Saturday, February 4, 1865

Beaufort’s Bridge, South Carolina

The Fifteenth and the Seventeenth Corps will cross the Salkehatchie, at Buford’s Bridge and Rivers’ Bridge, and go into camp on each side of the road on the first favorable ground, with the exception of one division of each corps, to move out and encamp at a distance of three of four miles from the river. The movement will be made as early as possible, so as to enable the men to wash and that those regiments that desire it may have divine service.

As Howard’s wing advances, one brigade shall deploy forward to improve the road and guard the pioneers. One brigade shall remain back to guard supplies.

This campaign will bring the troops of the army in constant proximity to the light troops of the enemy, and the utmost caution is enjoined upon the entire command at all times. Whenever any party of any size is on or off picket the utmost precaution of a regular advance should be observed, and arms ready for use always carried, and to this end the riding in vehicles, excepting the sick, is prohibited. A strict observance of the above by every officer and soldier of the command will save the division many valuable men.

The remainder of Slocum’s wing is finally crossing the Savannah:
General Carlin will cross his division (the wagon trains in advance) tomorrow as soon after dawn as he can get possession of the bridge. He will encamp in a favorable position near the upper landing on the South Carolina shore.

General Baird will cross his division (trains in advance) immediately in rear of
General Carlin, encamping near the upper landing.

Lieutenant-Colonel Moore with his trains, followed by the reserve artillery and corps headquarters, will cross in rear of General Baird.

General Morgan will cross his command (trains in advance) in rear of corps headquarters and encamp as he will hereafter be directed.

Each division commander will cause his trains to be loaded with commissary and quartermaster stores with the least delay possible after his wagons or any of them have reached the upper landing.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, February 4, 1865. 3 a. m.
Brevet Major-General WILLIAMS, Commanding Twentieth Corps:

Inclosed I send you a copy of report just received from Major-General Howard, his operations giving full possession of the Salkehatchie. I desires you to move slowly to the point indicated in the instructions sent this p.m., these operations giving you probably a clear road. It is reported that Wheeler has passed around our front across the Salkehatchie. Please communicate with General Slocum the progress made, and our present situation, and the fact of our being in possession of the Salkehatchie, given by Mower’s assault today; also such other items as will be information for him. We will move as indicated.

P. S. -Send substance of this to Slocum. I think you had better send the bulk of your train under small escort by the direct road to Buford’s Bridge, to which point you may conduct your command around by Allendale Post-Office and Arnold Church, making as much display as possible. Take enough wagons and artillery with you to forage good, and try and be at Buford’s Bridge tomorrow night, so as you can pass the Salkehatchie then without fail. There, probably, we shall move without waiting for Slocum, though I want Kilpatrick up as quick as possible, but he should swing around to Barnwell, but not farther west without orders.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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