I wish you to cross the Salkehatchie and move toward the same point, but for convenience of movement suggest you take the Barnwell road to Ayers', where a road leads to Blackville, which intersects one coming into the direct Bamberg road from here at Little Salkehatchie. As you approach the Little Salkehatchie I think you can find some road to Bamberg without coming into collision with the Fifteenth Corps that will occupy ten miles of that road.
I think such a road will be found from Nimmons' to Duncanville, crossing Little Salkehatchie above or at Dowling's Mill. I will be near the leading division of the Fifteenth Corps. Kilpatrick will be about Barnwell to-morrow night and will strike the railroad next day between Blackville and Graham's. If you can find any other road than the one I suggest, which is nearly parallel with the road traveled by the Fifteenth Corps, and not more than six or seven miles off, you can take it, always sending me word, and in case of hearing the sound of serious battle change your course toward it.
I am yours, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
ORDERS.] HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH CORPS,
Salkehatchie River, S. C., February 5, 1865.
This command will move to-morrow toward the South Carolina Railroad as follows: The Third Division at 7 a.m. ; the First Division at 8 a.m. Each division will protect and assist its own trains. General Ward will march one unencumbered brigade in advance. Two batteries of artillery will march immediately in rear of the advanced brigade, and one battery will march with the First Division. General Ward will send his pioneers in advance of his column to repair the road across the swamp, in our immediate front.
By command of Bvt. Major General A. S. Williams:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Buford's Bridge, February 5, 1865.
Commanding Cavalry, Allendale:
GENERAL: Captain Newton has just arrived, and I am glad you are up. The enemy is all in the mist as to our movement, save they think Slocum's command has gone up to Augusta, and that I am moving on Branchville. We carried the position at Rivers' yesterday, and to-day have passed both corps across--Seventeenth at Rivers' and Fifteenth here at Buford's. I sent Williams round by Allendale to make a feint on Barnwell. To-morrow the Seventeenth Corps will move rapidly on Midway and the Fifteenth on Bamberg. Williams will follow in reserve. The enemy intended to defend the line of Salkehatchie, but are now falling back to the Edisto. Presuming you get to-day to Allendale Post-Office, I want you to-morrow to move rapidly on Barnwell, keeping up any feint you may please in the direction of Augusta. Next day strike the railroad where you please from Blackville to Lowry's. If you can, get and destroy cars, locomotives, and depots,