Sherman's March Through South Carolina

66 Days of Hell

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14 JAN 1865 - Gen. Howard leaves Beaufort to join Gen. Blair and the XV A.C. Battle at Pocotaligo creek. Federal loss - 2 officers killed and 2 men wounded. Federal forces take the railroad at Pocotaligo Station with a loss of about a dozen men.

15 JAN 1865 - Right wing of Sherman's army reaches Beaufort, SC

17 JAN 1865 - XVII A.C. occupies the Savannah & Charleston railroad. Loss Federal - about 12 men. "The XVII Corps has occupied the Charleston and Savannah railroad which it succeeded in doing with a loss of about a dozen men. I am told here that at one time and another 6,000 men have been lost in attempts to occupy this railroad from this point. Of course we have more men than has at any one time been employed and the enemy are in less confident spirit than at any time before. Yet I am disposed to think that the success with so light a loss is more owing to good military judgement than to any other cause." 5

25 JAN 1865 - 4 straight days of rain reported - all streams uncrossable. Federal estimates up to 20,000 Confederate in front.

"We are about starting on a new campaign and it is not now unlikely we shall be absent from the coast as long as we were between Atlanta and Savannah. We may not be out of reach more than two weeks, quite likely six, but I guess about four. We cannot tell how much the enemy will oppose us, from present indications not very much, but probably more then [sic] in the last campaign. General Grant notifies General Sherman that General Lee shall not send his army, or any portion of it, against this. If that promise can be kept, the enemy has not force enough in our front to hinder us greatly.6

26 JAN 1865 - The XV A.C. leaves Beaufort.

"We know little or nothing about the future. General Sherman says it is to be the greatest campaign yet undertaken. So General Hooker said before Chancellorsville, and he was correct. I hope General Sherman will not be correct in the same sense."7

28 JAN 1865 - Roper's Crossroads

29 JAN 1865 - Federal forces leave Pocataligo for the mid-state. Federal troop strength 60,000 men. Gen. Slocum has crossed the Savannah River above Savannah and is moving towards Branchville.

"The remnants of General Hood's army, left after the battle of Nashville, is moving east and will probably be in our front again." 8

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