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[298] that General-in-Chief Halleck wrote him: “Should you capture Charleston, I hope by some accident the place may be destroyed; and if a little salt should be thrown upon its site, it may prevent the growth of future crops of nullification and secession” ; and General Sherman replied from Savannah, December 24th: “I will bear in mind your hint as to Charleston, and do not think ‘salt’ will be necessary. When I move, the Fifteenth corps wilt be on the right of the right wing, and their position will bring them naturally into Charleston first, and if you have watched the history of that corps, you will have remarked that they generally do their work pretty well. The truth is, the whole army is burning with an insatiable desire to wreak vengeance upon South Carolina. I almost tremble at her fate, but feel that she deserves all that seems in store for her. I look upon Columbia as quite as bad as Charleston.” 1 His army at this date numbered ( “Memoirs,” page 172) 62,204 men, exclusive of General Foster's army; the Confederate forces in that region embraced only Hardee's 10000 troops in Savannah (one-half militia and reserves above the military age), and some 4,000 or 5,000 in South Carolina, all of them part of a desired main force which Beauregard in this strait was seeking to concentrate. Under such circumstances, Sherman's promise to Halleck was not difficult to carry out. General Sherman should not keep from the light his letters and orders of these four days, for surely their publication can show nothing worse than their suppression would infer. It is to be hoped, therefore, that in the discussion evoked by his book, he or his friends may yet fill this hiatus in a valuable series of daily letters and orders, which constitutes one of the completest detailed records in military history.

Respectfully, yours,

1 It is noteworthy that it was the Fifteenth corps which first entered Columbia.

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