Wednesday, April 5, 1865

Goldsboro, North Carolina

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., April 5, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT, City Point:
GENERAL: I now inclose you a copy of my orders prescribing the movement hence for a position on the Roanoke. The movement begins on the 10th, as I promised, and by the 12th we will be fairly under way. Our railroads have worked double what I calculated, because the track is so level that a locomotive can haul twenty-five cars instead of ten or twelve, as in upper Georgia. We now have enough of bread and small stores for our wagons, and I am hurrying up Cruft’s Provisional Division from Tennessee; also the men who belong to his army who had been sent to Savannah and Charleston. We can use the railroad to bring up the last; the others are marching. I get nothing from you- not a word since I left you- and am of course impatient to know what Lee proposes to do. I hear nothing satisfactory from Johnston. We find Wade Hampton’s cavalry on the roads to Weldon and Raleigh, but evidently only watching us. They have made no efforts to strike our railroads anywhere. I shall expect to hear the effect of your move on Dinwiddie before I get off but shall not wait.
Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., April 5, 1865.
General HALLECK:
I send by Sergeant Rose my report. I could not wait for subordinate reports, but expect to get all in this week. We start on Monday or Tuesday for the Roanoke. Johnston is between me and Raleigh, near Smithfield. My supplies have come up finely. I hope you will read my report in connection with the map, and the orders sent to General Grant and Adjutant-General, all of which I presume reached you. I think the march was made skillfully and well. The bearer has some things for Mrs. Sherman, but I don’t know if she is in Chicago or South Bend. If John Sherman or Mr. Ewing are in Washington they will know. If you cannot put him in possession of the means of finding out, please telegraph to Mrs. Sherman so that the sergeant may go straight.
We are all dead broke here; no paymaster, and none expected. The sergeant has a furlough to go to Iowa. If you can give him an order of transportation, say to Burlington, Iowa, or give him $40 and charge to me; I expect to turn up somewhere, and having pay due since January 1, think my credit good for that amount. I like to hear from you.
Truly, your friend,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., April 5, 1865
His Excellency MICHAEL HAHN, Governor of Louisiana, New Orleans:
DEAR SIR: I had the honor to receive your letter of March 3 inclosing the embossed copy of the resolutions of the Legislature of Louisiana approved March 3, 1865. I will publish them in general orders to the army, and think that it will be a source of pride for the officers and men to see the deep interest that is felt in them by the constituted authorities of your favored State. I thank you kindly for recalling to me the events that attended me at Alexandria at the outset of this war. No men not actually present at the South can comprehend the toild and snares laid by old, wily, and mischievous traitors to ensnare the young and credulous. Truth was perverted, prejudices kindled into a wild passion, and a false pride begotten calculated to mislead the youth, and even old men, into a belief that the whole fabric of our Government was weak and tottering, and was about to fall with a crash that would ruin all who clung to its fortunes. I cannot pretend to superior wisdom, but in the retirement of the pine woods of Rapides Parish my day dreams still rested on the high seas, in California, on the broad plains of Kansas, the majestic valley of the Mississippi, and the Atlantic slope with its busy, industrious people, where I had roved in former days, everywhere realizing the fact that our General Government was kind and paternal, and that its faults (if any) arose from an excess of leniency and forbearance, and I could not be made to believe that it should yield the destiny of our future to the guidance of the few discontented demagogues of the South, or its conceited cotton planters and negro owners. I am willing to say, however, that I regarded the Constitution as a bargain. That we of the North should respect slave property without abstracts, merits, or defects, and had the Southern people abided by the common laws and tribunals, would have fought to maintain such property, but the moment they ignored the compact and appealed to war we were no longer bound in law or honor to respect that obnoxious species of property. As soon as war is over I believe that good men can readjust the affair of the country so that slaves will never again be bought and sold, and yet the labor of all be directed again to the development of the vast agricultural wealth that lies in the future fields of the South. Accept my hearty thanks for considering me still a citizen of Louisiana, and I beg you to foster and encourage all its native population to adapt their thoughts and feeling to the new order of things, which will soon efface the dread ravages of war, and make Louisiana the safe guardian of the outlet of the mightiest river on earth.
With great respect, your friends and servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

District of the Sounds of North Carolina, Meherrin River, near Murfreesborough, N. C., April 5, 1865.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN, U. S. Army, &c.:
We arrived at this place day before yesterday evening (3rd), having encountered no resistance. There are about 100 cavalry in and about this town, but they do not show fight. This seems to be all the troops in this vicinity. Colonel Sumner was unable to pass through this place as he intended, the bridges being burnt over small creeks in his way, but he is pushing on toward Weldon. The last I heard of him was that he was in Jackson. (This was from negroes.) Another force of our troops is reported at Boykins’ Depot, on the Seaboard Railroad, also moving toward Weldon.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. MACOMB, Commander, Commanding

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., April 5, 1865
Confidential to army commanders, corps commanders, and chiefs of staff departments:

The next grand objective is to place this army with its full equipment north of Roanoke River, facing west, with a base for supplies at Norfolk, and at Winton or Murfreesborough on the Chowan, and in full communication with the Army of the Potomac about Petersburg, and also to do the enemy as much harm as possible en route.

I. To accomplish this result the following general plan will be followed, or modified only by written orders from these headquarters should events require a change:

First. On Monday, the 10th of April, all preparations are presumed to be complete, and the outlying detachments will be called in, or given directions to meet the next march. All preparations will also be complete to place the railroad stock back of Kinston on the on road, and below the Northeast Branch on the other.

Second. On Tuesday, the 11th, the columns will draw out on their lines of march, say about seven miles, and close up.

Third. On Wednesday the march will begin in earnest, and will be kept up at the rate, say of, about twelve miles a day, or according to the amount of resistance. All the columns will dress to the left, which is the exposed flank, and commanders will study always to find roads by which they can if necessary perform a general left wheel, the wagons to be escorted on to some place of security on the direct route of march. Foraging and other details may continue as heretofore, only more caution and prudence should be observed, and foragers should not go in advance of the advance guard, but look more to our right rear for corn, bacon, and meal.

II. The Left Wing, Major-General Slocum commanding, will aim straight for the railroad bridge near Smithfield, thence along up the Neuse River to the railroad bridge over Neuse River northeast of Raleigh-Powell’s-thence to Warrenton, the general point of concentration.

The Center, Major-General Schofield commanding, will move to Whitley’s Mill ready to support the Left, until it is past Smithfield, when it will follow up substantially Little River to about Rolesville ready at all times to move to the support of the Left; after passing Tar River to move to Warrenton.

The Right Wing, Major-General Howard commanding, preceded by the cavalry, will move rapidly on Pikeville and Nahunta, then swing across to Beulah and Folk’s Bridge ready to make junction with the other armies in case the enemy offers battle this side of Neuse River about Smithfield, thence, in case of no serious opposition on the left, will work up toward Earpsborough, Andrews’ Bridge and Warrenton.

The cavalry, General Kilpatrick commanding, leaving its incumbrances with the Right Wing, will push as though straight for Weldon, until the enemy is across Tar River and that bridge burned, then it will deflect toward Nashville and Warrenton, keeping up a general communication with general headquarters.

III. As soon as the army starts the chief quartermaster and commissary will prepare a resupply of stores at some point in Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, ready to be conveyed to Kinston or Winton and Murfreesborough, according to developments. As soon as they have satisfactory information that the army is north of the Roanoke they will forthwith establish a depot at Winton, with a sub-depot at Murfreesborough. Major-General Schofield will hold, as heretofore, Wilmington, with the bridge across Northeast Branch as an outpost, New Berne-and Kinston as its outpost-and will be prepared to hold Winton and Murfreesborough as soon as the time arrives for that move. The navy has instructions from Admiral Porter to co-operate, and any commanding officer is authorized to call on the navy for assistance and co-operation, always in writing, setting forth the reasons, of which, of necessity, the naval commander is the judge.

IV. The general-in-chief will be with the Center habitually, but may in person shift to either flank where his presence may be needed, leaving a staff officer to receive reports. He requires absolutely a report of each army or grand detachment each night, whether anything material has occurred or not. Often the absence of an enemy is a very important fact in military prognostication.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Morehead City, N. C., April 5, 1865
Major General O. O. HOWARD, Goldsborough, N. C.:

The following extract from the New York Herald of April 1 is the latest news from General Grant:
The Second and Fifth Corps moved from their works on last Wednesday morning, their places before Petersburg being supplied by portions of the Army of the James, from the north side of James River. Sheridan’s cavalry also participated in the same movement. The route of march was to the southwest for some distance, and then diverged to the northwest toward the South Side Railroad. The Second Cops met with no opposition. Slight resistance was made, however, to the Fifth Corps on reaching Gravelly Run, but the enemy was soon driven away and the stream crossed. A short distance beyond it the rebels were found in a strong position, and about an hour and a half, and resulted in driving the enemy from the field. Generals Grant, Meade, and Warren were present during the engagement. Union loss 250; 100 rebel prisoners were taken. The rebels were believed to be in strong force in the vicinity of Gravely Run, and a heavy battle on the next day (Thursday) was expected. Heavy firing in the direction of the front was heard on that day at City Point, from 10:30 a.m. till 1:30 p. m., indicating that this anticipation had been realized, but the latest dispatches received give nothing definite regarding the matter. General Sheridan was last heard of at Dinwiddie Court-House, supposed to be aiming at the South Side Railroad. He had met with but little opposition.
Very respectfully,
NICHOLAS W. DAY, Colonel, Commanding Post

General HAWLEY, Wilmington:
We will be all ready here on the 10th. The New Bern road has worked admirably, and brought us full supplies already. Your road can be used for sending up the troops destined for this army. See that General Dodge understands this and uses the road up to Monday next to bring up men, as also such forage and stores as are still needed by Generals Terry and Schofield.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

P. S. -Headquarters incumbrances can remain. Forward only good men for battle.
W. T. S.

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