March 18, 1865 - 2. 15 p. m.
Major General J. WHEELER:
GENERAL: General Hampton directs me to inform you that he is in line of the Averasborough and Goldsborough road near Mr. willis Cole's house, which is about eighteen miles from Smithfield and three miles from Bentonville.
He is expecting an attack by the enemy. He desires you to send all the cavalry you can spare over this to guard all the roads which lead from this road to the Averasborough and Smithfield road. Please notify him of your position and operations.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. B. McCLELLAN.
March 18, 1865 - 8 a. m.
You will plase inform General Hampton that my scouts met the advance of the enemy (mounted) just beyond the Clinton road, charged and drove them back more than a mile upon a column of infantry on the road we came yesterday. They are now skirmishing with my pickets at the Clinton road, about one mile in front of this position. I have heard a few guns in the direction of the road General Butler is upon.
Very respectfully, &c.,
G. G. DIBRELL,
ON ROAD, March 18, 1865 - 8. 45 a. m.
This may be the column which engaged General Hardee, or it is one thrown from the Fayetteville and Goldsborough road. A good opportunity to strike them in flank now offers. There is a road from Smithfield by Bentonville to this road.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,
March 18, 1865 - 9. 15 p. m.
I inclose your reports of Colonel Breckinridge's scouts. Major Austin reports further that he saw a boy who said he came through the enemy's camps this p. m. on the road which we traveled, and that they were camped for three miles back. The regiment upon the Smithfield road reports that a few of the enemy had crossed Stony Creek at Lee's Bridge, and that they were busily engaged at work on the bridge as if trying to repair it. I have ordered them to send out scouts during the night and report the exact locality of this camp.
G. G. DIBRELL,