BENTONVILLE, March 20, 1865 - 12. 50 p. m. (Received 1. 30.)
GENERAL: The reported advance on this place proves to have consisted of a small foraging party. I shall look well to this flank and I have ordered some cavalry to relieve your men at the mill.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
Near Flower's House, March 20, 1865 - 11. 05 a. m.
General J. E. JOHNSTON:
GENERAL: I have formed a dismounted line here very near Flower's house, and can hold the enemy in check till we are flanked out of it. The line is a very short one, however. I have sent General Law back to bentonville, with instructions to scouts all roads running eastwardly from that point.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
N. B. - Enemy are engaging us very warmly.
MARCH 20, 1865 - 9. 50 a. m.
(Received 10. 15 a. m.)
The enemy's infantry and artillery is advancing rapildy from the direction of Cox's Bridge. He is now about two miles from Flower's house. A few regiments of infantry would check his advance, I think, very materially. Our cavalry is too weak to accomplish much.
I am, colonel, very respectfully,
E. M. LAW,
MARCH 20, 1865 3 p. m.
Major H. B. McCLELLAN:
MAJOR: I have found the right of the enemy's line. It is simply an extension of the line in front of our infantry by skirmishers who are stationary. This extension does not reach very far on this side of the road on which the enemy advanced this morning. I have found another county road, above this one, which leads into the Goldsborough road, and on which there is a good crossing [over] the creek. I have sent a picket to watch it. We are replenishing our ammunition and resting part of the command. I will keep watch on the enemy's right and notify you of any movement.
E. M. LAW,