of it, subject to Major-General Sherman's orders. Of course you will receive orders from me direct until such time as General Sherman gets within communicating distance of you. This obviates the necessity of my publishing the order which I informed you would meet you at Fortress Monroe. If the order referred to should not be published from the Adjutant-General's Office, you will regard these instructions as your authority to assume command of all the troops in North Carolina, dating all official communications "Headquarters Army of the Ohio. " Your headquarters will be in the field and with the portion of the army where you feel yourself most needed. In the first move you will go to Cape Fear River. Your movements are intended as co-operative with Sherman through the States of South and North Carolina. The first point to be attained is to secure Wilmington. Goldsborough will then be your objective point, moving either from Wilmington or New Berne, or both, as you deem best. Should you not be able to reach Goldsborough, you will advance on the line or lines of railway connecting that place with the sea coast, as near to it as you can, building the road behind you.
The enterprise under you has two objects. The first is to give General Sherman material aid, if needed, in his march north; the second, to open a base of supplies for him on his line of march. As soon, therefore, as you can determine which of the two points, Wilmington or New Berne, you can best use for throwing supplies from, to the interior, you will commence the accumulation of twenty days' rations and forage for 60,000 men and 20,000 animals. You will get of these as many as you can house and protect to such point in the interior as you may be able to occupy. I believe General Palmer has received some instructions directly from General Sherman on the subject of securing supplies for his Army. You can learn what steps he hat taken and by governed in your requisitions accordingly. A supply of ordnance stores will also be necessary. Make all of your requisitions upon the Chief of their respective departments in the field with me at City Point. Communicate with me by every opportunity, and, should you deem it necessary at any time, send a special boat to Fortress Monroe, from which point you can communicate by telegraph. The supplies referred to in these instructions are exclusive of those required by your own command. The movements of the enemy may justify you, or even make it your imperative duty, to cut loose from your base and strike for the interior to aid Sherman. In such case you will act on your own judgment, without waiting for instructions. You will report, however, what you propose doing. The details for carrying out these instructions are necessarily luld urge, however, if I did not know that you are already fully alive to the importance of it, prompt action. Sherman may be looked for in the neighborhood of Goldsborough any time from the 22nd to the 28th of February. This limits your time very materially. If rolling-stock is not secured in the capture of Wilmington it can be supplied from Washington. A large force of railroad men have already been sent to Beaufort, and other mechanics will go to Fort Fisher in a day or two. On this point I have informed you by telegraph.
U. S. GRANT,