War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 1213 Chapter LIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,

In the Field, February 17, 1865.

Lieutenant M. G. HUDSON,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

In obedience to orders received from Major-General Wheeler, I respectfully submit the following report in regard to the failure to burn the bridge across the Congaree Creek: The enemy advancing upon the State road in heavy force drove Colonel Breckinridge back tothe forks of the road just beyond the creek, where he was joined by Colonel McLemore, and temporary breast-works made of rails. The infantry picketing at the creek had partially prepared the bridge for burning; the bridge being very wet, covered with mud and it still raining, I believed the bridge would not burn and therefore ordered Captain Wright to prepare it, by piling on more rails and making every preparation he could. In the meantime Major-General Butler, to whomI was reporting, came upon the field, and expressed his opinion that we could hold the bridge against any force that would come against it. He further directed that if theenemy crossed above or below, we must concentrate against him and still hold the position across the creek. Finding the enemy was concentrating in heavy force upon each flank, I requested General Butler to let me retire across the bridge so that I could effectually destroy it. This request was made more than an hour before we were driven across the bridge, and no answer was received to this request until after we were driven back. As soon as we were driven across the bridge it was set on fire. Our men retired to the earth-works, and the enemy kept away from the bridge until all the rails, &c., upon it had burned up, and until the enemy had been withdrawn. The enemy kept up such a heavy fire with small-arms and artillery upon the bridge after we retired, that we could not cut it down without great loss of life. Had I been allowed to retire when I requested it, my intention was to cut the bridge down. I feel that I am not responsible for the failure to destroy the bridge and know that the officers and men under my command are not. They displayed great gallantry in defending the bridge for five or six hours, under constant fire.

Very respectfully,

G. G. DIBRELL,

Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,

February 17, 1865-9. 30 p. m.

Lieutenant M. G. HUDSON,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

Lieutenant Chapin has just arrived from Hughey's Ferry, thirty-one miles from Columbia, and reports General Humes crossing his commandat that point, but thinks he will not be able to get all across to-day. General Humes' spoke of sending the Second Kentucky Regiment twelve miles below Hughey's Ferry, where it could cross.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. G. DIBRELL,

Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Division.