Chapter 45: March through the Carolinas; the Battle of Bentonville; Johnston's surrender
I was obliged to detail a brigade to repair the worst places near Falling Creek
As I was observing the rapid and handy work of this (General Clarke
's) brigade, I heard heavy firing in the distance from the direction of Bentonville
; and instantly I sent off our chief of artillery, Major Osborn
, to pass to the rear of Logan
's column and turn Hazen
's division back upon Slocum
's road as quickly as possible, in case the need was evident upon his reaching Hazen
Report was brought to Sherman
and to me that it was only Confederate cavalry that Slocum
had thus far met, and that he was driving it before him. Hazen
's movement was then delayed.
This news made me believe that Johnston
might fall back by the road which crossed Cox's Bridge over the Neuse
That road was the only practicable one for him to pass over in an easterly direction.
I immediately sent Colonel Strong
of my staff to secure the bridge.
He took with him the Tenth Iowa, moved rapidly, drove a few hundred Confederate cavalry before him across the bridge, secured the crossroads near it, and rapidly fortified the position.
The heavy firing continued and seemed to increase, and we very