dispatched from Virginia
to South Carolina
, his native state, with extraordinary powers to raise men, money, and horses.1
He was supposed by Sherman
to have two small divisions of cavalry in the neighborhood of Columbia
The scattered fragments of Hood
's army were also hurrying rapidly across Georgia
by way of Augusta
, to make junction in the national front; and these, with Hardee
, and Hampton
's troops, would amount to forty thousand men; a formidable force, sufficient, if handled with spirit and energy, to make the passage of rivers like the Santee
and Cape Fear
a difficult undertaking.
therefore instructed Foster
to watch the inland progress as closely as possible, and provide points of security or refuge along the coast, to which the army could turn in case of disaster.
also was directed by the general-in-chief
to make careful and anxious preparations for such a contingency.
It was, however, extremely desirable that Sherman
should reach Goldsboro
at a single stride.
The distance was four hundred and twenty-five miles, but the place was of exceeding importance in any ulterior operations.
is the first point north of Columbia
where any railway running east crosses the great northern and southern line; but here the railroads meet that leave the coast at Wilmington
, therefore, Grant
had directed the coop-erative movement of Schofield
, and, as far as it was possible to determine in a campaign of this peculiar character, Goldsboro
was to be the objective point of Sherman