all important posts on the seacoast and to send to Wilmington all surplus forces. Thomas was also directed to forward to New Berne all troops belonging to the corps with you. I understand this will give you about 5,000 men besides those brought east by Meagher. I have been telegraphing General Meigs to hasten up locomotives and cars for you. General McCallum, he informs me, is attending to it. I fear they are going forward as fast as I would like. Let me know if you want more troops or anything else.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Cox's Bidge, over Neuse River, N. C.,
March 22, 1865.
Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT, Commander-in-Chief, City Point, Va.:
GENERAL: I wrote you from Fayetteville, N. C., on Tuesday, the 14th instant, that I was all ready to start for Goldsborough, to which point I had also ordered General Schofield from New Berne and General Terry from Wilmington. I knew that General Joe Johnston was supreme in command against me, and that he would have time to concentrate a respectable army to oppose the last stage of this march. Accordingly General Slocum was ordered to send his main supply train under escort of two divisions straight for Bentonville, whilst he, with his other four divisions disencumbered off all unnecessary wagons, should march toward Raleigh by way of threst as far as Averasboroug. General Howard in like manner sent his trains with the Seventeenth Crosp well to the right, and with the four divisions of the Fifteenth Corps took roads which enable [him] to come promptly to the expesed left flank. We started on the 15th, but again the rains set in, and the roads, already bad enough, became horrible. In Thursday, the 15th [16th], General Slocum found Hardee's army from Charleston, which had retreated before us from Cheraw, in position across the marrow, swampy neck between Cape Fear and North Rivers, where the road branches off to Goldsborough. There a pretty severe fight occurred, in which General Slucum's troops carried handsomely the advanced line held by a South Carolina brigade, commanded by a Colonel Butler. Its commander, Colonel Rhett, of Fort Sumber notoriety, with one of his staff, had the night before been captured by some of General Kilpatrick's scouts from his very skirmish line. The next morning Hardee was found gone and was pursued through and beyond Averasborough. General Slocum buried 108 dead rebels, and captured and destroyed 3 guns. Some 80 wounded rebels were left in our hands, and after dressing their wounds we left them in a house attended by a Confederate officer and four privates detailed out of our prisoners and paroled for the purpose. We resumed theldsborough. I was with the Left Wing until I supposed all danger was passed, but when General Slocum's head of column was within four miles of Bentonville, after skirmishing as asual with cavalry, he become awere that there was infantry at his front. He deployed a couple of brigades, which, on advancing, sustained a partial repulse but soon rallied, and he formed a line of the two leading divisions, Morgan's and Carlin's, of Jeff. C. Davis' corps. The enemy attacked these with violence but was repulsed. This was in the forenoon of Sunday, the 19th. General Slocum brought forward the two divisions of the Twentieth Corps, and hastily disposed of them for defense, and General Kilpatrick massed his cavalry on the left.