Smithfield, March 17, 1865 - 8. 45 a. m.
General BRAXTON BRAGG,
GENERAL: General Johnston desires you will at ince have an intrenchment thrown up njear Goldsborough, so as to enable the brigade you have there to detain the enemy as long as possible, should they advance from Kinston. Such a work would certainly gain us time. It might be well to send your negro force there by rail to labor upon it.
I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
March 17, 1865.
General commanding directs me to say that informaiton from General HArdee lastnight tends to the belief he has fallen back before the enemy to within six or eight miles of your front. You will have your command well in hand, ready to move forward at a moment's notice.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. SALE,
SMITHFIELD, March 17, 1865 - 9 p. m.
GENERAL: The general commanding directs that you be ready to march early in the morning. Your note of this afternoon received. The field return sent up this morning was in response to General Johnston's call, and he wants one such semi-weekly, say on Mondays and Fridays. I am not advised that the regular tri-monthly returns to be forwarded to the War Department are to be dispensed with.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. SALE,
CHARLOTTE, N. C., March 17, 1865.
Major J. B. EUSTIS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Augusta:
MAJOR: General Beauregard directs that yourself and Colonel Roman will remain in Augusta to inspect and hasted forward to the front troops and supplies. Major Bryan, assistant inspector-general, will repair to Chester or Winnsborough, S. C., for the purpose of performing similar service. Upon the receipt of this communication, should you be this side of Augusta, en route to this point, yourself and Colonel Romas will come to Chester and there execute the instructions above given. In this event Major Bryan, assistant inspector-general, will repair to this point and perform the duty before assigned him at Chester. I inclose herewith copy of order given Major McCrady, engineer, in relation to the repair of railroad, and one to General