|Page 1112||Chapter LIX]OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA.|
near here to-night, and then be ready to move as circumstances require. I wish to have Butler with me, so as to operate to more advantage. Can you not let me have a small battery till mine comes up l I am now near Bethel Church, on the road to Tlockingham, aud three miles below Grassy Island Ford. As soon as my command can be concen- trated I shall move round the left flank of the enemy to his front. Do let me hear from you. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, WADE HAMPTON. Lieutenant-General HARDEE. LASSELLES HOUSE, NEAR INTERSECTION OF SMITHFIELD AND GOLDSBOROUGH ROADS, March 17, 18657.15 a. m. GENERAL: I find the enemy on the roads leading from Starlings and Grahams Bridges. They camped last night where the road from the latter to Goldsborough crosses the Clinton and Smithfield road. I shall leave a strong picket at McDonalds Cross-Roads, with direc- tions to fall back, if forced to do so, on the Smithfield road, thus cover- ing your line of march. The rest of the force here I shall put on the Goldsborough road to assist in covering that point. If any portion of my command is now on the Smithfield road, and you can spare it, do send it on to Goldsborough road to join me. I shall be on the latter road to-day. If General Wheeler is with you will you advise him of my movements l I should like to hear the result of your fight yester- day. I hope it was successful, and that your casualties were light. WADE HAMPTON, Lieutenant- General. Lieutenant-General HARDEE. HEADQUARTERS, One Mile west of Coles House, March 18, 18G552.30 p. m. GENERAL: I took position at this place, the junction of the I~ayette- ville and Goldsborough with the Averasborough and Goldsborough roads, two hours ago, and have been skirmishing with the enemy since. I can hold him here for several hours more and I do not think his advance will get beyond this point to-night. One regiment was sent on the Smithfield road with directions to watch the enemy and report all his movements to you. He may push one column up that road in hopes of crossing the river above and below Goldsborough at the same time. Wheeler can guard all the roads leading toward Smithfield from west and south, and I have written to him to do so. As soon as he can spare any troops from that duty I wish them to join me. The infantry have not yet reached this point. I have not yet learned the strength of the force opposed to me, nor what force it is, but I hope to get some prisoners soon. I think the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps camped near Beamans Cross-Roads last night. WADE HAMPTON, Lieutenant- General. General JOHNSTON. I have not communicated with General Hardee since my last dis- patch of last night, as I do not know his position, and I suppose you keep him advised of all information. W. H.
|Page 1112||OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA.|