War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0886 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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Slocum is back with the Twentieth Corps and as soon as I hear from him I will send over to you. Morgan's division found a couple of Hampton's regiments here, but they cleared out toward the north as soon as deployed skirmishers.

Yours,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,

Alex. Benton's House, N. C., March 18, 1865.

Major-General SHERMAN:

GENERAL: I am going into camp near this point. It is on what is called the new Goldsborough road, and is about one mile from Lee's Store and about five miles from Troublefield's Store. General Blair will be not far from Troublefield's Stone to-night and the trains will be between that point and Beaman's Cross-Roads. I have suggested to General Geary that he had better encamp near Lee's Store. I heard some cannonading on my left this morning, but it ceased by the time I reached Lee's Store. From the last named place Goldsborough is equidistant by the old road and the new.

Respectfully,

O. O. HOWARD,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, March 18, 1865.

Major-General HOWARD,

Present:

GENERAL: Slocum is up. The firing you heard was Kilpatrick, who found parties picketing roads to the north. He reports Hardee retreating on Smithfield, and Joe Johnston collecting his old Georgia army this side of Raleigh. I know that he will call in all minor posts, which embraces Goldsborough. You may, therefore, move straight for Goldsborough, leaving Slocum the river road, and, if possible, the one from Lee's Store toward Falling Waters. Make a break into Goldsborough from the south, and let your scouts strike out for Schofield at Kinston, though I hope to meet him at Goldsborough. Our roads are very bad, but I think the Fourteenth Corps will be at Cox's Bridge to-morrow night, and will aim to strike the railroad to the northwest of Goldsborough. If any change occurs I will notify you to-night.

Yours,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,

Benton's Cross-Roads, N. C., March 18, 1865-6. 30 p. m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:

GENERAL: I think that General Geary would do well to follow my four light divisions on the new Goldsborough road. I understand that I have kept entirely out of his way, and shall be able to remain so. If he goes to my left it will bring the whole corps on the one road. I have already suggested this to General Geary. It is currently reported by