HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, (on the nearest dry ground behind the Little Congaree) Near Columbia, South Carolina February 15, 1865
General HOWARD, Commanding Right Wing:
Yours of this date is received. I would like to have Blair try and stampede the guard at the Congaree bridge by a semblance of attack, for which purpose one division to the rear of his trains would cover them all, leaving one to advance on the bridge, burning only the trestles, whilst the other confines its attention to twisting bars. Corse and Woods are now within five or six miles of Sandy Run. I think you can put all the Fifteenth across Sandy Run tomorrow, and Blair’s train and division to Sandy Creek Post-Office, where the Orangeburg and State roads meet. One more march, viz, the day after tomorrow, will bring us easily up abreast of Columbia. Captain Audenried in riding ahead today captured a rebel lieutenant just out of Columbia, and, passing himself off as a rebel, extracted from him much information. The force now at Columbia is small and the people are not expecting us now, thinking that Augusta or Charleston are our objectives. I think Slocum will be abreast of Columbia tomorrow. I will keep with the leading division of this corps.
If you want more roads beyond Sandy Creek you can depend on any number to the left. The country is poor pine land and full of farm roads. Today the road was perfect and there seemed any number running to every point of the compass.
W. T. SHERMAN Major-General, Commanding
Howard Gives Orders for Tomorrow:
The movement tomorrow will be a continuation of today’s operations. The Fifteenth Army Corps, Major General John A. Logan commanding, will hold the right and work forward toward Columbia. The Seventeenth Army Corps, Major General F. P. Blair commanding, will bridge the Congaree Creek near his present position and close up on the left of the Fifteenth Army Corps. All trains will close up on their respective corps as soon as the roads are in readiness. The pontoon trains will move forward and park near the Fifteenth Army Corps.
Logan Gives Orders for His Corp
Should the enemy leave our front during the night, the movements on Columbia, S. C., will be continued tomorrow morning in the following order: Major-General Hazen, commanding Second Division, having the right, will move at 8 a. m. along the State road to that point, the First Division will follow the Second Division; the Fourth Division will follow the First Division. The troops will move in light order; trains to be parked in the fields just this side of Congaree Creek. The ambulance trains and ordnance wagons, with ammunition, to make 100 rounds per man, will move with the troops; the rest of the trains will remain in park. The result of the demonstration ordered for daylight to-morrow will be reported as soon as anything may be ascertained. The Third Division, Major-General Smith commanding, will break camp at 7 a. m., moving forward in rear of the Fourth Division. His train will park with the other trains of the corps, except the ambulance train and a sufficient number of ordnance wagons.