War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0814 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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received from General Cox. I understand he wishes them to use in blowing up the ram in the river, and they will probably be destroyed or disbled permanently. Captain Kimball wishes instructions. Will you please signify your wishes?

W. M. WHERRY,

Major and Aide-de-Camp.

WISE'S FORKS, March 13, 1865.

Major WHERRY

Aide-de-Camp, New Berne:

I cannot spare the boats for the purpose named by the naval commander, nor do I care about the ram being blown up. The rebels will blow it up soon enough.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,

Wise's Forks, March 13, 1865.

Major General J. D. COX,

Commanding District of Beaufort, Wise's Forks, N. C.:

GENERAL: We will effect a crossing of the Neuse to-morrow, if practicable. It is doubtful whether the pontoons will be ready, but we may be able to cross without them. You may move up early in the morning opposite Kinston and endeavor to secure possession of the wagon bridge, drive the enemy from the opposite bank, and cross. This, of course, will not be practicable without more loss than it is wise to incur if the crossing proves to be held in force. If you find the enemy in force, put artillery and infantry in position to cover the bridge and demonstrate strongly as if to cross at and above Kinston. I will then reconnoiter for a crossing below and get up the pontoons. General Couch will keep within supporting distance on the Dover road and will make the crossing with the pontoon bridge if that prove to be necessary.

Very respectfully,

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Major-General.

U. S. STEAMER AGAWAM,

March 13, 1865.

Major General J. D. COX:

Your telegram of this date is received. I have called on the quartermaster for the steamers, and shall dispatch the expedition up the river again to-night if the vessels are furnished me in time. I shall try to rig a torpedo on the Ella May to blow up the rebel iron-clad, if possible. Lieutenant-Commander Thornton brought down a deserter from a North Carolina battery stationed at Kinston. He reports that the enemy evacuated the place, but that Hoke's division returned yesterday morning and reoccupied the place. He also states that D. H. Hill was there in command, and estimates the entire rebel force at 40,000, which I don't believe. Hill, with the rest of his force, moved toward Goldsborough.

A. C. RHIND,

Commander.