War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0802 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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WISE'S FORKS, March 12, 1865-4. 15 p. m.

Major-General SCHOFIELD,

New Berne:

I sent Major Dow out with the answer to Hoke's flag of truce. He went close to the wagon bridge. He thinks the middle of it is destroyed, but the ends standing. No force on this side the Neuse. Those who met the flag apparently came over in a boat. I believe it will be safe to send up the flats with provisions to-morrow, under convoy of the armed vessels which were up yesterday. The road from here to the railroad is reported as becoming impassable, and we shall have great difficulty in getting supplies unless the railroad can be pushed to Gum Swamp to-night. Couch's trains will do no more than get into camp this p. m., the cross-roads being bad and the teams almost exhausted. To get to Kinston and open river communication at the earliest moment seems a pressing necessity.

J. D. COX,

Major-General, Commanding District.

NEW BERNE, March 12, 1865.

Major-General COX:

My it not be practicable to get possession of the bridge at Kinston, and relay the planks for crossing, or, at least, to prevent its destruction until we can cross elsewhere and take the place. I expect to send up to-day 400 feet of pontoon bridge? Ascertain, if you can, whether that will be sufficient to cross the river anywhere near Kinston.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.

WISE'S FORKS, March 12, 1865-7 p. m.

Major-General SCHOFIELD,

New Berne:

Four hundred feet of pontoon bridge will make two bridges across Neuse River anywhere near Kinston. I am of opinion that the enemy has already done all the mischief to the bridges which they intend.

J. D. COX,

Major-General.

U. S. STEAMER AGAWAM,

New Berne, March 12, 1865-7 p. m.

General COX:

The Ella May returned at 6. 30 p. m. The Shrapnel is also on her way down. Captain Thornton reports that he met with no obstacles on his route. Shall I send up another expedition? Will start the Shrapnel up as soon as coaled, if you wish, and send my boats again. Please answer as soon as possible.

Respectfully, yours,

A. C. RHIND,

Commander.