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[348] army, one of the most important successes of the war. Our loss was: killed, one hundred and ten ; wounded, five hundred and thirty-six. On the sixteenth and seventeenth the enemy abandoned and blew up Fort Caswell, and the works on Smith's Island, which were immediately occupied by us. This gave us entire control of the mouth of the Cape Fear river.

At my request, Major-General B. F. Butler was relieved, and Major-General E. O. C. Ord assigned to the command of the department of Virginia and North Carolina.

The defence of the line of the Tennessee no longer requiring the force which had beaten and nearly destroyed the only army threatening it, I determined to find other fields of operation for General Thomas' surplus troops-fields from which they would cooperate with other movements. General Thomas was therefore directed to collect all troops, not essential to hold his communications at Eastport, in readiness for orders. On the seventh of January General Thomas was directed, if he was assured of the departure of Hood south from Corinth, to send General Schofield, with his corps, east with as little delay as possible. This direction was promptly complied with, and the advance of the corps reached Washington on the twenty-third of the same month, whence it was sent to Fort Fisher and Newbern. On the twenty-sixth he was directed to send General A. J. Smith's command and a division of cavalry to report to General Canby. By the seventh of February the whole force was en route for its destination.

The State of North Carolina was constituted into a military department, and General Schofield assigned to command, and placed under the orders of Major-General Sherman. The following instructions were given him:

City Point, Va., January 31, 1865.
General: * * * Your movements are intended as cooperative with Sherman through the States of South and North Carolina. The first point to be attained is to secure Wilmington. Goldsboroa will then be your objective point, moving either from Wilmington or Newbern, or both, as you deem best. Should you not be able to reach Goldsboroa, you will advance on the line or lines of railway connecting that place with the sea-coast — as near to it as you can, building the road behind you. The enterprise under you has two objects: the first is to give General Sherman material aid, if needed, in his march north; the second, to open a base of supplies for him on his line of march. As soon, therefore, as you can determine which of the two points, Wilmington or Newbern, you can best use for throwing supplies from to the interior, you will commence the accumulation of twenty days rations and forage for sixty thousand men and twenty thousand animals. You will get of these as many as you can house and protect to such point in the interior as you may be able to occupy. I believe General Palmer has received some instructions direct from General Sherman on the subject of securing supplies for his army. You can learn what steps he has taken, and be governed in your requisitions accordingly. A supply of ordnance stores will also be necessary.

Make all requisitions upon the chiefs of their respective departments in the field with me at City Point. Communicate with me by every opportunity; and should you deem it necessary at any time, send a special boat to Fortress Monroe, from which point you can communicate by telegraph.

The supplies referred to in these instructions are exclusive of those required for your own command.

The movements of the enemy may justify, or even make it your imperative duty, to cut loose from your base and strike for the interior to aid Sherman. In such case you will act on your own judgment, without waiting for instructions. You will report, however, what you purpose doing. The details for carrying out these instructions are necessarily left to you. I would urge, however, if I did not know that you are already fully alive to the importance of it, prompt action. Sherman may be looked for in the neighborhood of Goldsboroa any time from the twenty-second to the twenty-eighth of February; this limits your time very materially.

If rolling stock is not secured in the capture of Wilmington, it can be supplied from Washington. A large force of railroad men have already been sent to Beaufort, and other mechanics will go to Fort Fisher in a day or two. On this point I have informed you by telegraph.

Previous to giving these instructions I had visited Fort Fisher, accompanied by General Schofield, for the purpose of seeing for myself the condition of things, and personally conferring with General Terry and Admiral Porter as to what was best to be done.

Anticipating the arrival of General Sherman at Savannah — his army entirely foot-loose, Hood being then before Nashville, Tennessee, the Southern railroads destroyed, so that it would take several months to reestablish a through line from west to east, and regarding the capture of Lee's army as the most important operation toward closing the rebellion — I sent orders to General Sherman on the sixth of December, that after establishing a base on the sea-coast, with necessary garrison, to include all his artillery and cavalry, to come by water to City Point with the balance of his command.

On the eighteenth of December, having received information of the defeat and utter rout of Hood's army by General Thomas, and that, owing to the great difficulty of procuring ocean transportation, it would take over two months to transport Sherman's army, and doubting whether he might not contribute as much

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