|Page 1077||Chapter LIX]THE CAMPAIGN OF THE CAROLINAS.|
Report of prisoners captured at Bentoiiville N. C on March 19 20 , , and 21, 1865, by ilardees corps, given in obedience to circular from army headquarters dated March 26, 1865. Prisoners captured. Command. Mar. 19. 1 Mar. 20. Mar. 21. Total. Hokes division 9 12 21 MeLaws division 87 Taliaferros division 6 ....~ 6 Total , 114 Respectfully submitted. T.B. ROY, Assistant Adjutant- General. No. 288. Reports of General Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, of operations February 21March 15. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA, Rockftsh Creek, Duplin County, February 25, 1865. COLONEL: On my arrival at Wilmington on the 21st from Richmond, having delayed a few hours at Raleigh and Goldsborough 011 important official business, I found the enemy had drivemi our forces from the west bank of the Cape Fear, and were in full possession opposite the town. The corps under Major-General Terry, engaged in the capture of Fort Fisher, had been re-enforced by Major-General Schofields corps from Tennessee, making a total of nearly 20,000. Our own force, of all arms, did not exceed 6,500 effectives, including reserves and cavalry. Holding his intrenched position in front of iloke, on the east of the river, General Schofield moved with a corps to Smithville, and then by a land march west of Orton Pond, turned our position at Fort Ander- son, compelling Brigadier-General Hagood, with his garrison of 2,000, to abandon the work or be cut off~ and forced to surrender. He fought his way to Wilmington successfully, losing about 350 of his command. This rendered our continued occupation of the town very hazardous to the whole command, at the same time that we were very much embarrassed to save our stores on account of the large number of the enemys prisoners forwarded for delivery, the Federal commander hav- ing refused to receive them. By the active and efficient operation of the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad, we succeeded in getting off all the prisoners able to travel and all important stores. Some naval stores and a small lot of cotton and tobacco were destroyed by fire. These could have been saved but for the occupation of the trains in carrying prisoners. No doubt some of the articles mentioned were secreted in small quantities in private houses, but the amount was inconsiderable. Before daylight on the 22d I withdrew the troops successfully to the north side of the Northeast River. The pursuit of the enemy was feeble, owing, no doubt, to his occupation at the time, as we since learn, in throwing a corps by way of Masonborough Sound to gain our rear, and thus cut off our only route of retreat.
|Page 1077||THE CAMPAIGN OF THE CAROLINAS.|