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[188] rash. Colonel Stone received the surrender of the city from Mayor Goodwyn as early in the day as 10 o'clock, and took immediate posession of it, the Confederate troops having been withdrawn before the surrender; and-note the importance of the connection — the conflagration that destroyed the city bagan after dark, say after 8 o'clock (Colonel Stone himself says about 9 o'clock). That is to say, the Federal troops had possession of Columbia fully ten hours previous to the fires that destroyed it; and during this time General Hampton's command was marching northward towards or beyond Winnsboroa. But further upon this point Colonel Kennedy, of the Seventeenth corps, one of the “skirmish” line that entered the city ahead of Colonel Stone's command, and one of General Sherman's pet witnesses before the Mixed Claims Commission, says in testimony: “I cannot for my life see how Wade Hampton and Beauregard are so positive that Sherman's soldiers first set fire to the cotton, for not one was near it when the fire first started, and certainly neither Hampton nor Beauregard were within gunshot of either the cotton or the State-House.” This was before 9 o'clock that morning. This glib witness, in proving the distance of the Confederates at the time the cotton was fired, proves rather too much for his General, who is trying to prove that these same Confederates did fire that cotton. Of the fire itself, that which destroyed the city, Colonel Stone, after stating that the the time was “about 9 o'clock,” says: “All at once fifteen or twenty flames, from as many different places along the river, shot up, and in ten minutes the fate of Columbia was settled.” Colonel Stone, it will be remembered, is the officer who, as the official representative of General Sherman, received from Mayor Goodwyn the surrender of Columbia.

Fifth. General Sherman did not submit before the Mixed Claims Commission the testimony of Colonel Stone, who was sent by himself into Columbia about two hours earlier than he (General Sherman) and his main witnesses arrived there. For not submitting this important testimony General Sherman offers the frivolous pretext of not knowing Colonel Stone's address.

Sixth. Adjutant S. H. M. Byers, in a pamphlet entitled “What I Saw in Dixie; or, Sixteen Months in Rebel Prison,” says: “The boys, too, were spreading the conflagration by firing the city in a hundred places.” The “boys” seem to have done that night exactly as General Sherman told General Halleck they generally did, that is, “do their work up pretty well;” for no one should complain of a hundred separate applications of the incendiary torch as not being “pretty well” in its way.

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J. M. Stone (7)
W. T. Sherman (7)
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