order of march of the Federal
army by wings frequently a day's march from each other, and the manner in which those wings had crossed the Catawba and Lynch's Creek
, and seemed by their course to be about to cross the Pedee
, justified me in hoping to find an opportunity to attack one of those columns in the passage of the Cape Fear
when the other was not within supporting distance.
As it had become certain that the first serious opposition to General Sherman
's progress was to be in North Carolina
, I suggested to the general-in-chief
that it was important that the troops of that department should be added to my command.
The suggestion was adopted, and the necessary orders given without loss of time.
had previously authorized me to direct the movements of those troops, should my operations bring me near them.
They were under General Bragg
's command near Goldsboroa, and supposed to amount to six or eight thousand men.
Leaving General Beauregard
to protect the line of railroad from Charlotte
, and to send the troops of the Army of Tennessee, as they arrived, to Smithfield
by railroad, I transferred my headquarters, on the 4th, from Charlotte
, considering the latter as a better point to obtain quick intelligence of the enemy's movements, and to direct those of the Confederate
On the 6th General Bragg
, then at Goldsboroa, informed me that the enemy was approaching Kinston
in “heavy force,” and was then but nine miles from the place.
He suggested that the troops just