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[103] my gratification to have cleared the field and put my feet safely upon the iron at the railroad crossing on that very day.

Slocum was to have been at Robertsville at the same time, but the rapid rise in the Savannah River prevented him from crossing at Sister's Ferry till after a long delay in laying bridges. I had not heard from him and I tried in vain by my scouts and cavalry to open communication. It will be remembered that in my army there were seven grand divisions; five of them came around by the sea and across Beaufort Island, closing up upon us at Pocotaligo. In order to hasten our concentration I caused one of the two remaining divisions, John E. Smith's, to leave Savannah by the way of the Union causeway. Smith escorted by this route many of our horses, mules, and cattle, which could not be taken over by sea for want of vessels.

Corse, with the other division, followed Slocum up the Savannah, and came to us after Slocum had cleared the way.

In a diary that fell into my hands the small loss that we suffered was contrasted with the losses of the previous commanders and I was highly complimented.

Slocum's delay to get to Robertsville was very favorable to my wing, for it enabled us to bring up our clothing and other supplies, and be better prepared for a forward movement. I issued the following order (a sample for our campaign) for the next move:

Special field orders no. 25.

Near Pocotaliao, S. C., January 28, 1865.
1. The following preliminary movements will take place tomorrow. The division of General Giles A. Smith will move toward the road which runs along the west bank of the Salkehatchie,

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Henry W. Slocum (4)
John E. Smith (2)
Giles A. Smith (1)
John M. Corse (1)
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January 28th, 1865 AD (1)
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