possible I want him to secure Goldsborough with the railroad back to Morehead City and Wilmington. As soon as General Schofield reaches Fort Macon, have him to meet some one of your staff to explain in full detail the situation of affairs with me, and you can give him Chief command of all troops at Cape Fear and in North Carolina. If he finds the enemy has all turned south against me he need not follow, but turn his attention against Raleigh. But if he can secure Goldsborough and Wilmington it will be as much as I expect before I have passed the Santee. Send him all detachments of men that have come to join my Army. They can be so organized and officered as to be more efficient, for they nearly all old soldiers who have been detached or on furlough. Until I pass the Santee you can better use these detachments at Bull's Bay, Georgetown, &c.

I will instruct General McCallum, of the railroad department, to take his men up to Beaufort, N. C., and use them on the road out. I do not know that he can employ them on any road here. I did instruct him, whilst waiting information from North Carolina, to employ them in building a good trestle bride across Port Royal Ferry, but I now suppose the pontoon bridge will do. If you move the pontoons be sure to make a god road out to Garden's Corners and mark it with sign board, obstructing the old road so that should I send back any detachments they will not be misled. I prefer that Hatch's forces hereabout should not be materially weakened until I am near Columbia, when you may be government by the situation of affairs about Charleston. If you can break the railroad between this and Charleston then this force could be reduced.

I am, with respect,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Pocotaligo, January 29, 1865.

General HATCH,

Commanding Division:

GENERAL: I wish you to-morrow to send a detachment to the forks of the road this side of the Salkehatchie, and then make demonstrations as though preparatory to cross over to the east side. Try and make a pathway of fallen timber through the swamp, so as to enable skirmishers to appear near the river-bank at the railroad and wagon road bridges. Also, if possible, let one or more horsemen try to pass