HEADQUARTERS TWENTIENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near the Kingsbury and Smithfield Road, March 17, 1865.
General J. W. GEARY,
Commanding Second Division:
GENERAL: The general commanding the corps directs that you move slowly with the trains on the direct road to Goldsborough. We will move as soon as the ambulances and wagons sent for arrive. We met the enemy near the Kingsbury and Smithfield road and were sharply engaged the most of yesterday driving the enemy from two lines of works and capturing three guns, sustaining a loss of about 250 killed and wounded. The enemy have left their third line this morning. He further directs that you push the empty wagons and ambulances sent for forward as rapidly as possible to us. We will move as soon as they arrive. You will also send, if possible, sufficient coffee and hard bread for the wounded (which may amount to 300) either by wagons or by pack animals.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
P. S. -We will probably move on the Kingsbury and Bentonville road.
ON THE BATTLE-FIELD, N. C., March 17, 1865.
DEAR SIR: I arrived here with the train about 2 p. m. Found the Raleigh road-or rather the portion of it we had to travel-perfectly abominable, but thanks to whips and labor and persevance we waded through. A few wagons from the other divisions joined me on the route and half a dozen cavalry wagons also joined the train. The supply of empty wagons is abundant, but Doctor Goodman scolded about the lack of ambulances. The fight was evidently a sharp one. About 75 killed and 250 wounded, 3 pieces rebel artillery captured and 250 prisoners. Rebels are now on the retreat and our forces are following. We are directed to remain with the troops, and it is expected the lines will converge together rapidly and the wagons will then joins their commands. I have dismissed my mounted escort and presume sufficient force will be furnished to get the wagons foward, at least until the troops and trains are again united. I found the Third Division train badly stuck in the mud, about two miles this side of the river. They sent seven wagons to join my train. I thought perhaps you would be interested in learning some of the facts I have stated above. Please forgive my presumption, and I will remain,
Your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH CORPS,
Near Taylor's Hole Creek, N. C., March 17, 1865.
Brigadier General W. T. WARD,
Commanding Third Division:
GENERAL: The general commanding the corps directs that you move your division (without wagons) forward carefully on the road toward