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[706] charging on foot, lie retook his headquarters and guns, just as the enemy were harnessing the horses to draw them off, and opened upon their receding backs when scarcely twenty paces distant, quickening the pace of all who still retained the power of locomotion. Hampton soon rallied his command, and tried hard to regain all that he had so suddenly won and lost; but Kilpatrick kept him at bay till Gen. Mitchell, hearing the guns, at 8 A. M. came hastily across with a brigade of infantry of the 20th corps; when the enemy disappeared; having inflicted a loss of 19 killed, 61 wounded, and 103 prisoners.

Kilpatrick reached Fayetteville, N. C., on the 11th, and the whole army was concentrated there next day; when the army tug Davidson and the gunboat Eolus steamed up from Wilmington with news of the capture of that city and of all that had occurred during the six weeks that the army had been corduroying its way through the interminable swamps and pontooning across the swollen streams of South Carolina. At Columbia, the disastrous fire and the bitter hostility of the people had prevented the only corps that entered that city from learning much of the outer world; but here Sherman was in full communication with the Government and the cooperating Generals, and able to dispatch full instructions to Gen. Schofield; who, having been brought around from Tennessee to Newbern, was preparing to reenforce him at Goldsboroa.

Sherman halted three days at Fayetteville; completely destroying the U. S. Arsenal and the costly machinery which had been brought hither from the U. S. armory at Harper's Ferry on its first capture in April, 1861. His army greatly needed rest; and besides, there was reason now to apprehend other resistance than that afforded by the swamps, the streams, and the elements. Hardee from Savannah and Charleston; Beauregard from Columbia; Cheatham from the Tennessee; with a considerable force drawn from North Carolina and her seaward defenses under Bragg and Hoke, made up, with Wheeler's and Hampton's cavalry, a body of not less than 40,000 men, mainly veterans, now united under the able and wary Jo. Johnston. It would no longer answer to move as hitherto; our columns must be kept well closed up, the corps within easy supporting distance, on peril of surprise and disaster.

True to his favorite policy, Sherman again pushed1 four divisions of his left wing, covered by Kilpatrick, directly northward to Averysboroa, as if intent on Raleigh; while Slocum's train, his two remaining divisions, and the right wing, moved by various roads nearly east, toward Goldsboroa, his true destination. The incessant rains had reduced the roads to a state wherein horses would mire almost anywhere, and “corduroy ” was essential wherever guns or wagons were to be moved.

Sherman was on the left with Slocum, who was that day required to send up a brigade of infantry to the aid of Kilpatrick, who was skirmishing heavily in the advance.

Next morning, when near Averysborough, on approaching the road, which runs eastward to Bentonville, the enemy, under Hardee, was found

1 March 15.

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