Averasborough. It is supposed that the enemy have retired on that road. The general does not wish you to engage the enemy in case you find them, but simply to develop their position. A battery of artillery has been ordered to accompany you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. PERKINS,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, March 17, 1865.
Black River Mills:
GENERAL: The enemy has gone from our front, and I take it he is up at the forks of the Raleigh and Smithfield roads-Averasborough. General Slocum will feel up that road, but prepared to use the Goldsborough road which crossed Black and Mingo. I have ordered General Howard to be at Mingo to night, but I want your cavalry on the road which leads from Black River bridge toward Elevation. Captain Duncan, of General Howard's scouts, is here, having escaped. He reports Hardee and Wheeler ahead of us on the Smithfield road. Wade Hampton and Butler are off in front of General Howard. You can forage from the Goldsborough road northward between Black and Mingo.
W. T. SHERMAN,
KINSTON, March 17, 1865.
After the defeat of Bragg at Southwest Creek, on the 10th, he abandoned this place without further opposition. I am straining every nerve to get the railroad completed and supplies for you here. It will be done by the 20th. Your demonstration against Raleigh has caused the enemy to withdraw, nearly, if not quite all his troops from Goldsborough. I could easily have taken that place before now, but for the matter of supplies. I am almost without wagons; but I think you will be able to cross the river and occupy Goldsborough without opposition, if you do not give time for the enemy to come back from Raleigh. I will also advance toward Goldsborough as soon as I can get supplies; I hope, on Sunday or Monday. I am trying to get boats up the river, but none have succeeded in reaching this place yet. The supply question will trouble us. There are only four engines and eighty cars on this road yet. I think it would be well to send your wagons here as soon as your cavalry strike the Neuse River. I will have 20,000 pairs of shoes and other supplies for you here.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
NEW BERNE, March 17, 1865.
Major General J. M. SCHOFIELD:
One regiment from the south went to the front as guard to boats. Two are repairing Neuse and Trent roads and will reach Southwest Creek in one or two days. Two regiments of the same brigade, viz, Second Brigade, Second Division, Nineteenth Army Corps, are now