War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 1429 Chapter LIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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Smithfield and Raleigh roads, but retired back to Averasborough in the afternoon. If you information be correct that the Seventeenth and Fifteenth Corps are moving on Goldsborough, we may reasonably conclude that the force at Averasborough will move to-day in the same direction. I can't think that two corps would move on Raleigh; if so, General Johnston will concentrate and whip them. General Wheeler has one regiment on the Raleigh road; the rest of his forces is divided between this road, Smithfield, and the road immediately south of it. Wheeler is on the Smithfield road, Allen on the other. Wheeler's entire force is needed here; endeed. I think it ought to be increased. My headquarters are eight miles from Smithfield, and will not be moved to-day unless the movements of the enemy should render it necessary. I have no news from Richmond or any other points.

Very respectfully,

W. J. HARDEE,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Smithfield, March 18, 1865 - 7. 40 a. m.

Lieutenant-General HAMPTON:

Your dispatch of 1. 35 a. m. received by Courier Jackson. We will go to the place at which your dispatch was written. The scheme mentioned in my note, which you pronounce practicable, will be attempted. Send all the information you can bearing upon it.

J. E. JOHNSTON.

GOLDSBOROUGH AND AVERASBOROUGH ROAD,

Twenty Miles from Goldsborough, March 18, 1865 - 9 a. m.

General [JOHNSTON:]

I reached General Hampton's headquarters at 12 last night and extended to him your instructions. I urged upon him the necessity of frequent and full dispatches. I will return to-day.

Respectfully,

W. HAMPTON, JR.,

Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.

AT FORKS OF SMITHFIELD AND GOLDSBOROUGH ROADS,

Eighteen Miles from Smithfield, March 18, 1865 - 11. 15 a. m.

General J. E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding:

GENERAL: General Hampton directs me to inform you that the enemy is advancing in a considerable force in infantry on his position at this place. He has not yet ascertained what corps it is, but the force is large. He has left one regiment at this place to fall back on the road to Smithfield and give you all information. With the main part of his force he will retire on the road toward Goldsborough. He is making dispositions on the field, and has directed me to write and sign this dispatch.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. B. McCLELLAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.