Hanging Rock, South Carolina
The countryside is wet. Howard was to move tomorrow at 7 a.m. on Cheraw, concentrating at that point on the 1st of March. The Fifteenth Army Corps was to cross Lynch’s Creek but cannot on account of the flooding, some three-quarters of a mile wide, and, for some distance in many places, swimming to a horse. The roads are bad and several miles must be corduroyed. The water has risen considerably and it will be impossible to cross any more of the train until the water subsides. Perhaps by tomorrow morning the water will fall so that the wagons can be crossed without difficulty. They will be delayed.
Hazen’s foragers have captured the town of Camden. Foragers skirmished up to the suburbs of the town, were twice repulsed, but on the evening of the 23rd entered the town, capturing several militiamen. On the on the morning of the 24th a party of foragers approaching the left of the town were captured by a small party of Hampton’s cavalry, but those approaching from the right carried the town, releasing their comrades and killing one militiamen.
There was found in town 50,000 rations of corn meal and several thousand bales of cotton, all of which was burned.
Genearal Howard Reports From the Right Wing:
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Near Williams’ Cross-Roads, February 25, 1865.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
Your dispatch of yesterday is just received. General Logan’s head of column reached West’s Cross-Roads, near De Bruhl’s, where he encamped two divisions last night. His other two divisions are heading on the same road, having moved toward Camden as far as Saunders’ Creek, and then taking a cross-road directly toward Tillersville. I have today sent my headquarters escort, signal party, and scouts with instructions to go to Camden, burn the depot and bridge, and then rejoin us. I also directed General Logan to send all his mounted men to secure and hold Tiller’s Bridge.
The rest of Logan’s command will remain in camp today. General Blair’s head of column encamped near Flat Rock last night. As soon as he gets near enough he will send his mounted infantry straight to Young’s Bridge.
Considering the rain the roads in this quarter are not bad, though the farms are not very productive, and a good ways apart. My scouts, day before yesterday, under Lieutenant McQueen, stampeded a force of the enemy near Camden, captured three prisoners, and broke up twelve or fifteen muskets. General Logan’s scouts were near Camden yesterday, and encountered some mounted militia, but no great force. The advance yesterday captured some 50 or 60 refugee wagons and a large number of fine mules. General John E. Smith’s foragers captured about 70 militia. It is said they gave themselves up. General Blair’s advance encountered a few rebel cavalry near Flat Rock last night. We have a good many prisoners, who left Charleston Thursday.
The information is positive that Charleston is in our hands. A dispatch was received in Camden yesterday stating that Wilmington was in possession of our forces.
At the last crossing about 2,000 horses and mules were taken from men not authorized to use them. The unserviceable were killed. The artillery and mounted men and pontoon trains were refitted. I believe I understand your views fully, and will not hasten my march too much, and will carefully consider the propriety of sending a force to Florence. I think I might at least secure some rolling-stock above Black Creek by tapping the railroad near Darlington. I could send a division light to Darlington with mounted infantry. Thence the latter could move down to Florence and vicinity, burn bridges, trestle-work, &c., and return. This could be accomplished and the entire expedition reach Cheraw in five days, causing us to wait at Cheraw about three days. Please say if your movements on the left will admit of that amount of delay. My headquarters tomorrow night will be at Tillersville Post-Office. Please communicate with me through General Blair.
This will probably reach you in time to answer tonight, as the rear of General Blair’s column will not be farther than Williams’ Cross-Roads.
O. O. HOWARD, Major-General