Friday, April 7, 1865

Goldsboro, North Carolina

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., April 7, 1865.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to send you the report of Major-General Kilpatrick, and of Lieutenant Colonel T. G. Baylor, chief of ordnance, which I wish you to file with my report of the recent campaign. Events progress so rapidly that we have scarce time to report them fully, but I will endeavor to get in the full reports of my army commanders before we start for Raleigh. I have not yet received General Grant’s orders, consequent on the capture of Richmond and defeat of Lee’s army before Petersburg, but I am so confident that I know his wishes, that my orders are all out for my entire army to move at daylight on Monday next, the 10th, for Raleigh. Before the capture of Richmond, of which I only heard yesterday, I was preparing to feign on Raleigh and move across the Roanoke above Gaston, but now I shall move straight on Raleigh, repairing the railroad to that place. From Raleigh I can reach the Danville and Charlotte road about Greensborough, but I expect definite orders before getting off. I want my mails to come to Old Point, Dismal Swamp Canal, New Berne, Goldsborough, &c., and have ordered General Easton to complete arrangements to that end. It is now important that I should have more rapid communication with headquarters than heretofore. General Meigs is now here, and will start for Washington tonight.

I am, with respect, yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Goldsborough, April 7, 1865.
General EASTON,

Chief Quartermaster, present:
GENERAL: The success of our armies about Richmond changes the whole plan of our campaign. We have now to watch the enemy who is adrift and may turn up suddenly at unexpected parts. Therefore don’t commit yourself to any system other than to perfect the details of our present base of supplies, Goldsborugh, with its two railroads. The army is so much interested in mails and small parcels that we will need such a line as, connected with others already established, will connect our army with the mail and express system of the United States. Please send a quartermaster inspector through to Old Point by New Berne, Roanoke Island, the canal, Norfolk, &c., and on his return let him make or suggest any improvements that will increase the certainty and regularity of such a line. At present some confusion may eixst, caused by the change in the lines of department, but I think this army, which includes the Department of North Carolina, has so much more interest in the line than the few about Norfolk Carolina, has so much more interest in the line than the few about Norfolk that you could establish a new connection from the channel straight for Old Point. Coming this way, preference should be given to mails, couriers, and general officers traveling on duty; afterward it could carry such quartermaster or ordnance stores as might be ordered. But in no event do I want a line of Government vessels to be usurped or monoplized by a set of peddlers and traders The bulk of supplies should come, of course, as heretofore, to Morehead City, with schooners and light-draft vessels to New Berne and Wilmington.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

WILMINGTON, April 7, 1865.
Major-General SHERMAN:
The bearer of dispatches arrived and left for Charleston, S. C. General Meigs left this morning for Goldsborough to see you. He has papers of the 3rd confirming the capture of Richmond. I am in receipt of the Herald of the 4th. It confirms the taking of 12,000 prisoners, and estimates the loss of the enemy in killed and wounded at 25,000. Your wishes shall be complied with.
GEO. S. DODGE, Brevet Brigadier-General and Chief Quartermaster

Howard Writes:

NEW BERNE, N. C., April 7, 1865
Major General W. T. SHERMAN:
My headquarters from Beaufort have just arrived. I will get off books and papers for the Department at Washington as soon as possible and go to Goldsborough tomorrow. Does the Richmond news modify your plans? I have received your confidential orders.
O. O. HOWARD, Major-General

APRIL 7, 1865.
General HOWARD, New Berne:
Yes. We move Monday, early, straight on Raleigh. I am now making instructions, and Colonel Strong can make the preparatory orders I want to see your report before it goes to Washington.
SHERMAN

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., April 7, 1865.

Major-General HOWARD, Commanding Right Wing:
The capture of Richmond makes a change in our plans necessary. We will move, early on Monday, rapidly on Raleigh, holding our roads from Goldsborough back, and repairing forward to Raleigh. Slocum will move straight on Smithfield and Raleigh, Schofield, in support with the Tenth Corps and cavalry, keeping south and west of the Neuse by Bentonville and Turner’s Bridge. I want you to start Monday, early, by Pikeville, Whitely’s Mill, and Pine Level, prepared to join to Slocum’s right in case the enemy fights about Smithfield; otherwise, to swing up along the Neuse to cross over at some point, hereafterto be determined-it may be as high up as Hinton’s Bridge. Send one division, light, with all the mounted men you can spare, up as high as Nahunta Station, thence to join your wing via you can Beaulah and Folk’s Bridge.
I am, &c,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Goldsborough, April 7, 1865.
Colonel MARKLAND,
New Berne:
I have thought over mail matters. Give publicity that all mail matter for Sherman’s army should come to Old Point, via Baltimore. Have an agent there to see that all bags are sent to Roanoke Island and New Berne, there to be distributed. Should I move up the Roanoke it will be easy enought to deflect the mails after I get off. The probabilities are now that we will continue in connection with the coast at some point of North Carolina all the campaign. Mails for Charleston and Savannah might also come this way, leaving Adams Express to carry the mail matter by ocean. The quicker you get a regular daily or tri-weekly mail through the less bulky will the mails become and the work of reading letters and answering them be beter distributed. I will instruct General Easton to send an inspector hence to Old Point to inspect and improve the route hence to Old Point, with a view to make it regular and prompt. Mail matter and carriers to have preference of carriage, and all citizens or goods debarred the privilege. If you have any suggestions make them now.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

NEW BERNE, N. C., April 7, 1865.
Major-General SHERMAN:
Your views in reference to the mails are all that could be wished and will insure the best arrangements the army have ever had. With regular communications such as you suggest, if the army is not satisfactorily supplies, it will be my fault. I have now all facilities in the way of clerks. I will go over the route with General Easton’s officer and carry out your views.
A. H. MARKLAND, Colonel and Superitendent of Mails, U. S. Army

U. S. STEAMER SHAMROCK,
District of the Sounds of North Carolina, Winton, N. C., April 7, 1865.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, U. S. Army, &c.:
GENERAL: We arrived here from Murfreesborough last night, all right. Colonel Sumner did not get to Weldon, there being too large a force there. He cut the railroad-the Seabord and Roanoke-near Seabord, however, destroying about a mile. The Third New York Cavalry, which has been on a raid on the north side of the Meherrin, have joined us here, and gone back to Suffolk. I shall keep vessels here for a week or so, in case any more troops wish to cross. The First New York stopped about twenty-four hours in Mufreesborough. I can go up to Murfreesborough any time you wish, if I have a vew troops to hold an ugly bluff there is below the town. The only rebels inthis part of the country appear to be on the Weldon railroad and at Weldon, where they keep about 2,000 in intrenchments which are on this side the Roanoke.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. MACOMB, Commander, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the field, Goldsborough, N. C., April 7, 1865.
Major-General SLOCUM, Commanding Army of Georgia:
GENERAL: The capture of Richmond and retreat of Lee’s army to the west (Danville and Lynchburg) necessitates a change in our plans. We will hold fast to Goldsborough and its lines and move rapidly on Raleigh. I want you to be all ready to move early on Monday straight on Smithfield and Raleigh by the most direct road. General Schofield will support you with the Twenty-third Corps, following you, and the Tenth and cavalry will move from Mount Olive and Faison’s by Bentonville and Turner’s Bridge; the Right Wing by Pikeville and Whitley’s Mill, with a division around by Nahunta and Folk’s Bridge. If the enemy declines to fight this side the Neuse I will, of course, throw the Right Wing up to Hinton’s Bridge.
Yours,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., April 7, 1865.
Major-General KILPATRICK, Commanding Cavalry, Mount Olive:
GENERAL: We will move straight on Raleigh on Monday next. General Terry’s infantry will move from Faison’s to Bentonville and Turner’s Bridge. I want you to move on his left front and if possible reach the railroad between Smithfield and Raleigh. Disable it slightly-enough to prevent its use for a day or so-and than act against the flanks of the enemy should he retreat on Raleigh. I think the bulk of the enemy’s cavalry is between us and Weldon. As soon as you cut the railroad you should keep up a communication with Terry’s left, but you may act boldly and even rashly now, for this is the time to strike quick and strong. We must get possession of Raleigh before Lee and Johnston have time to confer and make new combinations forced on them by the loss of their capital and the defeat of their principal army about Petersburg. You can send your wagons to the nearest infantry column. I think you had better move by Troublefield’s, Lee’s, and Elevation, crossing Middle Creek as high up as the Gulley Station road.
Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., April 7, 1865.
Major-General SCHOFIELD, Commanding Center:
GENERAL: The capture of Richmond makes unnecessary our move against the Roanoke. We will move, and that with rapidity, on Raleigh, reparing and holding the railroad to that point. General Sllcum will move Monday at daybreak, straight for Smithfieldand Raleigh. The Right Wing by Pikeville and Whitley’s Mill, with a division swinging round by Nahunta and Beulah. I want you to support General Slocum with the Twenty-third Corps, keeping a pontoon bridge here at Goldsborough, and laying another at Cox’s, and let the Tenth Corps move straight from Faison’s to Bentonville and Turner’s Bridge. The cavalry will also be on that flank, and will strike the enemy in flank and break the railroad partially about Gulley’s, provided the enemy awaits our attack this side of the Neuse. You may depend on General Slocum’s Dispose your troops detailed for the railroad guards to cover the roads from Goldsborough back, giving most care to that from Goldsborough to Morehead City. Winton and Murfreesborough are now no longer needed and you can recall them.
I am, yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

We will put down the canvas pontoon bridge over the nesue River at the same point that we had the wooden pontoon bridge. The bridge is to be left in that place until the army moves.

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