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[154] Pearce's Mill, and so northward to Warrenton. Schofield's army was to take a central route, passing by Whitley's Mill, and on to Rolesville, and thence to Warrenton; while Kilpatrick's cavalry, preceding my column, was to clear the way, watch the right flank, and get to Weldon as soon as practicable.

The instant we had passed the Roanoke arrangements were made with supply vessels and with Admiral Porter of the navy, to change our depots from New Berne and Kinston to Winton and Murfreesboro. Sherman promised to be habitually with the center column. He demanded a report each night from all of us as to “whether anything material had occurred during the day.”

We were filled with animation, and hastily putting things to rights, when, sometime during the day of April 6th, news reached us which changed the whole programme. The news was: General Robert E. Lee's troops of North Virginia were rushing with no little disorder for Danville, and Grant's army was doing its best to head them off. It was evident that no effort of ours could now prevent a junction of Lee and Johnston, should Lee succeed in escaping from Grant; so Sherman at once changed his programme. He now ordered a general movement upon Raleigh.

April 12th from his headquarters at Smithfield which Johnston had evacuated before we came, Sherman sent us these cheering words: “The general commanding announces to the army that he has an official notice from General Grant that General Lee surrendered to him his entire army on the 9th inst., at Appomattox Court House, Va. Glory to God and our country, and all honor to our comrades in arms toward whom we are marching!”

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