War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0948 Chapter LIX. OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA.

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confidence, and admiration your advance from Savannah toward the final conquest of the rebellion. It will gratify me very much to hear from you directly whenever you have time to address me a line. My easrnest prayer is that Divine Providence may watch over you, shield and protect you from every danger, and crown you with its choicest blessings. I take advantage of General Meigs' visit to your army, for the purpose of seeing to its proper supplies, to say God speed you.

Yours, truly,

EDWIN M. STANTON.

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

City Point, Va., March 22, 1865.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: Although the Richmond papers do not communicate the fact, yet I saw enough in them to satisfy me that you occupied Goldsborough on the 19th instant. I congratulate you and the army on what may be regarded as the successful termination of the third campaign since leaving the Tennessee River less than one year ago. Since Sheridan's very successful raid north of the James the enemy are left dependent on the South Side and Danville roads for all their supplies. These I hope to cut next week. Sheridan is at White House shoeing up and resting his cavalry. I expect him to finish by Friday night and to start the following morning via Long Bridge, New Market, Bermuda Hundred and the extreme left of the army, around Petersburg. He will make no halt with the armies operating here, but will be joined by a division of cavalry 5,500 strong from the Army of the Potomac, and will proceed directly to the South Side and Danville roads. His instructions will be to strike the South Side road as near Petersburg as he can and destroy it so that it cannot be repaired for three or four days, and push on to the Danville road as near to the Appomattox as he can get. Then I want him to destroy the road toward Burkeville as far as he can, then push on t road west of Burkeville and destroy it effectually. From that point I shall probably leave it to his discretion either to return to this army, crossing the Danville road south of Burkeville, or go and join you, passing between Danville and Greensborough. When this movement commences I shall move out by my left with all the force I can, holding present intrenched lines. I shall start with no district view further than holding Lee's forces from following Sheridan, but I shall be along myself and will take advantage of anything that turns up. If Lee detaches I will attack, or if he comes out of his lines I will endeavor to repulse him and follow it up to the best advantage. It is most difficult to understand what the rebels intend to do. So far but few troops have been detached from Lee's army. Much machinery has been removed and material has been sent to Lynchburg, showing a disposition to go there. Points, too, have been fortified on the Danville road. Lee's army is much demoralized and great numbers are deserting. Probably from returned prisoners and such conscripts as can be picked up his numbers may be kept up. I estimate his force now at about 65,000 men. Wilson started on Monday with 12,000 cavalry from Eastport. Stoneman started on the same day from East Tennessee toward Lynchburg. Thomas is moving the Fourth Corps to Bull's Gap. Canby is moving with a formidable force on Mobile and the interior of Alabama. I ordered Gilmore, as soon as the fall of Charleston was known, to hold