care now what Beauregard does. Hehas no railroad now to circulate on and must foot it now, as we do, and he has not the trains that we have. Still he can move more rapidly than we. I want, of course, to get across Pedee and then will fight him where he pleases, and don't care for his Virginia re-enforcements. We have to meet them some time, and now as well as later; only let me know in advance, as much as possible, the route or routes on which his infantry moves. His cavalry gives no clue on which I can judge. My belief, however, is that Beauregard is tied to a railroad and that railroad will be from Charlotte to Danville. I have no doubt that Wilmington is, or soon will be, in our hands, and, moreover, that Schofield will or has made a lodgment on the Goldsborough road. A mere strong picket of observation toward Monroe, to give General Davis notice of the approach of danger, will suffice. The bulk of your force should be north of Thompson's Creek, from Burch's up toward Jones' Creek. Reconnoitering parties should examine Pedee from Jones' Creek down, but do nothing to show a purpose to cross.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. CAVALRY COMMAND, ARMY OF INVASION,
In the Field, S. C., March 3, 1865.
Major L. M. DAYTON,
Asst. Adjt. General, Military Division of the Mississippi:
MAJOR: The enemy appeared in a considerable force this morning from the direction of Monroe, on the road to Blakeny's, and skirmished with Colonel Spencer's command, which crossed that road at 10 a. m. to-day at a point about six miles north of Blakeny's. After striking the Chesterfield and Monroe road I moved down to Hornsborough Post-Office, then out upon the Wadesborough road to within ten miles of that point, where my own headquarters now are. My scouts have felt the enemy all day upon the left. I think Allen's division of cavalry is now on the road from White's Store to Wadesborough. I do not know what other forces of the enemy may be with him. I send you a map* indicating my encampment and country watched by my troops. I have had a horrible road to march on to-day. To-morrow I shall move to the vicinity of Sneedsborough unless I hear from you. Five miles of this road will be red slate and firm, after that sandy, and of courses good. I have a scouting party in Wadesborough, who will bring me information of the enemy in that direction. Artillery firing is now heard north of and near to Clay's Creek. Spencer, an hour since, had passed the road coming in from Meltonsville and White's Store, and should be at this moment in position, covering that road, where I directed him to encamp to-night. My command is all in camp, and I believe my position a good one; covering, however, as I do so many roads, I shall have comparatively but a small force to resist any determined attack upon either one. I will be massed, however, at an early hour to-morrow morning on Chesterfield and Wadesborough road, at a point just north of North Carolina line. Please inform me what operations you require of me to-morrow, and, if possible, for the next day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brevet Major-General, Commanding Cavalry.