a rather severe engagement. I have ordered the pontoon train to Battle's bridge and directed everything prepared for laying it, but will await orders to put it down.
FRANK R. BLAIR, Jr.,
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Holman's, N. C., April 13, 1865.
Captain A. M. VAN DYKE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Tennessee:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to forward, for the information of the major-general commanding, a communication from Bvt. Major General G. A. Smith, giving an account of the retention by the post commandant at Goldsborough of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Illinois Infantry (1,600 men), who were endeavoring to join their proper command. This, including the detachment at Pocotaligo, makes over 3,000 men detained from this corps within the Military Division of the Mississippi. This detention of my troops, as well as the stealing of 3,000 more by A. J. Smith, is certainly not calculated no encourage one as a corps commander. If the commanding officer of every post in the military division is allowed to use his own judgment in forwarding my men, recruiting for this corps may as well be stopped. My men are scattered now over every Southern State, and very many of them will not be permitted to join their command before their time is out. Besides the injustice to me, great wrong is done to the men. Most of them have never been with their command, and can draw no pay. 1 earnestly request that some measure be taken to enable me to control my own command.
FRANK P. BLAIR, Jr.,
HDQRS. FOURTH DIV., SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, April 14 , 1865.
Captain C. CADLE,
When I left Goldsborough I gave Colonel Rogers a written order to remanin until the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Regiments arrived, and bring them up. Anticipating the usual difficulties with post commanders, I instructed him to receive no orders, nor allow himself to be stopped by them. I have just received word from the colonel that he was ordered by General Birge to remain there, and refused, as I directed him. He (Colonel Rogers,) then telegraphed to General Howard's adjutant at New Berne, who instructed him to oby my orders. Yesterday morning he started out and was overtaken seven miles this side of Goldsborough by a staff officer of General Birge, who ordered him under arrest, which he refused to obey. His officers, however, refused to come under the circumstances (preferring, I presume, Goldsborough to the field), and considering him under arrest took the regiment back. Colonel Hall refused to leave Goldsborough with Colonel Rogers. A train of ambulances started out with the colonel and are now about fifteen miles back. I don't know what they belong to.
G. A. SMITH,