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[267] friend of Honey Hill, at Gardner's Corners, and drove him with loss to the works mounting twelve guns, at Pocotaligo, before which they bivouacked, intending to assault in the morning; but the enemy under Gen. L. McLaws during the night abandoned this and all his positions along our front, and retired behind the Combahee. Thus fell a stronghold before which the troops of the Department of the South met repeated repulses. It was the most important position between Charleston and Savannah, for there, over the Pocotaligo River, was a trestle of a mile in length, crossing a swamp over which the railroad ran. This trestle the enemy attempted to destroy; but it was only partially damaged. After resting, at 3.30 P. M. the brigade took up the return march for camp, where the regiment arrived, well tired out. At Devaux's Neck that morning the usual pickets of the enemy in front of the railroad were not seen, and our men soon discovered that their works were abandoned; several regiments at once occupied them.

It was a welcome change to be freed from the anxiety of the enemy's proximity and thus enabled to sleep until daylight, and relieved from all picket duty. With rest, supplies and drills the regiment was speedily brought into fine condition once more. It soon became manifest that we were to assist in refitting Sherman's troops. Pocotaligo was thoroughly strengthened as a base. Gen. O. O. Howard, commanding that wing, was directed not to demonstrate up the peninsula, but toward the Salkehatchie, as if preparing to advance directly on Charleston; and as early as the 15th he made such movements. Dense smoke-clouds over the railroad indicated its destruction along our whole front.

South Carolina was already feeling the mailed hand her

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William T. Sherman (1)
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