War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 1394 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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NEAR SMITHFIELD, March 14, 1865-2. 15 p. m.

General J. E. JOHNSTON, Raleigh:

I encamp at Smithfield to-night. Tennessee troops are all up. My own will be up to-morrow. The enemy had not advanced on Kinston last night.


SMITHFIELD, March 14, 1865.

General J. E. JOHNSTON, Raleigh:

The pontoons at Goldsborough are too heavy for field transportation. We have a good bridge here. Shall I exercise temporary command of all the troops in this vicinity?



Peters' Cross-Roads, March 14, 1865.


Assistant Adjutant-General:

In a communication of the 12th from Colonel John B. Sale, assistant adjutant-general for General Bragg, received on the morning of the 13th, I was ordered to change my course from Raleigh and take poisition on the highway leading from Fayetteville to Goldsborough, placing pickets on the South River, which is also known as Black River, and to communicate with Lieutenant-General Hampton. I have the honor to state that I reached this point (eight miles from South River) late yesterday evening and sent out pickets on this road four miles in advance of my present position and also on the other road running parallel with the one I am on. I will advance my picket this morning to the river on this road, and scout the other road as far as the river. Will you send a courier back with mine, so that you may know my position and extend me any information that may be important for my safety. I am ordered to report by courier daily to General Bragg at Goldsborough and if the enemy advance, to fall back either toward Goldsborough or Smithfield, but if it should become necessary for me to move in any other direction or dangrous to await orders from General Bragg, will you please extend to me such orders as you think best. I have one man caliming to belong to Wheeler's command and one belonging to the navy, arrested by my picket last night, and have seen others straggling about the country, claiming to belong to Wheeler's command. If you will send a courier back with mine, I will send the two men I have by him to you.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.


[Smithfield,] March 14, 1865-3. 30 p. m.


Second South Carolina Cavalry:

COLONEL: For the present the headquarters of the general commanding have been changed to this place. You will accordingly change your own position, so as to observe the approaches from Fayetteville to