HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
February 21, 1865.
GENERAL: My last report from General Terry indicates that he will not be ablek to force the enemy back from the position held by him last evening. General Terry thinks Holes has his whole force in his front. It will therefore be necessary to transfer your troops to the east bank of the river to-night. The men will be put across in small boats near the mouht of Town Creek unless Terry succeeds in effecting a lodgment higher up. In the latter event I will signal up. Otherwise, move your troops to the mouth of Town Creek without further orders. Let your artillery and animals go down to Fort Anderson. I will have them sent from that place by steamers to Federal Point this evening.
If you can destroy the bridges over the Brunswick Point this evening, but in any event be ready to commence crossing the river by dusk or earlier if practicable. You might perhaps send back a brigade or two while the others are doing the work.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS,
Brunswick River Ferry, February 21, 1865.
My head of column reached this place about 1 o'clock. The rebels had partially destroyed their pontoon bridge, but from the wreck I got several boats and have put a regiment over on the island. They got most of the way across when the enemy opened with one gun, commanding the straight road. As the rest of the island seems impracticably swampy this checkes our reconnaissance, but there can be little doubt the rebels are evacuating. They havemade immense fires, the smoke of which you must have seen, indicating that they are destroying turpentine, &c. A few skirmishers were eon the opposite side of Brunswick River when we reached it, but they ran at once. The enemy has destroyed all flat-boats within reach, but I amay hunt some up. I am pushing a reconnaissance farther up the river by way of threatening to cross above the island and so hasten their movements. I shall put my command in position covering the crssing and the Georgetown road, and watch the movements in the town. The railroad bridge across Brunswick River is partially destroyed, and we hear the cars on the other side of the town from here. I cannot doubt that General Terry will have an open road in the morning, and think from the general indications that I am entirely secure here. I will face in all directions and get the intelligence I can while awaiting orders. There is no railroad or other bridge over Cape Fear River.
Very respectfully, &c.,
J. D. COX,
BRUNSWICK BRIDGE, February 21, 1865-6 p.m.
Your dispatch directing movement is only just received, the messenger having lost his way. As I am eight miles from the mouth of Town