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[377] the bridge, railroad-depot, and stores, and marched to Cheraw by Tiller's and Kelly's Bridges. The left wing was detained from the 23d to the 26th, in consequence of the breaking of its pontoon-bridge by a flood in the Catawba; and the right wing seems to have been as much delayed; probably by bad roads, produced by the rains that caused the freshet.

Wheeler's division of Confederate cavalry, about three thousand effectives, and Butler's, about one thousand, all commanded by Lieutenant-General Hampton, observed and as much as possible impeded this march. Just before the Federal army turned to the east, Lieutenant-General Hampton placed Butler's division on its right flank. By the change of direction, Wheeler's division, previously in front, was on the left flank, and Butler's in front, in the march from the Catawba to the Pedee. The service expected of this cavalry was, to retard the enemy's progress, and as much as possible to protect the people of the country from exactions of Federal foraging-parties, and robbery by stragglers.

Having received information, on the evening of the 3d, that Stewart's troops had reached the railroad at Chester, and that Cheatham's were near that point; and feeling confident from Lieutenant-General Hardee's reports of his own movements, and Lieutenant-General Hampton's of those of the enemy, that the former had secured the passage of the Pedee at Cheraw; it seemed to me practicable to unite those troops, Stewart's, Cheatham's, and Stevenson's, near Fayetteville, in time to engage one of the enemy's columns while crossing the Cape Fear. The

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