Goldsborough and Raleigh; then, as soon as the wagons are well toward Faison's, will swing rapidly in front of Goldsborough, but will not cross the Neuse till I hear from you. You must push vigorously toward Kinston and Goldsborough with the absolute certainty that I will engage the attention of Joe Johnston's army to the west and southwest of Goldsborough. Let the railroad construction party push its work at least as far as Kinston. I want you to draw up Terry's force making a junction, I can spare General Terry 200 wagons and you 300. I think we have transportation enough for 100,000 men. Be sure to accumulate food for my army, and especially clothing. Tell General Easton we will need at least 100,000 suits of clothing. Our animals are in good condition, and have been accustomed to a full ration of fodder. They will wail piteously if put on a mere grain ration. If not delayed much at Goldsborough we can soon gain a good fodder country. You must now push as boldly as possible straight on Goldsborough, and I will do the same. Joe Johnston may try to interpose, in which case we must strike him as near at the same time as possible. If he crosses Neuse to the south you must do the same, but I think he will await us at Goldsborough or Raleigh, and I hope, at both. Consolidate your command at once into an army, the Center of this. General Howard has the Right Wing, and Genereal Slocum the Left. You can have Terry's troops, but I want the detachments that belong to this army to join their respective brigades as quick as possible. I understand that Meagher's division is composed wholly of detachments that belong to the corps now with me-Fifteenth, Seventeenth, Fourteenth, and Twentieth. I will want to give Kilpatrick as much cavalry as possible, as he has a heavy load to carry. He has to look aout for Hampton, Wheeler, and Butler, all accounted first class men. I take it for granted that Joe Johnston has now S. D. Lee's corps, 4,000; Cheatham's, 5,000; Hoke's, 8,000; Hardee's, 10,000, and detachments about 10,000-37,000, with near 8,000 cavalry. Our duty is to effect a junction south of Neuse, but if you can get Kinston whilst Johnston is engaged with me, do so, and push on toward Goldsborough. I will attack the Raleigh road. Get your supplies as far forward as possible, that I may quickly replenish.
I am, yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Fayetteville, N. C., March 14, 1865.
Chief Quartermaster, Wilmington (Present):
DEAR SIR: I am compelled to clear my camps of refugees, white and black, that have clung to us during our march through South Carolina, and have ordered Major Windsor's One hundred and sixteenth Illinois to gather them and conduct them, with such means as we can spare, to Wilmington. I hardly know muyself what numbers will go, and what proportions are able-bodied, but fear they are all helpless. You may send all blacks to General Rufus Saxton, at Beaufort, S. C., and all whittes not absorbed by the usual demand you may send in return chartered vessels to New York, consigned to the commissioners of emigration.
W. T. SHERMAN,