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[138] to seize the bridge and pass the pickets with so small a force of horsemen.

Duncan's men reported to us that very day the circumstances, so that Giles A. Smith's column could not safely delay any longer. Smith sent forward at once a troop of mounted men. They joined the returning scouts, then followed up the Confederate cavalry as they ran back; when the Confederate rear guard was crossing the river our men soon had possession of the hill where the Fayetteville arsenal was situated.

Just as the last Confederate horseman was clearing the bridge over the Cape Fear, Potts's brigade, the leading one of Smith's division, arrived on the field. Potts first took position on Arsenal Hill, and then quickly deployed his skirmishers along the river bank under instructions to make every endeavor to save the bridge. But the preparation for its destruction was too complete.

The Confederates placed their cannon in a good position on the farther shore, and shelled out skirmishers, regardless of the houses of Fayetteville, while the long bridge was bursting into brilliant flame. As our columns came in from the south roads, Slocum's leading corps, the Fourteenth, entered the town from the northwest. The mayor, doubtless having been attracted by Captain Duncan's daring raid to the southern part of the town, hastened toward us, and so made a formal tender of the city to Lieutenant Colonel Strong of my staff.

Many of our men, mounted foragers and others, were found lying dead in the streets. Remembering Sherman's wishes, as soon as I met Slocum I retired outside the city limits, and there went into camp.

Logan halted his force at least five miles back.

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Giles A. Smith (3)
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