On the 23d, Major-General Sherman
united his own army and that of Major-General Schofield
It was uncertain whether his march to Virginia
would be through Raleigh
, or by the most direct route, that through Weldon
So the Confederate army was placed between the two roads, in order to be able to precede him on either; and, to make the junction of the Army of Northern Virginia with it practicable, should General Lee
determine to abandon his intrenchments to fall upon Sherman
's army with our united forces.
The cavalry was, at the same time placed in close observation of the enemy-Wheeler
's division on the north, and Butler
's on the west of their camps around Goldsboroa.
We learned, from prisoners captured occasionally, that the United States troops did not expect to resume their march very soon, but to remain in their present camps for some weeks, to rest, and receive such supplies as they needed.
This pause was advantageous to us too; for it gave time for the arrival of several thousand men of the Army of Tennessee coming along the route through Georgia
in detachments, to rejoin their corps.
Most of them were united into one body in Augusta
, by Lieutenant-General S. D. Lee
Many, indeed the greater number of these veterans, were unarmed; and all the exertions of two excellent officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Kennard
, chief ordnance-officer, and Captain Vanderford
, his assistant, could not procure infantry arms as fast as they were required, the Ordnance Department1
being unable to furnish the number,