Posted on Nov 26, 2012 in 1865 | 0 comments

February, 1865 – Capture of Columbia

Beginning Location:  Near McPhersonville, South Carolina.

Feb. 1

Wednesday. Reveille at 5, marched at 6. Our company rear guard.  Skirmishing by our advance with Wheeler’s Cavalry, 2 men killed. Camped at Hickory Grove at sundown after marching 14 miles.

Feb. 2

Marched at 4pm as train guards. Camped after marching 8 miles. Camped at 9 at night.

Feb. 3

Reveille at 5. Marched at 6 through swampy and sandy roads, turned north crossed a large swamp. Camped after marching 16 miles, near Whippy Swamp and Jackson’s Branch. [ See also Battle of River’s Bridge]

Feb. 4

Marched at 7 am in the direction of Will Branch, halted at 11 am on account of bridges being destroyed. Went into camp at 5pm. Marched 8 miles. Weather fine and warm.

Feb. 5

Sabbath. Reveille at 5, took up our line of march at break of day, crossed Willa Creek and swamp at Bufort Bridge. Marched 5 miles and camped in an open field and fortified. Preaching at 2pm and social meeting at night.

Feb. 6

Marched at 7 am with the 3rd Division in advance. Come to the Little Salkehatchie where we halted while the 3rd Div. charged the rebs and drove them from their works. When we crossed over and went into camp after marching 12 miles.

Feb. 7

Mooved at 6am, our Division in front. Struck the RR at Spring Station and commenced destroying the RR and burning cotton to the amount of $200,000 worth. Today it rained all day. Went into camp at dark, tired and hungry. Marched 7 miles.

Destruction of the railroad by Sherman’s Army

Feb. 8

Remained at Branberg [Bamberg] or Spring Station and finished tearing up the RR, burning the ties and twisting the Iron. Weather windy and cold.

Feb. 9

Left our camp at Branberg [Bamberg] at 8 o’clock. Took up the Augusta and Charleston Dirt Road. March 12 miles and went into Lee’s Turn Off.

Feb. 10

Remained in camp up to 11 am when our brigade were ordered out to destroy the RR leading from Augusta to Charleston.

Feb. 11

Took up our line of march at 1/2 5 am, northwest 5 miles, where we struck the South Edisto River at Hollman’s Bridge, crossing the river and a swamp one mile in width. rested 1 hour when we took up our line of march for Orangeburg 18 miles distant, camping one mile west of Poplar Springs and within 6 miles of the RR. Marched 18 miles.

Feb. 12

Sabbath. Remained in camp until 2pm. Mooved 2 miles and camped.

Feb. 13

Called up at 2 at night. Crossed the north branch of the Edisto . Marched 18 miles and camped.

Feb. 14

Marched at daylight in the direction of Columbia. Skirmished with the rebs at about 4pm. Went into camp and fortified, pickets drove in and 4 capture. Marched 15 miles.

Feb. 15

Marched a 7am, skirmished with the rebs for 4 miles. Found the rebs fortified at a creek. Our brigade mooved to support the 2nd and 3rd. Drove the rebs and crossed the creek and went into campe and fortified. Marched 6 miles and within 2 miles of the city of Columbia and in plain view with the naked eye.

Feb. 16

Mooved out at 8am opposite the city. Laid until 4pm. Marched north to the Salunda River on pontoon bridge. Went into camp near broad river. March 6 miles, day pleasant.

Feb. 17

Crossed the Salunda on pontoons. 3pm marched into the City of Columbia, our reg’t in advance. Large fire in the evening. Ordered into the city 9 at night to do guard duty.

Ruins of Columbia, South Carolina

Feb. 18

On guard in the city. Weather fine. Fire last night burnt up 10 squares in the center of the city.  [ See also an additional entry made by C.F. Nelson after the war regarding the Fire at Columbia.]

Feb. 19

Went into regular camp east of the city. Weather fine and health good.

Feb. 20

Remain in camp. Accidental discharge of shell killing and wounding 40 of our men. Blow up the arsenal after dark. Meeting at 2 and at night.

Feb. 21

Left the city at 3pm, march in the direction of Camden, camped at 2 at night after marching 16 miles.

Feb. 22

March at 7am over very sandy roads and very poor country. Struck the Wateree river at 4pm after marching 12 miles.

Feb. 23

Mooved out at daylight. Crossed Wateree River, passed through Liberty Hill. Camped on Sumpter Battleground after marching 15 miles.

Feb. 24

Mooved at daylight over muddy roads and through the rain. Camped and threw up works. Marched 15 miles.

Feb. 25

Remained in camp on Baker’s Plantation. Day wet and cold. Report of rebs in front.

Feb. 26

Sabbath. Marched at 6 1/2 am in the direction of Pedee River. Camped in a pine forest at Tillersville at 1.20 after marching 12 miles over good roads. Weather warm and pleasant.

Feb. 27

Rested in camp waiting the building of a bridge over Linch Creek at Tillersville.

Feb. 28

Remain in camp. Muster for pay at 8 1/2 am.


Approximate Ending Location:  Near Cheraw, South Carolina.



Carolinas Campaign (approximate route of Howard’s Division in the associated map)


Map of approximate movement during February 1865



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