previous next
[708] without giving him any ground; and, before morning, Slocum got up his wagon-train, with its guard of two divisions, while Hazen's division of the 15th (Logan's) corps came up on his right, rendering his position secure. The enemy not risking further attacks, Slocum awaited the coming up of Howard and the entire right wing; by which time, Johnston had intrenched thoroughly in a strong position, forming a sort of triangle, with its apex at the front, but facing Slocum on one side and Howard on the other. Here he was very cautiously approached and felt of by Sherman, who was aware that Schofield was improving this delay to get possession of Goldsborough in the enemy's rear, while Gen. Terry advanced to the Neuse at Cox's bridge, some 10 miles higher up. And now,1 during a heavy rain, under cover of a noisy demonstration along the Rebel front, Mower's division of Blair's corps worked around by our right to the enemy's rear; hoping to secure the bridge over Mill creek, which was his only line of retreat. But Johnston was not to be thus caught; nor did he choose to stop here and fight 60,000 men with (at most) 40,000; so he decamped during the night, retreating on Smithfield and Raleigh so suddenly as to leave his pickets behind, as well as his severely wounded.

Our total loss here was 191 killed, 1,108 wounded, and 344 missing: in all, 1,643. We buried here 267 Rebel dead, and took 1,625 prisoners--many of them wounded.

No further resistance being made, our army moved on to Goldsboroa, where it rested and was reclad, while Gen. Sherman, after a hasty visit to Gens. Terry and Schofield, took2 the first train of cars that ran to Morehead City, and thence a swift steamer to City Point;3 where he met in council the President, Gens. Grant, Meade, &c.; returning as hurriedly to his army at Goldsboroa, which he reached on the 30th.

We may now narrate the events of the Winter in North Carolina, which signally contributed to the final overthrow of the Rebellion.

Wilmington, N. C., had-because of its location, so convenient for the supply of ordnance, munitions, &c., to the main Rebel armies, and the extraordinary difficulty of precluding the ingress and egress of blockade-runners, at this port-been, from the outset, one of the most important sea-ports of the Confederacy, before, by the gradual closing of the others, it became the only one of consequence that remained accessible. To close it, therefore, became at length synonymous with barring all direct and nearly all commercial intercourse between the Confederacy and the non-belligerent world.

Early in the Autumn of 1864, Gen. Grant proposed to Gen. Butler the dispatch of Brig.-Gens. Weitzel and Graham to reconnoiter Fort Fisher, the main defense of the seaward approaches to Wilmington, to determine its strength, preparatory to a combined attack. The reconnoissance was made accordingly, and its result duly reported.4

The meditated attack was intended to have been a virtual surprise, when the pressure of our armies at all points should have probably reduced

1 March 21.

2 March 25.

3 March 27.

4 About Sept. 20.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1864 AD (1)
September 20th (1)
March 27th (1)
March 25th (1)
March 21st (1)
30th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: