The South Carolina Secessionist
Sherman's March Through South Carolina

Goldsborough, N. C., March 26, 1865.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit a brief report of the operations of the medical department of the Army of the Tennessee during the campaign commencing with the departure of the army from Pocotaligo and ending in the occupation of the town of Goldsborough:

It was not without anxiety that I looked forward to the development of this campaign. The season of the year, the character of the country, and the personal hostility of the citizens all rendered it extremely probable that sickness and large losses would test to the utmost the resources of the medical department of the army. The result of the campaign and the comparatively small loss of life from disease or the efforts of the enemy is a source of gratification. The army left Pocotaligo unencumbered with sick or wounded, all such cases being left in the U.S. general hospitals at Savannah and Beaufort. Full supplies were drawn and were replenished at Columbia, S.C. Notwithstanding the bad weather, bad roads, and the necessary exposure of the campaign, the ratio per 1,000 of men unfit for duty during the campaign has been but 49.26. At no time have we been seriously pressed for accommodation for our sick and wounded. After the affair at Rivers' Bridge, S. G., we were enabled to send to the rear many of the sick and wounded on hand, and again at Fayetteville, N. C., 150 were sent by transports to Wilmington, N. C. The country has furnished a large abundance of nutritious food, and the appearance of the men does not indicate suffering on that account. The hardships of the march have wearied them, and a period of rest is imperatively needed. The heaviest engagement of the campaign fortunately occurred so near the termination of the march as to give us no inconvenience in the removal of the wounded. Our loss in wounded on that occasion was 263. Provision has been made for the sick and wounded in this town until such time as they can be safely removed to general hospitals. I subjoin a brief recapitulation: Number of days marching during campaign, 39; average number miles marched daily, 11 1/2; ratio per 1,000 of mean strength unfit for duty during campaign, 49.26; number wounded on campaign, 697; number deaths from wounds (approximately), 60; number deaths from disease, 46; number sent to rear since leaving Pocotaligo, 280. It is unnecessary for me to say more for the medical staff of the army than that all duties pertaining to it have been discharged with the usual promptitude, cheerfulness, and fidelity.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Army, Acting Medical Director,
Army of the Tennessee.

The Civil War in South Carolina © - 1998 Eastern Digital Resources

The Civil War in South Carolina