work across to the plank road and up to Sneedsborough, where I design your wing and the cavalry to cross over. You may instruct General Davis to move on Sneedsborough at once, but I don't see as be can do better than to come here and use your upper bridge unless he gets better roads and more forage by Mount Croghan, Sinclair's, McQuaig's, &c. I believe that Hardee is at Cheraw with his Charleston garrison, and it may be part of the Wilmington forces, but I rather think these latter will be used to meet Schofield about Goldsborough, but I want Hardee attacked rapidly and boldly, if in any position this side the Pedee. If he makes the mistake to fight on this side we ought to catch him. I have instructed General Kilpatrick to get a brigade of cavalry across to the plank road at once to observe and attack any force moving on that road from any direction. If Hardee tries to escape toward Wadesborough we must let go our trains and attack him in flank. I think Beauregard, without many wagons, is tied to his Charlotte and Danville railroad. He would not dare depend on the coast road, held as it is, and threatened at Goldsborough. Let us get across the Pedee at all hazards as soon as possible, and then we are all right with Fayetteville as our objective and the Cape Fear River as an alternations.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Chesterfield, S. C., March 3, 1865.
Major General H. W. SLOCUM,
Commanding Left Wing:
GENERAL: To-morrow the general-in-chief will move into Cheraw and join the Army of the Tennessee. He wishes you to proceed and cross the Pedee with your command at Sneedsborough as soon as possible, and also directs me to say he will make full orders at Cheraw for the next movement.
I am, general, with respect, &c.,
L. M. DAYTON,
HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, ARMY OF GEORGIA,
Chesterfield Court-House, S. C., March 3, 1865.
Bvt. Major General J. C. DAVIS,
Commanding Fourteenth Corps:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you start your command to-morrow morning at daylight, move to Sneedsborough, and there throw a pontoon bridge over the river and effect a crossing. I am directed to say that the Right Wing has occupied Cheraw, the enemy having evacuated the town, leaving eighteen pieces of artillery and 2,000 stand of small-arms. General Sherman has positive information of the evacuation of Charleston and the capture of Wilmington.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBT P. DECHERT,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.