Smithfild, N. C., March 18, 1865 - 6. 45 a. m.
GENERAL: General Johnston directs that you put your command in motion for Bentonville by the shortest route, unless the enemy are advancing in force uo the Averasbourough and Smithfield road; in that case, on receiving prompt notice from you, all our columns could be turned on that force. The sheriff of this county represents that there is a road leading from a point two miles this side of Elevation and striking the Averasborough and Goldsborough road a little to the west and General Johnston desires you to be immediately on their right. Please give information to General Wheeler and desire him to make frequent reports.
P. S. - Any incumbrances in your trains, &c., not necessary to field operations, should be sent to the railroad.
Smithfielf, March 18, 1865 - 7. 30 a. m.
Lieutenant-General HARDEE, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: General Johnston desires that you will not take yourreserve artillery with you in the expedition on foot, but send to the neighborhood of this place. In respect of baggage, you should move as light as possible.
Very respectfully, &c.,
March [18?], 1865 - 8. 50 a. m.
COLONEL: Your order directing me to put my command in motion immediately for Bentonville has just been received. It will be promptly obeyed., but I am ingnorant of the road you designate, and that must first be found. I have instructed Wheeler to report the movements of the enemy both to you and to me. Inform me whenever General Johnston canges his headquarters.
W. J. HARDEE,
NEAR BENTONVILLE, March 18, 1865 - 9. 30 p. m.
General Johnston desires you will report immediately where you are encamped to-night, giving the distance from this place. Dispatch is