HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., February 19, 1865.
Bvt. Major General C. GROVER,
Commanding at Savannah:
Fire a national salute at noon to-day in honor of the capture of Charleston.
Q. A. GILLMORE,
(Same to commanding officer Hilton Head District.)
CITY POINT, VA., February 19, 1865.
Major General J. M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Department of North Carolina:
Your two letters of the 15th instant are just received. Sherman's instructions were probably given before he knew what force we would have to operate with in North Carolina. At all events, in pursuing the course directed by me you accomplish what Sherman directs. The object is to open communication between the sea-coat and goldsborough by rail, so as to meet Sherman with supplies for his army and to put at his disposal an available force. If you succeed in the capture of Wilmington you will probably secure the road almost complete. From New Berne it would have to be rebuilt entire. At the former place you would be better supplied with storage. it also gives you the advantage of a road bearing southwest, which, after all, might prove the one necessary to open first. It will be well to have Palmer push on, in pursuance of Sherman's instructions, and at the same time direct your attention to Wilmington. You will either capture the place or hold a considerable force of the enemy from Sherman's front. The last news from Sherman direct was on the 7th instant. I directed a copy of that dispatch sent to you. he was then encountering bad roads and much water and was not certain but these causes would force him to turn upon Charleston. In that case he would want his supplies sent to Bull's Bay. Richmond papers of yestgerday, however, announce his capture of Columbia on the morning of the 17th. As he was then across the Congaree it is not likely that he will turn back. This success will probably force the evacuation of Charleston. In that case Gillmore will have a disposable force of 10,000 or 12,000 men, which I have directed him to send to you. Should you find an advance on Wilmington impracticable, keep up such a threatening attitude that the enemy will be compelled to retain there all the force he now has, and push on the column from New Berne. I will send you a canvas pontoon train immediately, if it can be raised.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Fort Anderson, February 19, 1865.
(Via Fort Monroe, 9 a.m., 23rd. Received 10. 55 a.m.)
Lieutenant Colonel U. S. GRANT, City Point, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the success of our operations against Fort Anderson and the adjacent works on both sides of Cape Fear River. Yesterday, while the gun-boats maintained a heavy fire upon Fort Anderson, I pressed the enemy on both sides of the river and sent a force under General Cox about sixteen miles around a swamp