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 of them. Terry was near us with negro brigades well in hand. About this time old men and boys began to fall into our lines. Logan recommended on March 4th that all such prisoners belonging to the South Carolina militia be released upon their parole and oath not to serve again during the war. He remarked: “They now are but a burden to us, requiring an issue of subsistence when it is necessary to husband our supply, and they can scarcely be looked upon as fit subjects for imprisonment or exchange.” This sensible disposition of them was made. There were two sources of chagrin which annoyed me at Cheraw: one was that a detachment which I sent to Florence had not been sufficiently vigorous in its reconnoissance. The officers conducting it, however, discovered a force of Confederate cavalry, and trains of cars loaded with troops, and brought back 20 or 30 prisoners. The second chagrin was from an accident like that at Columbia. Charles R. Woods's division of infantry was massed near the river waiting their turn to cross, when a terrific explosion occurred. It was occasioned by our working parties having thrown together on the river slope masses of artillery shells, with considerable powder. The object had been to drown the powder in the river, and also to sink the shells in the water to render them useless. By carelessness considerable powder had been strewn along the ground. The teams passing over the bridge road had in some way ignited it and its lightning flashes passed to the main pile of shells. The sudden thunderous explosion for the time appeared to paralyze men and animals. The mules and horses near by ran
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