War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0723 Chapter LIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC- UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF BEAUFORT,

Gum Swamp, March 7, 1865.

Major- General SCHOFIELD,

Commanding Depaertemtn of North Carolina:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch annoucning you arrival at Morehead. My adcnce was last night at Wise's Forks, four miles aboe here, and five miles fromKinston. Palmer's and Carter's divisions camped here, and Ruger at Core Creek. Palmer moved early this morning to occupy the various road crossings of Suthwest Creek, three miles from Kinston, the last point the enemy can make a stand at outside of the works at the bridge. Carter moves up to Wise' Forks to support Palmer as soon as he issues rations, which arrived this morning, and Ruger moves up to this point to- day. The cavlarya re on my left covering the Trent road and feeling well out in the direction of Kenansville. Mjor Dow, of my staff, with a troop of cavalry is reconnoitering the roads leading to Neuse River, with a vfiew of detemining at what points it would be practicable to reach the river for the purpose of crossing or reciving supplies. I have this morning received the information from New Berne that the obstructions in the river ae sufficiently removed to permit the passage of baots. My lines to- night will practiclly invest the birdge- head at kinston by occup7ying the line of SOuthwest Creek, my right being within reaching distance of the rier. A deserter who came in last night reports that several trains loaded with re- enforcements arried at Kinston tow days ago. He thinks a division ariaved, but his information, beyond the fact of the trains arrivelng, is vague. I had purposed ordering the boats up the river to- morrowm, but deem it prudent to try to learn the truth of this report first, as the river is very narrow and the current swift, and small force of the enemy with a battery could stop, if not destoy, the boats from points on the other bank. I shall be to- day ten miles beyond the railroad terminus with my troops, being seven miles here from the point reached by the construction corps last night. Most of the troops have three days' rations from this morning. The distance is fully as great as it is practicable to supply ourselves with our vew wagons, but as I found the rails remaining by the roadside five miles farther than I expected, I hope Colonel Wright will speedily lessen the distance between us and the railroad termunus. I had itneded moving my headquarters ths p.m. to Wise's Forks, but will leave them here tillI hear from you again. If you notify me by telegraph when you may purpose coming up I will have horses at the end of the railroad.

Very respectfully, your obedient servt,

J. D. COX,

Major- General, Commanding.

WISE'S FORKS, March 7, 1865.

Major- General SHCOFIELD,

New Berne;

The advnce of both Palmer's and Carter's columns find the enemy in position with artillery at both the Dover road and railroad crossings of Suthwest Cree, three miles from Kinston. I am developing their force and the nature of the ground, letting one division operate on each road, and sending a regiment over to the Neuse road crossing

PAGE OPRATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. [CHAP. LIX.

still farther to the right. My written dispatch will throw some light on the topography. General Palmer has reliable intelliganece that General Hoke was in person at this point yesteday, as our advance drove bck their skirmishers. Seveal accounts corroborate the report of considerable re- enforcements arriving at kinston.

J. D. COX,

Major- General, Commanding.

NEW BERNE, March 7, 1865.

Major- General SOX:

I will run up and see you to- morrow if you are within reach, but do not let it interfere with any movements you intend to make. Please inform me of the situation and prospects. I find the boats have not gone up the river, and, from what you say of the eroads, I infer you will have to wait for the repair of the railfoad.

J. M. SHCOFIELD,

Mjor- General.

NEW BERNE, March 7, 21865.

Major- Geneal COX,

Gum Swamp:

I have received your letter of to- day an also your later dispatch by telegraph. I have no doubt Hoke's command is in your front. Of course it will have to be disposed of before any attempt is made to cross the river. I will run up early in the morning to see you. Theree or four horses will be sufficeint.

J. M. SHCOFIELD,

Major- Geneal.