One Mile west of Cole's House, March 18, 1865 - 2. 30 p. m.
GENERAL: I took position at this place, the junction of the Fayetteville and Goldsborough with the Averasborough and Goldsborough roads, two hours ago, and have been skirmishing with the enemy since. I can hold him here for several hours more, and I do not think his advance will get beyond this point to-night. One regiment was sent on the Smithfield road, with directions to watch the enemy and report all his movements to you. He may push one column up that road in hoped of crossingf the river above and below Goldsborough at the same time. Wheeler can guard all the roads leading toward Smithfield from west and south, and I have written to him to do so. As soon as he can spare any troops from that duty I wish them to join me. The infantry have not yet reached this point. I have not yet learned the strength of the force opposed to me, nor what force it is, but I hope to get some prisoners soon. I think the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps camped near Beanman's Cross-Roads last night.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
I have not communicated with General Hardee since my last dispatch of last night, as I do not know his position, and I suppose you keep him advised of all information.
Bentonville, March 18, 1865 - 11 p. m.
GENERAL: Lieutenant-General Hardee encamped six miles from here to-night, and will be in motion for this place 3 o'clock in the morning. General Johnston directs me to inform you that the movement you discussed together will be made as soon after dawn to-morrow as possible.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
March 18, 1865 - 12. 45 a. m.
Lieutenant Colonel T. B. ROY:
Your dispatch of 9. 30 p. m. received. Prisoners captured late yesterday evening state that the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps moved only a short distance yesterday. Some thought their army going to Raleigh, others to Goldsborough. If they move farther on eigther this or the Raleigh road it will be known at once, and information will be promptly sent you. It is impossible yet to say whether they move out on the Raleigh road simply to get possession of the mills on Stewart's Creek or whether tey design moving toward Raleigh. I have sent several dispatches to you since Captain Gilchrist left me.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,