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ers. He thereupon fell back into | (where Blair captured 25 guns), and Aiken; and Kilpatrick, after threat- thence up to the State line at Sneedsening him there till the night of the boro'; moving on parallel roads with12th, suddenly drew off, moved rap- in easy supporting distance, till they idly across the South and then the were concentrated at Fayetteville, *? North Edisto, 40 and, moving on the N. C.; leaving Charlotte and the left of the 14th corps, struck the Lex- bulk of the Rebel army far to our ington and Augusta road 9 miles left. Heavy rains and almost imnorth-west of Lexington, when barely passable streams had delayed our dif1,500 of Wheeler's men had got be- ferent columns; and Hardee was extween him and Columbia, while pected to make a stand at FayetteCheatham's force (the remnant of ville and resist our passage of the Hood's army) was moving parallel Cape Fear river; but he merely with our advance still farther to the burned the bridge and put off as left. But, on crossing the Saluda, *1 Blair came up. Kilpatrick, still on Wheeler was found to be ahead; and our extreme left had advanced by our cavalry marched all day 42 paral- Rockingham ; 48 striking next day the lel with Cheatham's corps, moving rear of Hardee's column retreating at times within three miles-a diffi from Cheraw on Fayetteville; when, cult stream forbidding an attempt to learning from prisoners that Hampstrike the enemy in flank, as he was ton's cavalry was behind, he resolved strung along the road. Crossing the to intercept it. Posting a mounted Greenville and Columbia road, Kil- brigade near Solemn Grove on one patrick tore it up down to Alston, road, he made, with Spencer's briwhere he crossed " the Broad, and gade, a rapid night-march across to pushed north nearly to Chesterville ; another; during which, he rode when he found that Wheeler had through a division of Hampton's moved around his front, united with cavalry: losing by capture his escort Wade Hampton, and was before him of 16 men, but escaping with his on the road to Charlotte and Raleigh, staff. N. O., which Sherman's advance Hampton skillfully deceived Gen. northward from Columbia to Winns- Atkins, whom Kilpatrick had left beboro’44 had led the enemy to believe hind, passed him by an unsuspected was his intended course.
road, and fell in full force upon KilThey were at fault, as usual. patrick and Spencer about 2 A. M.; Though his left wing was thrown taking them completely by surprise, north nearly to Chesterville, the routing them and capturing all their movement in this direction was a guns. Spencer and most of Kilfeint, and the whole army soon turned patrick's staff were made prisoners; sharply to the right, crossing the Kilpatrick barely escaping on foot. Catawba, 45 and, after halting the Driven back into a swamp, with right wing three days to enable Slo- most of his men, he succeeded in cum (who had been delayed by a rallying them, while the enemy, supflood in the Catawba) to come up, posing him utterly routed, were instruck the Great Pedee at Cheraw 4e tent on plundering his camp; and, * Feb. 15. 41 Feb. 17. 42 Feb. 18. 43 Feb. 19 44 Feb. 21 45 Feb. 23. 46 March 3. 47 March 11. 48 March 7...
charging on foot, he retook his head-, nery which had been brought hither quarters and guns, just as the enemy from the U. S. armory at Harper's were harnessing the horses to draw Ferry on its first capture in April, them off, and opened upon their re 1861. His army greatly needed rest; ceding backs when scarcely twenty and besides, there was reason now to paces distant, quickening the pace of apprehend other resistance than that all who still retained the power of lo- afforded by the swamps, the streams, comotion. Hampton soon rallied his | and the elements. Hardee from Sacommand, and tried hard to regain all vannah and Charleston; Beauregard that he had so suddenly won and from Columbia; Cheatham from the lost; but Kilpatrick kept him at Tennessee; with a considerable force bay till Gen. Mitchell, hearing the drawn from North Carolina and her guns, at 8 A, M. came hastily across seaward defenses under Bragg and with a brigade of infantry of the Hoke, made up, with Wheeler's and 20th corps; when the enemy disap- Hampton's cavalry, a body of not less peared; having inflicted a loss of 19 than 40,000 men, mainly veterans, killed, 61 wounded, and 103 prison- now united under the able and wary ers.
Jo. Johnston. It would no longer anKilpatrick reached Fayetteville, N. swer to move as hitherto; our columns C., on the 11th, and the whole army must be kept well closed up, the corps was concentrated there next day; within easy supporting distance, on when the army tug Davidson and peril of surprise and disaster. the gunboat Eolus steamed up from True to his favorite policy, SherWilmington with news of the capture man again pushed * four divisions of of that city and of all that had oc- his left wing, covered by Kilpatrick, curred during the six weeks that the directly northward to AVERYSBORO', army had been corduroying its way as if intent on Raleigh ; while Slothrough the interminable swamps cum's train, his two remaining diviand pontooning across the swollen sions, and the right wing, moved by streams of South Carolina. At Co- various roads nearly east, toward lumbia, the disastrous fire and the Goldsboro,' his true destination. The bitter hostility of the people had pre- incessant rains had reduced the roads vented the only corps. that entered to a state wherein horses would that city from learning much of the mire almost anywhere, and corduouter world; but here Sherman was roy' was essential wherever guns or in full communication with the Gov- wagons were to be moved. ernment and the cooperating Gen- Sherman was on the left with Sloerals, and able to dispatch full in- cum, who was that day required to structions to Gen. Schofield; who, send up a brigade of infantry to the having been brought around from aid of Kilpatrick, who was skirmishTennessee to Newbern, was preparing heavily in the advance. ing to rëenforce him at Goldsboro'. Next morning, when near Averys
Sherman halted three days at Fay- borough, on approaching the road, etteville ; completely destroying the which runs eastward to Bentonville, U. S. Arsenal and the costly machi- the enemy, under Hardee, was found
19 March 15.
JOHNSTON ATTACKS SLOCUM AT BENTONVILLE. 707
posted on a narrow, swampy neck of while the rest of our army, bearing land between the Cape Fear and to the right, pushed directly for South rivers; his total strength being Goldsborough. estimated at 20,000. Ward's divi | Sherman, supposing the fight all sion of the 20th corps, in our left out of the Rebels for the present, had advance, was deployed, sending for- ridden across to the right wing, and ward a skirmish line, developing a was intent on reaching Goldsborough brigade of infantry behind a light and meeting Schofield, when the field-work, with a battery enfilading sound of guns on the left again chalthe approach. Williams sent Case's lenged his attention. Slocum, apbrigade by a circuit to our left; turn- proaching BENTONVILLE, had been ing the enemy's work, and, by a assailed by Jo. Johnston with the quick charge, driving back the in- entire Rebel army. Couriers from fantry brigade holding it, under Schofield and from Terry now arthe fire of Winnegar's battery, to a rived; the former reporting himself stronger and better line behind it; at Kinston, short of provisions, but whereupon, Ward's division charged able to reach Goldsboro' on the 21st, directly on the retreating foe, cap which he was directed to do; Terry turing 3 guns and 217 prisoners, of being likewise directed to advance. whom 68 were wounded; while 108 Meantime, the several divisions of of the enemy's dead were buried by the right wing were ordered to move Williams on the field.
on rapidly to the relief of the outJackson's division was now sent numbered left. up on the right of Ward, and two Slocum had at first encountered divisions of the 14th corps on the Dibbrell's cavalry; which he was left: while Kilpatrick, massing his driving, when he ran headlong upon cavalry farther to the right, was the whole Confederate army: the directed to feel for the road to Golds- two leading brigades of Carlin's diborough. He had gained that road vision being hurled back on the main with one brigade, when he was body, with a loss of 3 guns and their
Rebel division, and pushed back, properly, stood on the defensive; fighting gallantly; until, at length, showing a front of four divisions, our whole line advanced, driving and throwing up slight barricades; the enemy within his intrenchments while Kilpatrick came into action on and pressing him there till night fell, the left. Here our left received six dark and stormy; under cover of assaults from Johnston's army; holdwhich he retreated, taking the road ing our ground firmly, and inflicting not to Raleigh but to Smithfield. heavy loss on the foe with our arSlocum's loss was 77 killed and tillery -- they having brought up 477 wounded (no prisoners)—which little or none. Johnston had hurmay or may not include that of Kil- ried hither by night from Smithfield, patrick. The enemy's was probably moving very light, expecting to crush about the same. Ward's division Slocum before he could be supported; made a show of pursuing the enemy; but he was mistaken. Night fell
60 March 18.
without giving him any ground; and, Gen. Sherman, after a hasty visit to before morning, Slocum got up his Gens. Terry and Schofield, took 62 wagon-train, with its guard of two the first train of cars that ran to divisions, while Hazen's division of Morehead City, and thence a swift the 15th (Logan's) corps came up on steamer to City Point;" where he his right, rendering his position se- met in council the President, Gens. cure. The enemy not risking fur- Grant, Meade, &c.; returning as ther attacks, Slocum awaited the hurriedly to his army at Goldsboro', coming up of Howard and the entire which he reached on the 30th. right wing; by which time, Johnston had intrenched thoroughly in a strong. We may now narrate the events of position, forming a sort of triangle, the Winter in North Carolina, which with its apex at the front, but facing signally contributed to the final overSlocum on one side and Howard on throw of the Rebellion. the other. Here he was very cau- / WILMINGTON, N. O., had-because tiously approached and felt of by of its location, so convenient for the Sherman, who was aware that Scho supply of ordnance, munitions, &c., field was improving this delay to get to the main Rebel armies, and the possession of Goldsborough in the extraordinary difficulty of precluding enemy's rear, while Gen. Terry ad- the ingress and egress of blockadevanced to the Neuse at Cox's bridge, runners, at this port—been, from the some 10 miles higher up. And now,51 | outset, one of the most important during a heavy rain, under cover of sea-ports of the Confederacy, before, à noisy demonstration along the by the gradual closing of the others, Rebel front, Mower's division of it became the only one of consequence Blair's corps worked around by our that remained accessible. To close right to the enemy's rear; hoping to it, therefore, became at length synonsecure the bridge over Mill creek, ymous with barring all direct and which was his only line of retreat. nearly all commercial intercourse But Johnston was not to be thus between the Confederacy and the caught; nor did he choose to stop non-belligerent world. here and fight 60,000 men with (at Early in the Autumn of 1864, Gen. most) 40,000; so he decamped during Grant proposed to Gen. Butler the the night, retreating on Smithfield dispatch of Brig.-Gens. Weitzel and and Raleigh so suddenly as to leave Graham to reconnoiter Fort FISHER, his pickets behind, as well as his the main defense of the seaward severely wounded.
approaches to Wilmington, to deterOur total loss here was 191 killed, mine its strength, preparatory to a 1,108 wounded, and 344 missing : combined attack. The reconnoisin all, 1,643. We buried here 267 sance was made accordingly, and its Rebel dead, and took 1,625 prison- result duly reported.54 ers—many of them wounded.
The meditated attack was intend: No further resistance being made, ed to have been a virtual surprise, our army moved on to Goldsboro', when the pressure of our armies at where it rested and was rëclad, while all points should have probably re
61 March 21. 62 March 25. 63 March 27. 64 About Sept. 20.
BUTLER AND PORTER OFF WILMINGTON. 709 duced the garrisons of Fort Fisher , at Fortress Monroe till December: and its adjuncts to a minimum ; but thus the expedition did not get fairly even the small number required was off till the 14th. Admiral Porter, not available for this purpose till commanding the naval part of it, October ; when it was judged that was off Beaufort, N. C., on the 16th; the collection and evolutions of a though Gen. Butler, in advance of great fleet in Hampton Roads must the transport fleet, had reached our have attracted the enemy's attention blockaders off Wilmington the night and prompted a rëenforcement of the before. The transports and troops threatened defenses. (The original were at Masonborough inlet, 18 miles plan of the expedition contemplated north, or nearly east of Wilmington. the collection and outfit of this fleet Gen. Grant, it is clear, had not deat or near Port Royal, under the signed that Butler should accompany guise of a demonstration against Fort the expedition, but intended that Sumter and Charleston ; but this was Weitzel should be its commander; overruled by considerations of obvi- yet it is equally plain that, up to a ous convenience.) Meantime, the fer- very late hour, Gen. Butler undoubttile genius of General Butler had ingly understood that he was not been stimulated by the accounts of a merely to fit it out, but personally tremendous gunpowder explosion at command it. So he did. Erith, England, whereby destructive Porter, with his war vessels, areffects had been produced at a con- rived on the 18th, and at once sent siderable distance; and he had con- up the powder-boat Louisiana, intendceived the project of running a ves- ing to explode her forthwith; but, on sel filled with gunpowder under the Butler's remonstrance that the land sea-wall of Fort Fisher, and there forces must be ready to follow up the exploding it; trusting that, at least, explosion with an assault, he counterthe garrison would be so paralyzed manded the order. It appears that by the resulting earthquake as to fa- the Rebels were not aware of the precilitate a prompt seizure of the fort sence or imminence of the expediby its expectant besiegers. Delays tion till the 20th-a few vessels more in preparation occurred, as usual; or less in the offing, where several Gen. Butler was ordered 6s by tele- blockaders were generally visible, graph to New York, to keep the not wearing any special significance. peace there during the Presidential But now, as the wind was high and election; and, when he returned, 56 the sea rough, with a prospect of still the powder experiment had been re- worse weather, the transports put solved on and preparation for it par- back 70 miles to Beaufort, N. C., for tially made. But Gen. Grant now water, &c.; when a storm ensued left the front for a flying visit to his which prevented their return till the family in New Jersey, devolving on 26th. Gen. Butler the chief command; Admiral Porter—who was not on and, when he returned, of the 250 terms of cordiality with Gen. Butler tons of powder required, 100 tons -set to work by himself. He had were still wanting, and did not arrive sent in the powder-boat Louisiana, 56 Nov. 1 1864.
56 Nov. 16.