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[244] it was decided that Sherman should march through the Carolinas, destroying the railroads in both States as he went. A little more than a month Sherman remained in Savannah. Then he began another great march, compared with which, as Sherman himself declared, the march to the sea was as child's play. The size of his army on leaving Savannah was practically the same as when he left Atlanta--sixty thousand. It was divided into two wings, under the same commanders, Howard and Slocum, and was to be governed by the same rules. Kilpatrick still commanded the cavalry. The march from Savannah averaged ten miles a day, which, in view of the conditions, was a very high average. The weather in the early part of the journey was exceedingly wet and the roads were well-nigh impassable. Where they were not actually under water the mud rendered them impassable until corduroyed. Moreover, the troops had to wade streams, to drag themselves through swamps and quagmires, and to remove great trees that had been felled across their pathway.

The city of Savannah was left under the control of General J. G. Foster, and the Left Wing of Sherman's army under Slocum moved up the Savannah River, accompanied by Kilpatrick, and crossed it at Sister's Ferry. The river was overflowing its banks and the crossing, by means of a pontoon bridge, was effected with the greatest difficulty. The Right Wing, under Howard, embarked for Beaufort, South Carolina, and moved thence to Pocotaligo, near the Broad River, whither Sherman had preceded it, and the great march northward was fairly begun by February 1, 1865.

Sherman had given out the word that he expected to go to Charleston or Augusta, his purpose being to deceive the Confederates, since he had made up his mind to march straight to Columbia, the capital of South Carolina.

The two wings of the army were soon united and they continued their great march from one end of the State of South Carolina to the other. The men felt less restraint in devastating

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William T. Sherman (12)
Henry W. Slocum (4)
Judson Kilpatrick (4)
O. O. Howard (4)
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