HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
Fort Anderson, February 19, 1865.
GENERAL: I desire you to move against the enemy toward Wilmington early to-morrow with your entire force, except one regiment of Colonel Moore's brigade, which is temporarily stationed at Fort Anderson. If you find the enemy in position behind Town Creek or eslewhere this side of Wilmington endeavor to turn his right and force him back. You may even cut him off from crossing the river at Wilmington. From the best information I can get his force on the west side of the river is only about 2,000 men, and he cannot well send over more while General Terry si pressing him on the other side. If the enemy fall back to Wilmington try to get possession of all the approaches to the town from the west side of the river and prepare to hold them with the smallest force practicable, so that a potion of your troops may be transferred to the east side of the river. I will move up the river in the Spaulding, so as to keep in communication with the troops on both sides of the river. Inform me frequently by signal or otherwise of your progress.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Fort Anderson, February 19, 1865-11. 30 p.m.
Major General J. D. COX,
Commanding Third Division, Twenty-third Army Corps:
Your note of 8. 30 p.m. just received. The commanding general directs that if you have to make a circuit of ten or fifteen miles, as you suppose, in order to turn the enemy's right, you need not make the attempt. See what can be done with the flat-boat, as you suggest. The general will be in communication with you in the morning.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. CAMPBELL,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
P. S. - The general desires you to ascertain whether pontoons can be landed near you in the river and drawn up so as to cross the creek near its mouth.
J. A. C.,
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS,
February 19, 1865.
Commanding Third Brigade:
You may advance toward Town Creek cautiously, collecting such information as you can and approaching as near the enemy as you find practicable before dark. I will bring up the other brigades as soon as they reach here. Report anything of importance you may learn before I reach you.
J. D. COX,