HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Falling Creek Post-Office, March 19, 1865.
Bvt. Major General J. E. SMITH,
Commanding Third Division, Fifteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you send two strong companies of infantry to Falling Creek bridge, about one mile and a half in advance of your present picket-line, on the Goldsborough road, to prevent the destruction of the same.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Falling Creek Post-Office, N. C., March 19, 1865.
Major M. WOODHULL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report the following as the operations of this division for the day: Broke camp near Newton's Grove Cross-Roads at 6 a. m. and moved in advance on Goldsborough road, the advance of the command arriving at Falling Creek Post-Office at 11. 30 a. m., at which point a halt was ordered to enable the First Brigade and a portion of the train which had become mired at and beyond Falling Creek to close up on the advance. It being reported that parties of the enemy were on our front, I sent one regiment of the SEcond Brigade our about a quarter of a mile on the Cox's Bridge road, and one about three-quarters of a mile out on the Goldsborough road as advance guards. Pickets were also thrown out on the left flank. At about 2 p. m. I was ordered by Major-General Howard to cause one regiment to report to Lieutenant Colonel William E. Strong, of his staff, to go out to near Cox's Bridge for the purpose of driving off the enemy's picket post established at that point. I sent the Tent Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and am informed by one of my staff, who accompanied the regiment, they succeeded in developing about 250 rebel cavalry, and in driving them back to within a quarter of a mile of Cox's Bridge. At 3 p. m. I was ordered to encamp the division, and while attending to the same, orders were received to send the remainder of the Second brigade to the support of the Tenth Iowa, which, learning it was in a dangerous position, I had ordered to fall back. This order, I was afterward informed, was countermanded by Major-General Logan. The entire brigade is no encamped near the First Division, at the Cox's Bridge and Everettsville cross-roads. At about the same time that I was ordered to send the Second Brigade forward I was also ordered to change the position of the First Brigade, and accordingly moved it forward about 500 yards and placed it in position on the west side of and its right resting on the Cox's Bridge road, fronting north; artillery immediately in rear of the center of the brigade. At 6. 30 p. m. I was ordered to send one regiment as an advance post out on the Goldsborough road, from which the regiment from the Second Brigade had been taken during the p. m., and to place one regiment in rear of the left of the remainder of the brigade covering approaches from the west, and at 8. 45 p. m. to send two companies out to Falling Creek bridge, one mile and a half from the picket post on the Goldsborough road, all of which was complied with. Distance marched, fifteen miles.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN E. SMITH,