ELEVATION, March 17, 1865 - 2. 50 p. m.
GENERAL: I send you a dispatch* from General Hampton, which I do not understand; it may be the roads be speaks of are better understood by you than me. I inclose two dispatches+ from Wheeler. I can't believe the enemy intends a serious advance on this or the Raleigh road. If he divides his forces you will have the opportunity to concentrated and whip him. I have a brigade on Hannan's Creek to cover an advance in that direction. The surplus artillery, fifty-two pieces, ought to be at Leachbur to-night en route for Smithfield. Henderson's brigade is with it.
W. J. HARDEE,
Smithfield, March 17, 1865 - 7 p. m.
GENERAL: Your dispatch of 2. 50 p. m., covering notes from Major-General Wheeler and Lieutenant-General Hampton, received. Something must be done to-morrow morning, and yet I have no satisfactory information as to the enemy's movements. Can you give me any certain information of the position of the force you engaged yesterday, or any other, but expecially that which you engaged? Send it immediately by a trusty and well mounted couruer, to come all the way rapidly. The courier-line is very slow.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
P. S. - We must have your intelligence before daybreak.
J. E. J.
HEADQUARTERS, Numbers 16.
In the Field, March 17, 1865.
The lieutenant-general commanding thanks, the officers and men of this command for their courage and conduct of yesterday, and congratulates them upon giving the enemy the first serious check he has received since leaving Atlanta. This command contended with the Fourteenth Army Corps, most of the Twentieth, Kilpatrick's cavalry command - three times their number - and while they sustained a loss of less than 500 men, they inflicted upon the enemy, by accounts of prisoners, a loss of 3,300. The lieutenant-general augurs happily of the future service and reputation of troops who have signalized the opening of the campaign by admirable steadiness, endurance, and courage.
By command of Lieutenant-General Hardee:
T. B. ROY,
* See 7. 15 a. m., p. 1414.
+ See 6. 30 and 6. 40 a. m., p. 1416.