Sherman, directing me to withdraw from the city and release my prisoners. No such despatch ever reached me, and had it done so in the most unquestionable form I should have obeyed it with great reluctance, and not until I had received every possible assurance that the case had been fully understood. At six P. M. on the twenty-first, I received the following message from General Sherman, and though not in reply to mine, I regarded it as convincing proof that an armistice had actually been agreed upon:
I therefore issued the necessary orders to carry it into effect, and determined to suspend operations till I received orders to renew them, or till circumstances apparent to me should seem to justify independent action. General Cobb gave me every assistance in his power in the collection of supplies for my command. He directed his quartermasters and commissaries throughout the State, particularly in South-Western Georgia, to ship their grain and provisions to me, and this before any terms of capitulation had been made known to him or myself. I had about seventeen thousand men, besides prisoners, and twenty-two thousand animals to feed, and to have been compelled to forage for them would have resulted in the devastation of the entire country in the vicinity of the city. On the thirtieth of April General Croxton, with his brigade, last heard of through General Forrest, arrived at Forsyth, and the next day marched to this place. After having skirmished with Jackson's force, estimated correctly at two thousand six hundred men, near Trion, on the morning of April second, he determined to effect by strategy what he could not expect to do by fighting, having with him only one thousand one hundred men; he, therefore, marched rapidly toward Johnson's ferry, on the Black Warrior river, forty miles above Tuscaloosa, threw Jackson completely off his guard by a simulated fight, crossed his brigade to the west side of the river, and turned toward Northport, where he arrived at nine P. M. April fourth. About midnight, fearing that his presence must become known, he surprised the force stationed on the bridge, and crossed into Tuscaloosa. He captured three guns, one hundred and fifty prisoners, and after daylight scattered the Militia and State Cadets, destroyed the military school, the stores, and public works. He remained at that place until the fifth, trying to communicate with General McCook, or to hear from me, but without success. Knowing that Jackson and Chalmers were both on the west side of the Cahawba, he thought it too hazardous to attempt a march by the way of Centreville, and therefore decided to move toward Eutaw in the hope of crossing the Warrior lower down, and breaking the railroad between Selma and Demopolis. Accordingly he abandoned Tuscaloosa, burned the bridge across the Black Warrior, and struck off to the south-east. When within seven miles of Eutaw he heard of the arrival at that place of Wirt Adams' division of cavalry, numbering two thousand six hundred men. Fearing to risk an engagement with a superior force, backed by the militia, he countermarched, and moved again in the direction of Tuscaloosa, leaving it to the right, passed on through Jasper, recrossed the west fork of the Warrior river at Hailby's mill, marched nearly due east, by the way of Mount Penson and Trussville, crossed the Coosa at Truss and Collins' ferries, and marched to Talladega. Near this place he met and scattered a force of rebels under General Hill, captured one hundred and fifty prisoners and one gun, and moved on toward Blue mountain, the terminus of the Alabama and Tennessee railroad.After destroying all the iron works and factories left by us in Northern Alabama and Georgia, he continued his march by Carrolton, Newnan, and Forsyth, to this place. He had no knowledge of any movements except what he got from rumor, but fully expected to form a junction with me at this place or at Augusta. The admirable judgment and sagacity displayed by General Croxton throughout his march of over six hundred and fifty miles inheadquarters Greensboro, N. C., April 21, 1865--2 P. M.The following is a copy of a communication just received, which will be sent you to-day by an officer:
Major-General Wilson, Commanding Cavalry, Army United States, through Major-General H. Cobb:Please communicate above to the Federal commander.Headquarters military division, Mississippi, Raleigh, April 20, 1865.General Joseph E. Johnston has agreed with me for a universal suspension of hostilities, looking to a peace over the whole surface of our country. I feel assured that it will be made perfect in a few days You will, therefore, desist from further acts of war and devastation until you hear that hostilities are resumed. For the convenience of supplying your command you may either contract for supplies down about Fort Valley or the old Chattahoochee arsenal, or if you are south of West Point, Georgia, in the neighborhood of Rome and Kingston, opening up communication and a route of supplies with Chattanooga and Cleveland. Report to me your position through General Johnston, as also round by sea. You may also advise General Canby of your position and the substance of this, which I have also sent round by sea.
Major-General Wilson, Commanding Cavalry, United States Army, in Georgia:W. T. Sherman, Major-General Commanding.