CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.
NEAR SMITHFIELD, N. C., March 24, 1865.
General R. E. LEE:
Your dispatch in cipher just received. * Sherman and Schofield have united at Goldsborough the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Seventeenth, Twentieth, Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-fifth Corps, making about 60,000. I was compelled to come here to cross Neuse. Prisoners say that Sheridan, with his cavalry, is expected soon. Should this be true, could you re-enforce Hampton? Sherman ougt to cross Roanoke at Weldon. It would be best, I think, to fight on this side. I will keep you informed of his route and progress. He will probably stop at Goldsborough some days. I will impede his march if possible and keep in his front to join you should you wish to fight Grant first.
J. E. JOHNSTON.
HEADQUARTERS, March 24, 1865.
General J. E. JOHNSTON,
I hope there is some mistake about Twenty-ninth Corps, as it was never before heard of. Sheridan has one division of his cavalry at Tunstall's Station, the other at White House. Has sent down river his broken-down horses and I know nothing to indicate his moving to North Carolina. I think Sherman will [move] to Weldon on account of procuring supplies from the country along on the route. Edeavor to get them out of his way. We cannot fight Grant to advantage as long as he holds his intrenchments.
R. E. LEE.
NEAR SMITHFIELD, March 24, 1865.
Brigadier-General ST. JOHN,
Commissary General, Richmond:
Dispatch received. Sherman is at Goldsborough with large army. He will probably remain there several days. If his march is toward Richmond he might reach Weldon in six days; if on Raleigh, three or four.
J. E. JOHNSTON.
RALEIGH, N. C., March 24, 1865-9. 30 a. m.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,
Smithfield, N. C.:
If enemy be moving toward Goldsborough, rolling-stock referred to may continue to be used for Lee's army, but should be ordered west of here soon as Sherman shall resume his line of march.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
SMITHFIELD, N. C., March 24, 1865.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Sherman and Schofield have united at Goldsborough seven corps. I am placing our troops north of the depot and near it. Our cavalry is
*See Part II, p. 1454.