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
's bridge, some 10 miles higher up. And now,1
during a heavy rain, under cover of a noisy demonstration along the Rebel
'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.
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
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
the first train of cars that ran to Morehead City
, and thence a swift steamer to City Point
where he met in council the President
, Gens. Grant
, &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
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