Morehead City, North Carolina
Early in the morning we continued from New Bern to Morehead City. General Easton has provided for us the small captured steamer Russia, Captain Smith. We put to sea at once and steamed up the coast, toward Fortress Monroe.
The troops are unhappy about the lack of supplies:
GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., March 26, 1865.
The great inconvenience and suffering of the different commands of the army under General Sherman, on account of the utter incompetency and inefficiency of the chief quartermaster and commissary on his staff, we, as commanding officers in the amy, are compelled to ask that a change at once be made by the commanding general.
JOHN A. LOGAN, Major-General, Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps.
FRANK P. BLAIR, JR., Major-General, Commanding Sevetnteenth Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OFTHE TENNSSEE, Goldsborough, N. C., March 27, 1865.
I believe the inconvenience and suffering referred to has not been due to the commissary department, as it was conducted under the same supervision during the Atlanta campaign, but it has seemed to me that there was a want of enlightened comprehension of and adequate provision for the wants of the army on the part of the chief quartermaster.
O. O. HOWARD, Major- General.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field:
The suffering of the troops for want of shoes has not resulted from want of foresight or action on the part of the chief quartermaster or commissary of the army. All has been done that was possible, and I will not reflect on officers who have done so much, and done it well. Generals Blair and Logan don’t know of the difficulties arising from mud banks, storms at sea, difficulties of navaigation, &c;.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major- General, Commanding
I have about 1,000 men dismounted, returning from hospital and dismounted camps. I am unable to mount these men. Horses cannot be procured from the North. Can you assist me by ordering some of the horses captured on the recent campaign to be turned over to my quartemraster! Horses in poor condition can be recruited up while we remain in cmap. We find forage in abundnace here, and our stock will build up rapidly.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. KILPATRICK, Brevet Major-General, Commanding Cavalry.
JOS. R. HAWLEY, Brigadier-General Sends a report from the HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WILMINGTON:
There is nothing special at the moment occurring here. The rumor that some of Wheeler’s cavalry were running about Brunswick or Bladen County probably arose from the presence of belated foragers from Major-General Sherman’s army. To-day about 800 sick leave for Fort Monroe under the supervision of Doctor Cuyler, medical inspector. There is much need of medical supplies and clothing, especially for the sick. The Sanitary Commission sent underclothing enough for the present. One engine and fourteen platform cars have arrived here. I am sending six of the latter to be put on the railroad above Northeast. Major-General Terry captured some rolling sock above and started five cars. By this time ten are running. The six I have ordered up make sixteen.
One of the engines found here is now running. The six I have ordered up make sixteen. I have Captain McClure, of the engineers, and Captain Blackman assistant quartermaster, at work rebuilding Smith’s Creek bridge. I can, by small steamers, now keep at Northeast or Big Bridge as much freight as the rolling- stock can carry up.
Major-General Sherman has sent orders to have all officers and men seeking to rejoin the army sent here, whence they are to be marched, in parties of not less than 500, up the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. Tomorrow morning I start the One hundred and sixty- ninth New York Volunteers (about 230 rifles), and about 700 recruits, convalescents, &c., with six days’ rations and 100 rounds up that way. There are as yet no signs that the enemy is likely to raid against the railroad. I have but sixteen effective cavalrymen, or I could protect the surrounding country much better. With some of the stray horses brought in by the refugees I shall mount a few of my infantry.
Five thousand or 6,000 refugees still encumber us. If it is possible to get transportation, I shall rejoice to send several thousand black to South Carolina, as Major- General Sherman intended. He also wished to have the white refugees sent to New York to the care of the commissioners of immigration. It is exceedingly desirable that the transportation should be afforded speedily. They are devouring our commissary stores and yet we cannot see them die of starvation.
To make the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad effective, the first necessity now is a thorough repair of the track above Northeast. I should report that General Terry found at Magnolia the master-mechanic of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad and set him at work in the machine-shop at Magnolia. He, Mr. McMillan, has been down here to look over affairs. At the suggestion of General Terry, I sent up to Magnolia one of the master-mechanics of the construction train, with as many mechanics as he thought would be useful to him. A scouting party found, about ten miles distant, seven or eight boxes of the ship-carpenter’s, of which the place was strangely stripped, and we have them in use. We are constantly discovering and gathering in abandoned property.
I have forwarded a telegram asking for information concerning a mustering officer. There are here 300 men from General Sherman’s army who are entitled to be mustered out. They came to escort the refugees. A mustering officer was sent ahead of them, but finding no blanks he went away to Morehead City and we hear nothing more of him. I respectfully ask that a mustering officer be permanently stationed here. There are many others in hospitals, &c., who need the services of one.