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Chapter 23: end of the War.--from Goldsboro'to Raleigh and Washington. April and May, 1865.

As before described, the armies commanded respectively by Generals J. M. Schofield, A. H. Terry, and myself, effected a junction in and about Goldsboroa, North Carolina, during the 22d and 23d of March, 1865, but it required a few days for all the troops and trains of wagons to reach their respective camps. In person I reached Goldsboroa on the 23d, and met General Schofield, who described fully his operations in North Carolina up to that date; and I also found Lieutenant Dunn, aide-decamp to General Grant, with a letter from him of March 16th, giving a general description of the state of facts about City Point. The next day I received another letter, more full, dated the 22d, which I give herewith.

Nevertheless, I deemed it of great importance that I should have a personal interview with the general, and determined to go in person to City Point as soon as the repairs of the railroad, then in progress under the personal direction of Colonel W. W. Wright, would permit:

headquarters armies of the United States, City Point, Virginia, March 22, 1865.
Major-General W. T. Sherman, commanding Military Division of the Mississippi.
General: Although the Richmond papers do not communicate the fact, yet I saw enough in them to satisfy me that you occupied Goldsboroa on the 19th inst. I congratulate you and the army on what may be regarded as [323] the successful termination of the third campaign since leaving the Tennessee River, less than one year ago.

Since Sheridan's very successful raid north of the James, the enemy are left dependent on the Southside and Danville roads for all their supplies. These I hope to cut next week. Sheridan is at “White house,” shoeing up and resting his cavalry. I expect him to finish by Friday night and to start the following morning, via Long Bridge, Newmarket, Bermuda Hundred, and the extreme left of the army around Petersburg. Ie will make no halt with the armies operating here, but will be joined by a division of cavalry, five thousand five hundred strong, from the Army of the Potomac, and will proceed directly to the Southside and Danville roads. His instructions will be to strike the Southside road as near Petersburg as he can, and destroy it so that it cannot be repaired for three or four days, and push on to the Danville road, as near to the Appomattox as he can get. Then I want him to destroy the road toward Burkesville as far as he can; then push on to the Southside road, west of Burkesville, and destroy ft effectually. From that point I shall probably leave it to his discretion either to return to this army, crossing the Danville road south of Burkesville, or go and join you, passing between Danville and Greensboroa. When this movement commences I shall move out by my left, with all the force I can, holding present intrenched lines. I shall start with no distinct view, further than holding Lee's forces from following Sheridan. But I shall be along myself, and will take advantage of any thing that turns up. If Lee detaches, I will attack; or if he comes out of his lines I will endeavor to repulse him, and follow it up to the best advantage.

It is most difficult to understand what the rebels intend to do; so far but few troops have been detached from Lee's army. Much machinery has been removed, and material has been sent to Lynchburg, showing a disposition to go there. Points, too, have been fortified on the Danville road.

Lee's army is much demoralized, and great numbers are deserting. Probably, from returned prisoners, and such conscripts as can be picked up, his numbers may be kept up. I estimate his force now at about sixty-five thousand men.

Wilson started on Monday, with twelve thousand cavalry, from Eastport. Stoneman started on the same day, from East Tennessee, toward Lynchburg. Thomas is moving the Fourth Corps to Bull's Gap. Canby is moving with a formidable force on Mobile and the interior of Alabama.

I ordered Gillmore, as soon as the fall of Charleston was known, to hold all important posts on the sea-coast, and to send to.Wilmington all surplus forces. Thomas was also directed to forward to Newbern all troops belonging to the corps with you. I understand this will give you about five thousand men, besides those brought east by Meagher.

I have been telegraphing General Meigs to hasten up locomotives and [324] cars for you. General McCallum, he informs me, is attending to it. I fear they are not going forward as fast as I would like.

Let me know if you want more troops, or any thing else.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General.

The railroad was repaired to Goldsboroa by the evening of March 25th, when, leaving General Schofield in chief command, with a couple of staff-officers I started for City Point, Virginia, on a locomotive, in company with Colonel Wright, the constructing engineer. We reached Newbern that evening, which was passed in the company of General Palmer and his accomplished lady, and early the next morning we continued on to Morehead City, where General Easton had provided for us the small captured steamer Russia, Captain Smith. We put to sea at once and steamed up the coast, reaching Fortress Monroe on the morning of the 27th, where I landed and telegraphed to my brother, Senator Sherman, at Washington, inviting him to come down and return with me to Goldsboroa. We proceeded on up James River to City Point, which we reached the same afternoon. I found General Grant, with his family and staff, occupying a pretty group of huts on the bank of James River, overlooking the harbor, which was full of vessels of all classes, both war and merchant, with wharves and warehouses on an extensive scale. The general received me most heartily, and we talked over matters very fully. After I had been with him an hour or so, he remarked that the President, Mr. Lincoln, was then on board the steamer River Queen, lying at the wharf, and he proposed that we should call and see him. We walked down to the wharf, went on board, and found Mr. Lincoln alone, in the after-cabin. He remembered me perfectly, and at once engaged in a most interesting conversation. He was full of curiosity about the many incidents of our great march, which had reached him officially and through the newspapers, and seemed to enjoy very much the more ludicrous parts — about the “bummers,” and their devices to collect food and forage when the outside world supposed us to be starving; but at the same [325] time he expressed a good deal of anxiety lest some accident might happen to the army in North Carolina during my absence. I explained to him that that army was snug and comfortable, in good camps, at Goldsboroa; that it would require some days to collect forage and food for another march; and that

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