War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0916 Chapter LIX. OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA.

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HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Near Mill Creek, N. C., March 20, 1865.

Major MAX. WOODHULL,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report the following as the operations of this command during the day: At 5 a. m. the Second Brigade, Colonel C. R. Wever commanding, with one section of Battery B, First Michigan Artillery, made a demonstration upon the enemy near Cox's Bridge, under orders to drive them across the river and if possible compel them to destroy the bridge. The only road to the bridge runs between a swamp and the river for nearly a mile and was covered by the enemy's artillery. It was not until a path around the swamp could be found that the skirmishers succeeded in dislodging them. This was accomplished at 7. 45 a. m. A force of cavalry and four pieces of artillery were developed. The rebels retreated across and from the river, taking off their guns and firing the bridge as they went. The remainder of the command broke camp at near Falling Creek Post-Office at 5 a. m., and moved forward to Cox's Cross-Roads, and at 8. 15 the First Brigade and artillery moved out, following the Fourth Division on Bentonville road to near Mill Creek, at which point the enemy had made a stand, and formed in line of battle about 300 yards in rear of First and Fourth Divisions as a reserve. The Second Brigade was left at Cox's Cross-Roads as guard for the trains of the corps with instructions to skirmish with the enemy until further orders. At 6 p. m. it moved forward with the trains. At 6. 30 p. m. the First Brigade moved forward on main road and formed in line of battle about 300 yards on the left and rear of First Division. The Second Brigade remained in line at the point vacated by the First Brigade. The artillery is parked on the east side of the main road and 200 yards in rear of First Brigade. Headquarters are on the road and right flank of the artillery. The casualties of the Second Brigade in the skirmish this morning were 2 severely and 1 slightly wounded.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN E. SMITH,

Brevet Major-General.

HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

In the Field, near Bentonville, N. C., March 20, 1865.

Major MAX. WOODHULL,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps:

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements and operations of my command this instant: Pursuant to orders from corps headquaters I broke camp at 7 a. m., and following the First Division of this corps moved to the cross-roads near Neuse River; thence upon the Bentonville road to Mill Creek, near which my division is in position on the right of the First Division, General Woods', two brigades in line and one in reserve, and well intrenched, with skirmishers holding the night ground which constitutes the bank of the creek and swamp, and also intrenched confronting the enemy's skirmishers on the opposite bank. No serious demonstration has yet been made against my lines by the enemy and my position is, I think, a secure one. A list of casualties has not yet been received. My command has marched a distance of eight miles.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN M. CORSE,

Brevet Major-General.