PROVISIONAL ARMY CORPS
PROVISIONAL ARMY CORPS
[February.]--The command was encamped on Federal Point, N. C.
February 11.--Reconnaissance in force drove in the skirmish line of the enemy, and ascertained that three brigades of Hoke's division were intrenched in a strong position at Sugar Loaf Hill.
February 17.--The Second Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, Bvt. Maj. Gen. A. Ames commanding, crossed the Cape Fear River from Federal Point to Smithville, N. C., and participated in the flank movement which caused the evaluation of Fort Anderson, recrossing the river and rejoining the command on the 20th instant.
February 22.--Deserters having brought in the information that Hoke had evacuated his line at Sugar Loaf Hill, the command advanced and entered Wilmington, passing through the city and overtaking the enemy's rear guard at Smith's Creek, one mile beyond the city, and by a vigorous pursuit drove them across the bridges at Smith's Creek and Northeast River, ten miles from Wilmington, saving the bridges at both points despite the attempts of the enemy to destroy them. It being impossible to continue the pursuit beyond the Northeast Station for want of transportation for supplies the command remained at that point for the rest of the month.
[March.]--The corps remained in camp until the 15th, at which date, in pursuance to instructions from Major-General Sherman, the command marched for Faison's Depot, on the Weldon railroad, sixty miles north of Wilmington, leaving the Second Brigade, First Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, to garrison that city and the forts at the mouth of Cape Fear River.
March 15.--Marched from Wilmington to Northeast River; ten miles.
March 16.--Marched from Northeast River to Burgaw Creek; fifteen miles.
March 17.--Marched from Burgaw Creek to South Washington; ten miles.
March 18.--Marched from South Washington to Island Creek; ------- miles.March 19.--Marched from Island Creek through Kenansville; twenty miles.
March 20.--Marched from Kenansville through Mount Olive to Thunner Swamp; twenty-two miles.
March 21.--Marched from Thunder Swamp to Cox's Bridge; eight miles. On the night of the 21st, Cox's Bridge having been burned, a pontoon bridge was thrown across the Neuse, by which the Second Brigade, Third Division, Twenty-fifth Army Corps, immediately crossed and intrenched themselves on the north bank of the river.
March 22.--The First Brigade, of the same division, with Light Company E, Third U.S. Artillery, also crossed the Neuse and intrenched under the immediate supervision of Brig. Gen. C. J. Paine, commanding division.
March 23.--The pickets of the Third Division were driven in by a reconnaissance of the enemy, who were in turn driven back from the main line.
March 21.--By order of Major-General Schofield that portion of the command on the north side of the Neuse crossed to the south bank and encamped for the night.March 25.--The command marched to Faison's Station, on the Weldon railroad (sixteen miles), and remained at that point during the remainder of the month, the Third Brigade, Second Division, Twenty fourth Army Corps, and the First U.S. Colored Troops, of the Third Division, Twenty-fifth Army Corps, garrisoning the railroad between Faison's Station and Northeast River.
Researched and Compiled