War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0328 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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CITY POINT, February 7, 1865.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

The Richmond Dispatch to-day says:

We have no official intelligence of importance from South Carolina. The reports of the flanking of our forces at Branchville and the capture of that place by Sherman are contradicted by official advices. "

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY IN THE FIELD,

Lowry's Station, S. C., February 7, 1865.

Admiral J. A. DAHLGREN,

Off Charleston, S. C.:

We are on the South Carolina road, at Midway, and will break fifty miles, from Edisto toward Augusta, and then cross toward Columbia. Weather is bad and country full of water. This cause may force me to turn against Charleston. I have ordered Foster to move Hatch up to the Edisto, about Jacksonborough and Willstown. Also to make that lodgment about Bull's Bay. Watch Charleston close. I think Davis will order it to be abandoned, lest he lose its garrison as well as guns. We are all well and the enemy retreats before us. Send word to New Berne that you have heard from me, and the probabilities are that high waters may force me to the coast before I reach North Carolina, but to keep Wilmington busy.

Yours,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Lowry's, February 7, 1865.

General HOWARD,

Commanding Right Wing, Midway:

GENERAL: We are on the road here and will get to work at once westward. Be careful to instruct each rail to be twisted, even if it takes more time. I want you, if possible, to force the enemy to burn his own bridge across Edisto at the railroad crossing, also at Walker's Bridge. From here we will move westward some fifty miles. Dispose of your trains accordingly.

Yours,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,

Midway, S. C., February 7, 1865.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: Your note is just received. General Blair sent a reconnaissance to Cannon's Bridge this evening, and found that the enemy had destroyed the larger and one of the smaller bridges, and withdrawn

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*For portion of dispatch here omitted, see Vol. XLVI, Part II, p. 446.

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