most practicable road toward Kinston, and march directly for that place unless you receive further orders from me, or unless circumstances shall render a deviation from that course evidently advisable. Your march should average at least fifteen miles per day. The third day's march will bring you to the vicinity of Onslow, from which point please report to me by courier to New Berne, informing me where you are and what point you will reach on the following day, so that I may send you further instructions if necessary; also give me all the information you may have obtained concerning the rebels in your front and other matters of interest; also inform me by the first courier, or as soon after as practicable, when and in what manner you will be able to cross Trent River. You will supply your troops from the country as far as practicable, so as to save the supplies carried in wagons for an emergency. If you find it impossible from any cause to reach Kinston or effect a junction with General Cox in that vicinity you will march by the most practicable road to New Berne.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
ARMY OF THE OHIO,
Wilmington, N. C., March 5, 1865.
Commanding Provisional Corps, Wilmington, N. C.:
GENERAL: The two divisions of the Twenty-third Army Corps now here will march to-morrow to join the troops operating from New Berne, leaving only your command in this portion of the department. I shall also start for New Berne in a day or two, and will probably remain with the troops operating from that point. I have directed that the railroad from this point to Goldsborough be put in running order as soon as possible, and expect Colonel Wright here very soon with the necessary materials and workmen. I desire you to aid him as far as practicable in prosecuting the work, and to advance along the road with your main force according to the progress of the work. I may at any time desire you to join me at or near Goldsborough by a rapid march. Please make, as soon as practicable, all necessary preparations for such a movement. I presume General Sherman is now near Fayetteville and marching toward Goldsborough, which point he may reach by the 15th or 16th of this month. He may, however, come near this place and send his trains here for supplies. I have sent several couriers with dispatches to him (in cipher), and hope to hear from him in the same way in a few days. Please continue the effort to commnicate with General Sherman by trustworthy scouts, and be prepared to aid him in any way or to execute any orders he may send. You will receive and act on any communication from him which may be addressed to me. I have directed Brigadier-General Hawley, commanding District of Wilmington, to report to you, so that all the troops in this portion of the department will be under your command during my absence.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,