Until we get Goldsborough reduced to possession and its railroad down we will not have much marching. General Schofield should push his railroad from New Berne, and your branch should be kept moving as fast as possible. Colonel Wright has but a limited force, but I will write to General Schofield to send some of Colonel Wright's foremen and also one or two regiments of negro troops as laborers. As I apprroach the road, the enemy will doubtless remove as much of the iron as he can. I have asked Captain Young to keep up an active movement along Cape Fear River to make Joe Johnston believe that I have resupplied my wagons and can stand a hirty days' campaign. I shall feign strong on Raleigh, but actually approach Goldsborough, but will not attempt Goldsborough till I have Kinston and the railroad bridge across the Neuse, so that I can draw supplies from New Berne, on the north bank of the Neuse. That once done, I think I can get Goldsborough quick. I may, however, do so at once, according to appearances, as I approach the place. I am much obliged for the supplies, but would suggest that you estimate to keep on hand always 1,000,000 of rations, independent of your own wants. I feel confident that Generals Easton and Beckwith have full supplies for me about New Berne.
I am, truly, yours,
W. T. SHERMAN,
KINSTON, March 14, 1865.
I desire such portion of your troops as can be spared from the defense of Wilmington to join me here by a rapid march. The force necessary to be left will depend upon the whereabouts of Hardee. It may be necessary to leave General Paine's division. Of this you must be the judge. Let the troops take the route pursued by General Couch until they cross the Trent, and then take the straight road to Kinston. The march can be made in six days. Send along a considerable body of cavalry, and let them conceal the infantry from the enemy's scouts. I will concentrate your corps here as rapidly as possible.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HDQRS. PROVISIONAL CORPS, DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Wilmington, N. C., March 14, 1865.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: I have received your letters of the 12th and 13th. I sent you by the steamer Howard yesterday 158,000 rations of coffee-all we had-and all our sugar; by the Lady Lang a load of forage. I send to-day by the Mary Benton 3,800 pairs of shoes and 2,400 pairs of boots. The shoes and boots arrived here this morning from Beaufort, and were intended for my own troops, who are much in need of them; but I suppose the necessities of your main army in this respect are much greater than mine and I therefore send them to you. I also send by the Benton 1,500 boxes of hard bread. We have no clothing of any descroption here. All the supplies have been sent to Beaufort. When General Couch left here my wagons were taken to supply him. Others are now on transports off the bar, but the vessels are of too heavy draft