Tuesday, February 21, 1865

Winnsboro, South Carolina

We reached Winnsboro today and I found General Slocum, with the left wing, who had come by the way of Alston. I ordered the right wing eastward toward Cheraw, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, to cross the Catawba River at Peay’s Ferry. The cavalry was ordered to follow the railroad north as far as Chester, and then to turn east to Rocky Mount, the point indicated for the passage of the left wing.

General Howard Reports:

I arrived at Harrison Crossroads about 1 p.m. My headquarters are at the house of Dr. Boyd near the cross-roads which leads to Poplar Springs. It is five miles from this point to Poplar Springs. General Corse, who leads today, will push out on that road some distance. General Woods’ division was marched to Longtown with a view to making a demonstration at Mickles’ Ferry. It will join us at Peay’s Ferry, the next ferry north.

Winnsborough, February 21, 1865. 6 p.m.
Major-General HOWARD:
Generals Slocum and Davis are here. Slocum sends his pontoons and wagons tomorrow straight for the ferry at Rocky Mount Post-Office by Gladden’s Grove. He will keep four divisions breaking road up as far as the Chester District line, and aims to cross his whole command the day after tomorrow. Let Blair finish up the road good to this point, and then assemble at Poplar Srpings and effect a crossing of the Wateree, prepared to get all across the day after tomorrow. Slocum will assemble his command at Gladden’s. Communicate with me there or at Rocky Mount. After crossing, Slocum and the cavalry will have the road from Lancaster to Chesterfield and you from your ferry straight for Cheraw, dipping a little south, to get on the Camden road. I will keep with the Twentieth Corps, which is Slocum’s right.
Yours,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Winnsborough, February 21, 1865.
Major-General KILPATRICK, Commanding Cavalry:
I presume you now to be about Lemon’s or Buckhead Post-Office, and base my present calculations on that supposition. I would like you to move with your whole force to the neighborhood of Black Stocks Depot or Springwell Post-Office, taking position and maneuvering so as to seem to be the advance of the whole army in the direction of Chesterville and Charlotte, and to cover General Davis’ operations in breaking up the railroad as far as he can during tomorrow and next day. As soon as Davis withdraws to cross the Catawba, move with him and cross to the east bank of the Catawba (or Wateree) on Slocum’s pontoons, which will be laid at Rocky Mount Post-Office. I would like to have you all across during the night of the 23rd, so you can move next day on Lancaster.

I would like to have the railroad bridge across Broad River at the mouth of Tiger burned, and think the enemy himself will burn it if you approach it or send a small party to threaten it; also several of the bridges and trestles on the same railroad below where it crosses Broad River about Ashford’s Ferry and Dawkins’. I hope you have already damaged that road considerably. I wish, as a rule, whenever you are near a railroad, you will, unless cautioned otherwise, have your men burn bridges, depots, and water-tanks, and break switches; also, all sawmills should be destroyed, not only burned, but the engines and boilers disabled. Davis will be near you and will be at hand in case of need, but I don’t want you to be drawn off so that you can not have your trains and men ready to pass the pontoon during the night of the 23rd. Better caution your commanders so as to keep in the foragers, else they will be left behind, as some were about Columbia. I will be with this wing some days, and should like to see you either here, or, better, at the bridge in crossing the Catawba. I inclose you General Slocum’s orders for tomorrow and next day. General Howard will be at Poplar Spring and Peay’s Ferry.
Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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