War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0437 Chapter LIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

supplies. My object is simply to call your attention to this matter in case it may have escaped your notice, so that if practicable to communicate with General Sherman he may be informed. I think with you that Wilmington should be taken first, for I cannot safely calculate on making a junction with General Sherman at any point farther north.

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

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

Federal Point, February 15, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States, City Point, Va.:

GENERAL: On the 11th, after landing one division of the Twenty-third Corps, I pushed forward General Terry's line east of Cape Fear River and found the enemyin a strongly intrenched position opposite Fort Anderson, running from the river to Masonborough Sound. In the advance we lost about 60 in killed and wounded, and captured 54 prisoners. Information obtained by General Comstock after you were here shows that the enemy's line west of the river runs from Fort Anderson to a pond, formed by damming Orton Creek, and running back into a swamp some eight or nine miles in length, so that Fort Anderson cannot be turned without going around that swamp. Not deeming the force I then had sufficient for such a move, I directed my attention to the possibility of turning the enemy's position by crossing Masonborough Sound. General Comstock made a reconnaissance on the 11th, from which the move seemed quite practicable. The plan was to land pontoons and Navy small boats on the beach about two miles south of Masonborough Inlet, haul them across the peninsula to the sound at a place where it is only about 300 yards wide, march the troops along the beach to the point of crossing, and transfer them to the mainland before daylight in the morning. All arrangements were made for executing the plan on the 12th, but in the afternoon a northeast wind sprung up, which rendered such operations impossible. The wind has continued to blow from the sea since that time. Yesterday I succeeded, after much difficulty in getting the pontoon wagons ashore, and determined to make the attempt to haul them along the beach to the point where we could cross the sound. The teams made such slow progress that at midnight I became satisfied we could not reach the point in time to commence the crossing before daylight, and hence could not reasonably expect success. I therefore abandoned the enterprise. This plan was a favorite one with General Comstock, and I believe had the wind been favorable, would undoubtedly have been successful. At all events we have lost nothing by making the attemvision commenced to arrive yesterday, and I can now commence operations west of the river without further delay. The enemy's camps indicate some increase of his force since I arrived here, but I have no definite information on the subject. I have no information from General Palmer later than the 10th. He ought to be moving about this time.

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

J. M. SCHOFIELD

Major-General.