War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0452 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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at my disposal at Cadet Battalion of Columbia and a company of provost guards from that city to do duty at the prison there, stipulating that they should not go out of the State. This released the South Carolina Reserves, who had been on duty guarding the officers' prison at Columbia, and rendered the contemplated movement feasible. Progress was, however, temporarily arrested by the receipt of the following telegram:

SALISBURY, February 12, 1865.

COMMANDING OFFICER OF PRISON, Columbia, S. C.:

In addition to his present command General B. T. Johnson has been assigned to command prisons in South Carolina. He directs you immediately report the number and condition of your prisoners. Report by telegraph.

G. W. BOOTH,

Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

I at once replied to this dispatch as follows:

COLUMBIA, S. C., February 12, 1865.

Captain G. W. BOOTH, Assistant Adjutant-General, Salisbury:

There are nearly 1,200 officers here and 7,000 enlisted men at Florence. Am endeavoring to move those at Florence to this place.

H. FORNO,

Colonel, Commanding.

At a later our of the same day, considering the importance of imemdiate action, I telegraphed General B. T. Johnson that--

General Beauregard advises instant removal of prisoners from Florence and Columbia to Southwest Georgia. Telegraph your orders.

Failing to receive any answer to the foregoing dispatch, I telegraphed General Johnson at 10 a. m. of the 13th:

I am awaiting orders for removal. The case is urgent.

And again at 11.30 a. m., same day:

General Beauregard strongly disapproves sending prisoners to Wilmington, and urges their instant removal both from Florence and Columbia to Southwest Georgia via Abbeville. I am preparing to act at once; only await General Johnson's orders. There is no time to be lost.

At midday I received this dispatch from General Bradley T. Johnson:

General Gardner telegraphs me that you have been placed in command of all the prisons of South Carolina. You will therefore do as you think best.

And an hour later the following telegram from General W. M. Gardner:

RICHMOND, February 13, 1865.

Colonel H. FORNO:

You have been ordered to remove prisoners immediately from Florence. Raleigh and Salisbury are suggested. Report what action. Call on General Holmes for guards and subsistence.

A little later I received another dispatch from General Gardner, embodying fuller instructions and suggesting Raleigh and Charlotte as eligible points to which to move prisoners. Acting on these instructions I at once telegraphed the commanding officer at Charlotte--

to provide suitable place and subsistence for 1,200 Federal officers who will be sent to Charlotte.

And to Lieutenant-General Holmes at Raleigh:

Am ordered by the War Department to move 7,000 prisoners from Florence to Raleigh. Can you furnish guards and subsistence? Have also to move 1,200 officers from Columbia to Charlotte. Have guard enough to move them, but will need subsistence and guard at Charlotte.