under one common, competent head, to whom all subordinates are alike responsible, the military system becomes as nearly perfect as possible.
While the transports were detained by an ice blockade in the Potomac
, I joined General Grant
at Fort Monroe
, and went with him on the war-steamer Rhode Island
to Cape Fear River
, where we met General Terry
and Admiral Porter
, discussed the military situation, and decided on the general plan of operations for the capture of the defenses of Cape Fear River
and the city of Wilmington
, and subsequent operations.
On our return to Fort Monroe
, I proceeded to Washington
, and sailed with the advance of the Twenty-third Corps, arriving at the mouth of Cape Fear River
on February 9, 1865, where we joined General Terry
, who with two divisions had already captured Fort Fisher
I was then assigned to command the new department of North Carolina.
We turned the defenses of Cape Fear River
by marching round the swamps, and occupied Wilmington
with little loss; then we captured Kinston
, after a pretty sharp fight of three days, and occupied Goldsboroa on March 21, within one day of the time indicated by Sherman
, from Laurel Hill, N. C.
, March 8, for our junction at Goldsboroa.
, who had been delayed by his battle at Bentonville
, did not reach Goldsboroa until the 23d, but the sound of his guns on the 20th and 21st informed me that he was near, and I put a bridge across the Neuse River
, so as to go to his assistance if necessary.
After the junction at Goldsboroa, I commanded the ‘center,’ one of the three grand divisions of Sherman
For the elucidation of some things in this campaign which have seemed obscure, and some acts of General Sherman
which have been severely criticized, it is necessary to know the ruling ideas which actuated him. As Sherman
says, in his own estimate of the relative importance