CITY POINT, VA., March 16, 1865.
(Received 3. 55 p. m.)
Honorable C. A. DANA,
Assistant Secretary of War:
I am just in receipt of a letter from General Sherman, of the 12th, from Fayetteville. He describes his army as in fine health and spirits, having met with no serious opposition. Hardee keeps in his front at a respectful distance. At Columbia he destroyed immense aresenals and railroad establishments and forty-three cannon. At Cheraw he found much machinery and war material, including twenty-five cannon and 3,600 barrels of powder. At Fayetteville he found twenty pieces of artillery and much other material. He says nothing about Kilpatrick's defeat by Hampton, but the officer who bring his letter says that before daylight on the 10th Hampton got two brigades in rear of Kilpatrick's headquarters, and surprised and captured all the staff but two officers. Kilpatrick escaped, formed his men, and defeated the enemy with great loss, recapturing about all that he had lost. Hampton lost eighty-six, left dead on the field.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
City Point, Va., March 16, 1865.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: Your interesting letter of the 12th instant is just received. I have never felt any uneasiness for your safety, but I have felt great anxiety to know just how you were progressing. I knew, or thought safely somewhere. To secure certain success I deemed the capture of Wilmington of the greatest importance. Butler came near losing that prize to us, but Terry and Schofield have since retrieved his blunders, and I do not know but that the first failure has been as valuable a success for the country as the capture of Fort Fisher. Butler may not see it in that light. Ever since you started on the last campaign, and before, I have been attempting to get something done in the West, both to co-operate with you and to take advantage of the enemy's weakness there to accomplish results favorable to us. Knowing Thomas to be slow beyond excuse I depleted his army to re-enforce Canby, so that he might act from Mobile Bay on the interior. With all I have said he had not moved at last advices. Canby was sending a cavalry force of about 7,000 from Vicksburg toward Selma. I ordered Thomas to send Wilson from Eastport toward the same point and to get him off as soon after the 20th of February as possible. He telegraphed me that he would be off by that date. He has not yet started, or had not at least advices. I ordered him to send Stoneman from East Tennessee into Northwest South Carolina to be there about the time you would reach Columbia. He would either have drawn off the enemy's cavalry from you or would have succeeded in destroying railroads, supplies, and other materials which you could not reach. At that time the Richmond papers were full of accounts of your movements and gave daily accounts of movements in West North Carolina. I supposed all the time it was Stoneman. You may judge my surprise when I afterward learned that Stoneman was still in Louisville, Ky., and that the troops in North Carolina were Kirk's forces. In order that Stoneman might