Sunday, February 19, 1865

COLUMBIA, South Carolina

We remain in Columbia, General Howard’s troops engaged in tearing up and destroying the railroad, back toward the Wateree. The Third and Fourth divisions of the Seventeenth Corp completed the destruction of the fifteen miles of the Columbia Branch of the South Carolina Railroad. A strong detail, under the immediate supervision of Colonel O. M. Poe, United States Engineers, destroyed the State Arsenal, which was found to be well supplied with shot, shell, and ammunition. These were hauled in wagons to the Saluda River, under the supervision of Colonel Baylor, chief of ordnance, and emptied into deep water, causing a very serious accident by the bursting of a percussion-shell, as it struck another on the margin of the water. The flame followed back a train of powder which had sifted out, reached the wagons, still partially loaded, and exploded them. One commissioned officer and 3 enlisted men were killed, 1 enlisted man mortally wounded, 12 seriously, and 7 slightly wounded and several wagons and teams of mules were destroyed.

We destroyed several valuable founderies and the factory of Confederate money. The dies had been carried away, but about sixty handpresses remained. There was also found an immense quantity of money, in various stages of manufacture, which our men spent and gambled with in the most lavish manner.

Howard Works with the Mayor:

COLUMBIA, S. C., February 19, 1865.
Doctor GOODWYN, Mayor of Columbia, S. C.:
DEAR SIR: I have directed the salt and the other provisions at the depot to be hauled to the new capitol and to be put under your charge. I will also send you some cattle tomorrow at 6:30 o’clock and will leave them in the campus of the college hospital, where you must have them guarded. You will do well to advise the destitute citizens to leave Columbia for the country as far as possible. You had better organize foraging parties, under the direction of reliable citizens, that will go into the country and take provisions in your name, giving a receipt. Some such forced loans will be necessary to relieve the present necessities by the fire. I will furnish you 500 head of cattle, and expect you to provide for destitute citizens, and particularly the negroes that are now here and helpless.
Very respectfully,
O. O. HOWARD, Major-General

Doctor Goodyn takes an oath on the use of arms to be left:

In the name of the citizens of the city of Columbia, I, T. J. Goodwyn, mayor of the city, do pledge my honor that a certain lot of arms and accouterments, to wit, 100 stand of arms, with the ammunition thereto belonging, to be turned over to me by the U. S. military authorities, shall be used in preserving the peace in the city, and shall never be employed in any way against the United States Government or to advance the interests of the so-called Southern Confederacy.
T. J. GOODWYN, Mayor of the City of Columbia, S. C.

We Leave Tomorrow:

SPECIAL Orders, Numbers 43.

Major Reynolds, Fourteenth New York Heavy Artillery, is hereby assigned to the command of all escaped Union officers and soldiers, and will also take charge of all refugees and their conveyances accompanying the army. These officers and soldiers will move with the refugee train as an escort, and from them will be organized a foraging party. One officer will be selected to act as quartermaster and commissary. The train will be assigned its position in the column from day to day. Major Reynolds will report to these headquarters for instructions.

The movement for tomorrow will commence at 7 a.m. The Fifteenth Army Corps, Major General John A. Logan commanding, will march via Davis’ house and cross-roads near Roberts’ to Muddy Springs. The Seventeenth Army Corps, Major General F. P. Blair commanding, will march along the railroad, making a distance of about fifteen miles from Columbia, completing the destruction of the railroad to that point, if not already done. Headquarters will follow the leading division of the Fifteenth Army Corps, and will be near Muddy Springs tomorrow night. The bridge train will follow the second division in order of march of the Seventeenth Army Corps. The refugee train will follow the rear division of the Seventeenth Army Corps along the line of the Winnsborough road. A brigade from each corps will constitute the rear guard, and the brigade commander will be held responsible that every soldier and army attache is out of town when he begins his march. The brigades that are now guarding the town are preferred for this duty.
By order of Major General O. O. Howard:

Slocum Writes:

In the Field, Freshly’s Mill, February 19, 1865. 9 p.m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN:
Davis has crossed the Broad River and Williams will cross tomorrow. We have been much delayed by lack by pontoon boats, not having sufficient to bridge both rivers. Kilpatrick will cross tonight at this point. Tomorrow night the Fourteenth Corps will be at Ebenezer Meeting House, on Little River; the Twentieth will be at about two miles southeast of that point, at the crossing one mile southeast of Kincaid’s. On Tuesday morning the corps will, unless otherwise ordered by you, advance to Winnsborough. We have destroyed eight miles railroad today.

Slocum is having difficulty controlling the foraging and burning among his Corp and bummers. He is advancing to the north, but lacks enough pontoons to ford the flooded rivers. He is taking up pontoons and rushing them forward as soon as the last troops are across.

Kilpatrick Writes:

My people have just burned Pomaria Station. Cheatham’s corps was receiving rations at 12 m. today at Frog Level. He has about 5,000 men and one brigade of cavalry. Other troops are following him. One hundred and fifty thousand rations were at Abbeville for a large force reported on the march from Washington, in Georgia, forty-five miles from Abbeville. My scouts report infantry and some cavalry at or passing through Newberry. I will closely watch all movements of the enemy and report everything of importance. Cheatham has twenty pieces of artillery. He is not moving today, but receiving rations and resting. I cannot learn that he has a pontoon train. (Frog Level is Prosperity Station on the map.) the railroad has several bridges from that point to the river. We have burned them all. One of my brigades is crossing the river, and will push well up the country and give timely notice of any danger. My entire command will cross in the morning, when I will push well up and on the left flank. Cheatham will cross at Ashford’s Ferry, I think; at least his scouting parties have made inquiries about that point. My people were on Heller’s Creek today, and the country is clear. I reached Alston Bridge yesterday at 12 m., but could not save the bridge. We are capturing some prisoners and doing very well. I would give a year’s pay to cross the river to-night at this point.

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