War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0356 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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landed by to-morrow night and send the transports back for the other divisions. There is no apparent change in the situation since your were here. I propose to commence operations at once without waiting for the other troops, as time is important. I think I can take Fort Anderson, and possibly Willmington, with the force I now have.

Very respectfully,



NEW BERNE, N. C., February 8, 1865.

(Received 9. 25 a. m. 11th.)

General D. C. McCALLUM,

Manager Railroads:

Gauge of Willmington and Weldon Railroad is the same as the New Berne Rialraod. I have therefore concluded to adopt that gauge for this system of railroads, namely, four feet eight and one-half inches, and will require rolling stock accordingly. Please direct Captain Starkweather to report at New Berne instead of Savannah, and as soon as possible.


Colonel and Chief of Contructions Corps.


New Berne, N. C., February 8, 1865.

Major General M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: In several confidential communications I have recently forwarded to you I have mentioned the fact of my having received instructions from both General Sherman and General Foster concerning the contemplated future operations in this State, but I am fearful that unless these plans have been made known to you my letters will not be perfectly understood. I have, therefore, thought proper to make some extracts from my instructions. General Foster writes me on the 21st ultimo, speaking of General Sherman, as follows:

He will draw his supplies from New Berne by striking the railroad at Goldsborough and you (General Palmer) will, therefore, make every preparations, not only to aid promptly and efficiently the forwarding of supplies when General Sherman reaches that point, but also, &c.

Again he writes:

Prepare for landing and forwarding, either from New Berne or Beaufort, supplies for 70,000 men and 40,000 animals.

And a note is added that these supplies are to come from here (Hilton Head) in transports.

Now, if the railroad is put in order it can do the work, but should we not make our calculation to forward these supplies by the roads and rivers, in cease the enemy destroys the railroad, now beyond our reach? With all the secrecy that can be observed, it is "in the air" in all this part of the country that Sherman's army will march through this State, and it will surely be known very soon that his supplies must come from here. If the wagons are to come with the 40,000 animals, we will be prepared but nothing is said in my letter from General Foster of wagons, and even if the last requisitions for them from here