Page images

command, which to-morrow will move from Cox's Ferry to Faison's Depot, also on the Wilmington road. I send you a copy of my orders* of this morning, the operations of which will, I think, soon complete our roads. The telegraph is now done to Morehead City, and by it I learn that stores have been sent to Kinston in boats, and our wagons are there loading with rations and clothing. By using the Neuse as high up as Kinston and hauling from there twenty-six miles, and by equipping the two roads to Morehead City and Wilmington, I feel certain I cannot only feed and equip the army, but in a short time fill our wagons for another start. I feel certain from the character of the fighting that we have got Johnston's army afraid of us. He himself acts with timidity and caution. His cavalry alone manifest spirit, but limits its operations to our stragglers and foraging parties. My marching columns of infantry don't pay the cavalry any attention, but walk right through it. I think I see pretty clearly how, in one more move, we can checkmate Lee, forcing him to unite Johnston with him in the defense of Richmond, or, by leaving Richmond, to abandon the cause. I feel certain if he leaves Richmond, Virginia leaves the Confederacy. I will study my maps a little more before giving my clear views. I want all possible information of the Roanoke, as to navigability, how far up, and with what draft. We find the country here sandy, dry, and with good roads; and more corn and forage than I expected. The families remain, but I will gradually push them all out to Raleigh or Wilmington. We will need every house in the town. Lieutenant Dunn can tell you of many things of which I need not write.

Truly yours,


In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., March 24, 1865.

General EASTON,

Chief Quartermaster, Morehead City:

Our field transportation is in excellent condition and if you can place 1,500 tons freight per week at Kinston, independent of the railroad, it can be brought from there by the wagons, as the roads are good. The teams will be the better for being out of camp. The general suggests that you aim to accomplish this. It is desirable to relieve the railroad as much as possible.

L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

In the Field, Goldsborough, March 24, 1865.

General L. C. EASTON,

Morehead City:

Can you use the unarmed men arriving as train guards, providing Colonel Baylor can furnish the arms? Troops coming to this army must march and they can better do it from Wilmington. They can also better be fed on the coast than here.

L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* See Special Field Orders, Nos. 36 and 37, pp. 7, 8.

In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., March 24, 1865.

[blocks in formation]

You will not allow transportation on either railroad toward the army, excepting couriers under orders and staff officers bearing dispatches. Direct all officers and men to Wilmington, where they will collect in parties of not less than 500, and therefrom march to their commands. L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN,

KINSTON, N. C., March 24, 1865.

Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

I have seen Colonel Wright and explained to him your orders. He says it is the only way to supply your army. He desires me to get engines and cars four feet eight and one-half inch gauge. I will send the necessary orders to my officers at Wilmington to push the work on the railroad with all possible dispatch, and proceed with steamer North and procure the stock for the road at once. Colonel Wright will be at Goldsborough with the train during the night.

G. S. DODGE, Brevet Brigadier-General and Quartermaster.

In the Field, March 24, 1865.

General DODGE,

Quartermaster, Morehead City:

Your dispatch received. Tell General Easton to unload and dispatch vessels North as fast as possible, and proceed with all speed to General Grant and he will order the cars and locomotives from Norfolk and elsewhere. Lieutenant Dunn will be down to-night before daylight with dispatches for General Grant. Wait and take him along with you. Remember how valuable time is. We can bring up daily supplies enough, but to move I must have enough ahead to fill the wagons. W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

Maj. L. M. DAYTON,

KINSTON, March 24, 1865.

Assistant Adjutant-General, General Sherman's Headquarters: I have loaded and dispatched trains of Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Seventeenth Corps. Twentieth Corps train now loading. More than five days' subsistence, and shoes, socks, shirts, and pants to make the men comfortable have been forwarded. Supplies of clothing, camp and garrison equipage come freely by water. General Easton has ten large barges, six steam tugs, and a dozen schooners. The railroad will not be available for several days. I will remain here a day or two, or longer if necessary, and have all the trains sent from the front loaded

and sent out without delay. Send 300 or 400 contrabands to work at unloading boats and cars. If the wagon trains are kept moving steadily the army can be refitted before the railroad to Goldsborough can be used to advantage. M. C. GARBER,

Colonel and Chief Quartermaster.

In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C., March 24, 1865.

Colonel GARBER,
Quartermaster, Kinston:

Your telegram in reference to forwarding supplies is received, and is exceedingly satisfactory. Go on as you have, dispatching trains sent you. More will be sent, which you can load and send out to us. Gangs of laborers will be sent you by the next train. The water transportation will be kept in use.

L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant General.

In the Field, Goldsborough, N C., March 24, 1865.

To His Excellency FREDERICK F. LOW,

Governor of California:

DEAR SIR: It gave me great pleasure on my arrival here yesterday to receive your letter* of January 2, and I shall convey to the army the thanks of the people of California by the very language in which you have so well expressed them. I do not believe a body of men ever existed who were inspired by nobler impulses or a holier cause than they who compose this army, and yet I know that each individual of it will feel a new pride when he is assured that far off on the golden coast of the Pacific, hundreds of thousands of our fellow-citizens have hailed our progress through this land whose inhabitants had well-migh brought our Government to ruin and infamy. I think when the tidings reach you of our more recent march from Savannah to Goldsborough you will find it a fit sequel to the Atlanta campaign, and we shall spare no efforts to make it also the precursor of yet another, which we pray may be final. Accept my personal thanks, and know that it was in California we learned the art of making long journeys with safety, to endure privations with cheerfulness, and to thrive under the most adverse circumstances, and these have enabled us to make strides in war which may seem gigantic to the uninitiated. I bid you all to be of good cheer, for there are plenty of brave men still left who are determined that the sun, as he daily reviews our continent from the Chesapeake to San Francisco Bay, shall see a united people, and not a bundle of quarreling factions.

I am, with great respect, your friend and servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

* See Vol. XLIV, p. 17.


No. 36.

In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C.,

March 24, 1865.

I. Major-General Schofield, commanding Department of North Carolina, will, out of the troops now at his command, organize a force equivalent to two corps, or five divisions, and proceed to equip them in the most complete manner for field service. This force while operating with the other armies in the field will be styled the Center. For the present, General Schofield will post his command to hold Goldsborough, and cover the railroads back to Wilmington and Morehead City. He will also aid the railroad department with détails to enable it to finish, in the shortest possible time, the two roads and equip them for service. II. Col. W. W. Wright, of the railroad department, will use extraordinary means, night and day, to complete the two railroads from Goldsborough back to Wilmington and Morehead City, and to equip them to the capacity of 300 tons per day of freight. He may pay any price for labor, call for details of soldiers, and draw rolling-stock from Savannah and Charleston, or any point within this command, and all commanding officers and quartermasters will give preference to the shipment of such stock over that of any other work whatever not involving life. The work of these railroads is limited and restricted to the transportation, in the order following, army stores: First, ammunition; second, food for men; third, clothing for men; fourth, grain for animals; fifth, camp and garrison equipage; sixth, hay or long forage-until there is an accumulation of supplies at Goldsborough enough to fill the wagons of the army. No officer, soldier, or citizen, or any private stores whatever will be carried on the up trips, unless it be mail matter, and officers or couriers bearing orders for army headquarters, and these not to exceed one car-load per day. All else must march or use horses and wagons from the saltwater to Goldsborough until the army is thoroughly clothed and equipped. Return cars may load according to the discretion of the quartermaster in charge, provided there be no delay. To facilitate the completion of these roads, Colonel Poe will cause the First Michigan Engineers to work back toward New Berne. General Howard will cause to be built the railroad bridge over Neuse near Goldsborough, General Slocum the wagon road bridge on the Mount Olive road, and General Schofield the railroad bridge over Northeast Branch near Wilmington, leaving Colonel Wright with his working parties to look after the laying and ballasting the track and getting the cars in motion.

III. The chief quartermaster and commissary of the army in the field, Generals Easton and Beckwith, will repair at once to Goldsborough, and there control the movement of supplies according to the necessities of the army and orders issued at the general headquarters. All estimates and requisitions will be addressed accordingly.

IV. The Right Wing of the army will group to the front and right of Goldsborough, looking north; the Left Wing in front and left of Goldsborough; the Center in Goldsborough, with detachments to cover the railroad to the rear. The cavalry will be posted at or near Mount Olive Station. All will send foraging parties into the country, being careful to have them strong and well guarded. By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:

L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General,



In the Field, Goldsborough, N. C.,
March 24, 1865.

No. 37. I. Brevet Brigadier-General Dodge, chief quartermaster Department of North Carolina, will, with all possible dispatch, procure from Charleston and Savannah all the railroad rolling-stock which will be required to put the Wilmington and Goldsborough Railroad in working order to the required capacity.

II. To facilitate General Dodge in this work he is authorized to make use of any ships he may deem necessary for transporting such stock, and all commanding officers at Savannah, Charleston, and Wilmington will assist him to any degree he may require.

III. Brevet Brigadier-General Easton, chief quartermaster Military Division of the Mississippi, will furnish General Dodge a suitable steamer to proceed at once to the execution of his orders.

IV. Capt. Justin Hodge, assistant quartermaster, U. S. Volunteers, is hereby relieved from duty with Maj. Gen. H. W. Slocum, commanding Left Wing, and will report to Brevet Brigadier-General Dodge, chief quartermaster Department of North Carolina, for orders.

V. To facilitate operations of refitting and reorganization, army commanders will establish an office at Wilmington or New Berne, to be in charge of a staff officer, with instructions to receive and dispatch couriers to and from their commands, give the necessary directions to officers and soldiers joining their commands, and such other instructions as may be deemed desirable.

VI. The quartermasters at Wilmington and New Berne will give officers assigned to duty by virtue of this order all the assistance necessary for office rooms, &c.

By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:

L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

In the Field, March 24, 1865.

Major-General HOWARD, Commanding Right Wing:
GENERAL: A dispatch received from Colonel Garber states that the
trains of the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps sent to Kinston are
returning loaded with subsistence, and some clothing, &c. He says if
trains are kept moving in regularity from the command to that point he
can keep the army supplied from the stores that are arriving there by
water. The general-in-chief suggests that you keep your spare wagons
moving accordingly. Colonel Garber will need some 400 contrabands
for loading trains and unloading vessels, and with the next train you
send down you should send some to him.

Respectfully, &c.,

L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.


Capt. C. B. REESE,

Goldsborough, N. C., March 24, 1865.

Chief Engineer Department and Army of the Tennessee: CAPTAIN: You are directed to confer with the chief engineer of General Schofield's command with reference to replacing the pontoon

« PreviousContinue »