march in compact order straight for the bridge across Neuse River, south of Goldsborough. I expect to make junction with you thereabouts. If I don't find you there I will fell toward Kinston and New Berne. I will need clothing and provisionas. We have gathered plentuyu of cattle and bacon and a good deal of corn meal and molasses. We have also found plenty of corn and fodder, and my animals are all in good order. I will have trains enough for you. I have plenty of wagons and mules for 100,000 men, so you need not bring any from the North. On making jucntion with you, I want you to make your command 25,000, and will call it the Center, thus restoring our old Atlanta organization. Go on repairing the railroad toward Goldsborough, and let Terry repair the Wilmington road northweard as far as he can, and if possible to the Neuse. I will get the navy to patrol Cape Fear River so as to make the Wilmington and Goldsborough road safe. You must judge as to the mode and manner of covering the rialroad from Goldsborough to New Berne. I have ordred General Foster to diminish his garrions of Savannah, Charleston, and Wilmington to the minimum and re-enforce the movement from New Berne on Goldsborough. I really do not kow if any change has been made in the command oh the seaborad, bu whether you of Foster command I want the foregoing plicy to be adopted. If I find that holding Savannah, Charleston, and Wilmington will cost us too many men I would not hesitate to destroy them and use the garrison in the field. It will be time enough toi build up the country when war is over. Keep your command well concentrated on the defensive, advancing as fast as the road is built, but reach goldsborough if possible and fortify. Hrdee crossed here with a force represented at 20,000, but I don't see the "signs" of that many. He has six batteries of four guns each. I suppose Johnston may have up about Greensborough now moving to Raleigh 10,000, and I estimate Hoke's command at 8,000. All told, he may concentrate at Raleigh 40,000 to 45,000 men. I can whip that number with my present force, and with yours and Terry's added we can go wherever we can live. We can live where the people do, and if anybody has to suffer let them suffer. Collect all the forage you can at New Berne, also provisions and clothing. We will need an immense supply of clothing, for we have been working from knee to waist deep in water for 400 miles and our men will need reclothing throughout. Organize your command into divisions of about 5,000 men each, but don't embrace any men rightfully belonging to the organizations now with me, but order them at once to join their proper brigades and divisions on our arrival at your neighborhood. We have had so mauch bad weather in February and March that I hope we now may count on a change for the better. Hoping to meet you in person in ten days,
I am, your friend,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Fayetteville, N. C., Sunday, March 12, 1865-5 p. m.
GENERAL: I have this moment received at the hands of the two officers of the navy who came from Wilmington by canoe and land your cipher dispatch of March 4. I am marching for Goldsborough,
Salkehatchie River; bivouacked near the river, the head of the column at 5 p. m. . the rear a t 7 o'clock. Day's march, fifteen miles. February 9, marched at 6 a. m. ; crossed Guyll Creek; bivouacked at 6 p. m. near Balckville. Day's march, eighteen miles. February 10 marched at 7 a. m. ; moved into Blackville; remained there until 2 p. m. ; marched to the South Edisto River and crossed it at the upper end of Fair's Island; bivouacked near the river. The bridge not being in condition to allow the crossing of animals they did not cross until the next day. Day's march, e ighth miles. February 11, remained in camp. Heavy details were sent out to curdoroy the road over the swamp adjacent to the river.
February 12, mached at 5 a. m. The brigade, with t rain, bivouacked at 5 p. m. near Jeffcoat's Bridge on the North Edisto River. Day's march, eight miles. February 13, moved across the river at 5 a. m. The enemy showed a thin skirmish line. The Sixtieth New York was thrown forward as skirmishers and a few shots were exchanged. About 8 o'clock the Third Division came up and moved past us. The Sixtieth was then withdrawn. Commenced moving againa t dark; got into camp at 9 p. m. Day's march, five miles. February 14, marched at daylight; bivouacked at 3 p. m. at the crossing of Lexington and Orangeburg with Augusta and Columbia roads. Day's march, six miles and a half. February 15, marched at 7 a. m. ; went into camp at 3 p. m. near the Two-Notch road and about two miles from Lexington. In about half an hour orders wee received from Bvt. Major General J. W. Geary to move forward and occupy the town, one battery of artilleery accompanying the brigade. The command moved forwqrd until within a mile of the town, when the One hundred and thirty-seventh New York was thrown forward as skirmishers, the remainder of the brigade suporting. They moved forward to the town and through it, driving quite a force of rebel cavalry before them. The rest of the comand moved into the place, and after barricading the approaches bivouacked for the night. During our stay at this place citizens were protected in their rights and private property respected. Day's march, twelve miles. February 16, moved at 7 a. m., General Carlin, of the Fourteenth Corps, relieving this command at Lexington. Joined the division and marched to within four miles of the Congaree River on the Columbia road; bivouacked at 2 p. m. Day's march, eight miles. February 17, marched at 9 a. m. ; crossed Six-Mile Creek; bivouacked at 4 p. m. near Zion Church. Day's march, three miles. February 18, marched at 8 a. m. in charge of train; crossed the Saluda River; bivouacked at 5 p. m. near Metts' Steam Mill. Day's march, eight miles.
February 19, marched at 3 p. m. ; repaired the road; bivoaucked at 9 o'clock near Freshly's Ferry, on Broad River. Day's march, five miles. February 20, marched at 11 a. m. ; crossed Broad and Little Rivers; bivouacked at 6 p. m. at cross-roads near kincaid's house. Day's march, nine miles. February 21, marched at 6 a. m. ; passed through Winssborough and commenced tearing up railroad about three miles from town; destroyed about two miles of road; worked until dark, then moved back toward town two miles and bivouacked. Day's march, thirteen miles. February 22, marched at 7 a. m. toward White Oak and destroyed railroad until 4 p. m., when I received orders to move the Second Brigade with my own to Wateree Meeting-House, which I did, arriving at 9 p. m. and reporting to General J. W. Geary, commanding division. The command marched fifteen miles and effectually destroyed three miles of railroad, every rail being twisted. February 23, marched at 6. 30 a. m. ; crossed Wateree River at Rocky