War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 1410 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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NEAR BLACK RIVER,

March 17, 1865 - 7 a. m.

General JOHNSTON:

GENERAL: I dispatched you this morning at 4. 30 o'clock, giving you the information you desire respecting the movements of the enemy, particularly the points at which they crossed Black River. The highest point at which they crossed was at Smith's Mill, half a mile above Mingo Creek. The other crossings were below. General Hampton reports all Sherman's army across Black River except the Fourteenth Corps and one division of the Twentieth Corps, which he stated was on the plank road. You inquire about the location of Elevation. My map places it midway between Averasborough and Smithfield, and at the intersection of the road running between these two places with the road running from Smith's Ferry to Raleigh. I have not heard from Wheeler since 1 a. m.

Very respectfully,

W. J. HARDEE,

Lieutenant-General.

P. S. - Hampton believes the enemy moving on Goldsborough.

W. J. HARDEE.

HEADQUARTERS,

Smithfield, March 17, 1865 - 9 a. m.

Lieutenant-General HARDEE,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: You had better halt at Elevation till you ascertain definitely the enemy's movements. Our nearest troops are about nine miles from that point. Schofield's force is reported at Kinston, repairing the railroad bridge.

Respectfully, &c.,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

ELEVATION, March 17, 1865 - 1 p. m.

General JOHNSTON:

GENERAL: I did not design moving beyond this point, but I find the map is incorrect and that the intersection of the road is not at this point, but two miles nearer Smithfield, to which place I am moving. I do not believe the enemy is moving on Raleigh; if so, the force which has crossed Black River must come to this intersection, as there is no other road east of Black River on which he can move. I will endeavor to obtain all the in reference to bridges, &c., on the road to Raleigh, and it the enemy should move there will keep in front of him. I send you a dispatch from Wheeler. To-day will develop the purposes of the enemy.

Very respectfully,

W. J. HARDEE,

Lieutenant-General.

P. S. - Your order relative to McLaws has been received. I instructed General Hampton to send General McLaws to me. He has not come. I have thought it best not to mention the order to any one till McLaws arrives.

W. J. H.