Wednesday, May 3, 1865

Charleston, South Carolina.

We left Port Royal and went into Charleston Harbor, passing the ruins of old Forts Moultrie and Sumter without landing. We reached the city of Charleston, which was held by part of the division of General John P. Hatch, the same that we had left at Pocotaligo. We walked the old familiar streets–Broad, King, Meeting, etc.–but desolation and ruin were everywhere. The heart of the city had been burned during the bombardment, and the rebel garrison at the time of its final evacuation had fired the railroad-depots, which fire had spread, and was only subdued by our troops after they had reached the city.

I inquired for many of my old friends, but they were dead or gone, and of them all I only saw a part of the family of Mrs. Pettigru. I doubt whether any city was ever more terribly punished than Charleston, but, as her people had for years been agitating for war and discord, and had finally inaugurated the civil war by an attack on the small and devoted garrison of Major Anderson, sent there by the General Government to defend them, the judgment of the world will be, that Charleston deserved the fate that befell her.

Major-General GILLMORE, Commanding Department of the South:
I have this moment received the inclosed dispatches from Schofield and Wilson, and send them for your information. It is important that General Wilson should know the substance, also, of General Schofield’s dispatch, which, if sent in cipher, will answer. I will go up to Morehead City tonight, and can send a dispatch through to General Wilson by the telegraph, but the occupation of Augusta and the line of the Savannah is all important.
Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

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