Monday, March 13, 1865

Fayetteville, North Carolina

I am crossing all my army across the Cape Fear River today and tomorrow. I will leave one division in Fayetteville until the arsenal is destroyed. I am sending the refugees and slaves who have followed my army to Wilmington.


I. Major John S. Windsor, One hundred and sixteenth Illinois Infantry, is hereby detailed to conduct to Wilmington all the refugees, white and black, that now encumber the army. The commanding general of each wing and of the cavalry will turn over to him all such refugees, with such wagons, horses, and mules, &c., whether captured or public, as may be necessary to facilitate their journey, with a small supply of flour, bacon, and beef-cattle. Major Windsor will conduct them to Wilmington and turn them over to the quartermaster’s department or Treasury agent, who will dispose of them according to laws or existing orders. A guard of 100 men will be sent from each wing, composed of men entitled to discharge or furlough, provided with their papers, to take effect on arrival at Wilmington.

II. Major Windsor will, on the completion of this duty, return to his command via Beaufort, N. C.

III. Then quartermaster’s department will supply Major Windsor with all the facilities in its power to carry out this order.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:
I send the steamer Howard with commissary stores and forage. I will send other boats with supplies as soon as possible, and will come myself and see what you require. General Easton is at Beaufort. I am not able to state the amount of supplies he has. I ordered from Washington 20,000 pairs of shoes, which have arrived at here to Fayetteville with the greatest possible dispatch, and will explain the state of affairs as soon as I can reach you. I send a box of cigars, and will select some other articles to send you by the next boat.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. S. DODGE, Brevet Brigadier-General and Chief Quartermaster

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Fayetteville, N. C., Monday, March 13, 1865.

Colonel M. KERWIN, Commanding Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Elizabethtown:
Yours of this date with cipher dispatches of General Terry is just received by the officer and detachment sent by you. A tug-boat came up yesterday from Wilmington, and has returned. Another boat is here to go down tonight, and by her I send instructions to General Terry to send a boat with rations and forage for you, and to ferry you across to the east bank of Cape Fear, when I wish you to strike northeast for the railroad, and to join me somewhere about Faison’s Station. Such orders should reach you by the 15th. I will move from here on that day-the 15th-for Goldsborough, striking the Wilmington road about Faison’s, south of the Neuse River.
I am, truly, yours,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Fayetteville, N. C., Monday, March 13, 1865.

Major-General SCHOFIELD, Commanding U. S. Forces, New Berne:
I wrote you at length by the tug-boat Davidson yesterday. By tomorrow morning all my army, save one division, will be across the Cape Fear, and I will await till Wednesday morning in hopes to receive from Wilmington some shoes, stockings, &c., when we will start for Goldsborough, approaching it from the south and communicating with you at the Neuse Bridge, near Kinston. Have Generals Easton and Beckwith advised to be all ready to resupply us, first clothing, next bread, then sugar, coffee, and forage. My troops and trains are in good order.

Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Fayetteville, N. C., Monday, March 13, 1865-9 p. m.

General SCHOFIELD, New Berne:
Your dispatch of 9th this moment received. Re-enforce your movement all you can and you can take Terry’s command from Wilmington if you want them. Secure, if possible, the crossing of Neuse near Kinston and get all the timbers ready for the bridge. I will in a day or two so threaten Raleigh that the enemy will be forced to move from your front toward Raleigh, when you can press forward toward Goldsborough.
Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Fayetteville, N. C., March 13, 1865

Major-General TERRY, Commanding U. S. Forces, Wilmington:
Captain Young tells me he will send down tonight a courier. I avail myself of the opportunity to say that the bulk of my army is across Cape Fear River, and I will cross over tomorrow and await the return of the Davidson, in hopes you may be able to send us up some clothing and small stores. But on Wednesday I hope to make ten miles out, but will hold empty wagons for any supplies you may send up. Expect a train of refugees and negroes at Wilmington via Clinton. They are a dead weight to me, and consume our supplies. Provide for them the best you can or send them to New York in the return vessels. The gun-boat Eolus is here and will remain till I take my departure, and I will send word to you when to dispatch all vessels in Cape Fear River with supplies for me up to New Berne. Prosecute and notify Colonel Wright to get from Savannah or Norfolk a supply of locomotives and cars suited to that gauge. We are all very well and weather is most favorable.

Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Fayettefille, N. C., March 13, 1865.
Major-General TERRY, Commanding Wilmington, &c.:

GENERAL: Lieutenant Stimson of your staff has just arrived, and I send him down to General Howard’s camp, two miles below town, with orders to fill the boat with refugees at our lower pontoon and dispatch her back at once. I wrote you fully by the Davidson last night, and to day by Captain Young, and now repeat that the bulk of my army is across Cape Fear River and will be all across to-morrow, Tuesday, and will on Wednesday draw out ten miles toward Goldsborough. On Thursday will cast off and march compactly for a point on the railroad from Faison’s to Neuse River. If I don’t encounter Schofield’s people I will communicate with him in the direction of Goldsborough before attempting to stockings, but fear you can’t spare any, or that you have no boats suitable for the navigation of the river, but I will await Wednesday to receive anything you may send, when I will evacuate here and move in force toward Goldsborough and New Berne. The gun-boat Eolus will be here till I am off. All well and in splendid spirits.

Fayetteville arsenal is in ruins and tomorrow fire will consume all that can be burned of it. The town is poor and scattered and will not be materially damaged. Hardee moved off toward Raleigh but will have time to get to Goldsborough, if that be the point fixed for concentration. I expect to be at or near Faison’s Depot next Sunday.
Yours, truly, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Fayetteville, N. C., Monday, March 13, 1865.

General TERRY, Commanding, Wilmington:
GENERAL: Colonel Kerwin reports from Elizabeth, where he has halted his regiment, having dispatched two officers and fifty men through with your cipher dispatch, which is now being unravelled. I wish you would send a boat up to Elizabeth with forage and rations for Colonel Kerwin’s command and order him to ferry his command across and to push to the railroad and up it till he encounters me about Faison’s.

Your own command should also move at once up toward Goldsborough, leaving the railroad construction party to follow, as the whole country south of Goldsborough between the Cape Fear River and the sea will be covered by our armies. You may be short of wagons. If you can manage to reach me I will supply you with, say, 200. I will have enough wagons for General Schofield also. I wart to concentrate all my available forces about Goldsborough as soon as possible.

The single road from New Berne to Goldsborough may not have a capacity sufficient for mine, yours, and General Schofield’s armies, and I wish you to advise General Schofield that I expect him to get boats as quick as high up as possible, when our wagons can haul forage and stores. I have with me, say, 3,000 wagons and near 40,000 animals, about 65,000 fighting men.
Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

P. S. -If General Schofield wants you at New Berne, I do not object to your re-enforcing him, but I want all the troops not absolutely necessary for garrisons to be at or near Goldsborough in seven days, viz, by Monday or Tuesday of next week.

General Terry Writes:

Wilmington, N. C., March 13, 1865.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi, &c.:
GENERAL: I forwarded to you day before yesterday the inclosed dispatch form Genereal Schofield. I send it to you again for fear that it may not have reached you. At the time this dispatch was written General Couch had not joined him. I think that Couch’s and McLean’s divisions must have crossed the Trent near Trenton yesterday, and that today they have effected a junction with Cox and Palmer.

I regret to say that all the supplies of shoes and clothing destined for your main arrmyu are at Beaufort. Everything which we had here has been expended for the paroled prisoners which we had here has been expended for the parroled prisoners which we have reeceived. Two days ago I sent to Beaufort for 3,500 pairs of shoes for my own troops. Should they arrive in time to reach you at Fayetteville, I will forward them at once. Hoping that the tug would find the river open, I commenced loading a steamer last night with such stores as I supposed that you would need most. She starts immediately, and will be followed by others.

I sent all my serviceable cavalry up the right band of the Cape Fear day before yesterday afternoon, to open the road and communicate with you. I have a report from them that the bridges are down, and some of the road under water. I send today a bridge equipage, and two regements of infantry, to make a crossing at Levison Creek, seventeen miles from here, which is, I believe, the most difficult point on the route. I respectfully suggest, that if the cavalry should report to you that the upper part of the road is in good order, the refugees, of whom you wish to disembarrass yourself, might come down under their convoy. Our supplies of commissary stores are quite limited, but everything which we have will be sent up as fast as possible.

When General Schofield left here a week since he told me that a railroad construction party would be here within a day or two, but none has yet arrived, and consequently nothing has yhet been done to repair the road from here to Goldsborough. Two bridges within ten miles of the town were burned by the enemy. I think that I can rebuild one of them with details from my own troops, and will make a begining, without waiting for the railroad men.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALFRED H. TERRY, Major-General, Commanding

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