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[187] Charleston should be utterly desolated; that he regards Columbia as equally deserving that fate; that he foresees that if the Fifteenth (Howard's) corps should get a chance they would destroy the city; that he promises that this Fifteenth corps shall have the first chance at destroying the city; that he knows that his whole army is burning with an insatiable desire to wreak vengeance upon the city; and subsequent events bear out every one of these points.

He marched the Fifteenth corps into Columbia on the 17th of February, and the city was destroyed that night. General Hampton evacuated the city about 9 o'clock Friday, the 17th; General Sherman took possession before 10 o'clock; and the fires that destroyed the city began between 8 and 9 o'clock that evening — more than ten hours after the city was in General Sherman's hands.

Second. In his cross-examination before the Mixed Claims Commission (in November or December, 1872)--that portion conducted by George Rivers Walker--General Sherman stated that in Columbia soldiers not on duty and of the Fifteenth corps were allowed to disperse about the city; that his men were thoroughly under control, well disciplined, and that the long roll would at any time have summoned them to their ranks; that he feared they would burn the city, and that he would not restrain them to their ranks to save every city in South Carolina. I have not the text of this examination now before me, but am satisfied as to the correctness of this summary; and if it is incorrect it can easily be disproven, as it can be verified if correct.

Third. General O. O. Howard, while in Columbia in 1867, in a conversation with General Hampton, held in the office of Governor James L. Orr, several other witnesses being present, said that General Sherman knew perfectly well that General Hampton did not burn Columbia; that no one was authorized to say that “our troops did not set fire to it, for I saw them do it myself.” Governor Orr testified concerning that conversation to this effect: “General Howard said in substance that the city was burned by United States troops; that he saw them fire many houses.” There were several other witnesses to this conversation between Generals Howard and Hampton.

Fourth. In his official report of the event, quoted above, General Sherman goes something beyond the usual scope of a military paper in specifically charging the destruction of the city upon General Hampton. This specific charge was unfortunate for General Sherman, in that all the evidence goes to prove that the charge is

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