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[246] the country and despoiling the people than they had felt in Georgia. The reason for this, given by Sherman and others, was that there was a feeling of bitterness against South Carolina as against no other State. It was this State that had led the procession of seceding States and that had fired on Fort Sumter and brought on the great war. No doubt this feeling, which pervaded the army, will account in part for the reckless dealing with the inhabitants by the Federal soldiery. The superior officers, however, made a sincere effort to restrain lawlessness.

On February 17th, Sherman entered Columbia, the mayor having come out and surrendered the city. The Fifteenth Corps marched through the city and out on the Camden road, the remainder of the army not having come within two miles of the city. On that night Columbia was in flames. The conflagration spread and ere the coming of the morning the best part of the city had been laid in ashes.

Before Sherman left Columbia he destroyed the machine-shops and everything else which might aid the Confederacy. He left with the mayor one hundred stand of arms with which to keep order, and five hundred head of cattle for the destitute.

As Columbia was approached by the Federals, the occupation of Charleston by the Confederates became more and more untenable. In vain had the governor of South Carolina pleaded with President Davis to reenforce General Hardee, who occupied the city. Hardee thereupon evacuated the historic old city — much of which was burned, whether by design or accident is not known — and its defenses, including Fort Sumter, the bombardment of which, nearly four years before, had precipitated the mighty conflict, were occupied by Colonel Bennett, who came over from Morris Island.

On March 11th, Sherman reached Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he destroyed a fine arsenal. Hitherto, Sherman's march, except for the annoyance of Wheeler's cavalry, had been but slightly impeded by the Confederates. But

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