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[110] the pontoon to an island, and as soon as he had got one brigade over he pushed on across the island and waded the swamp, making a lodgment on what appeared to be the mainland. He met, however, a hostile skirmish line about 8 P. M.; and, as it was night, concluded to intrench and wait for daylight. The ground was marshy and the water in the main swamp between two and three feet deep. The men here also swung their cartridge boxes around their necks. I am inclined to think the crossing (above) at Holmes's (or Holman's) bridge was no worse than this. Hazen sent some men over a mile and a half above the bridge and cut his way nearly through the swamp. A little later: Mower drove the enemy off from the Orangeburg front, sent back a regiment along the main road, and took a strong position a mile and a half from the river. The bridge on the main road was then laid.

Next came the north fork of the Edisto. General Force was ahead. The principal Orangeburg bridge having been burned, Major Osborn (my chief of artillery) and myself worked our way across Force's footbridge, and went into Orangeburg on foot the morning of February 12, 1865. The village was at least half a mile from the North Edisto River. The troops were posted across all the roads over which the Confederates had retired, and then set to work to destroy the railroad. Another line, the Columbia & Charleston Railroad, ran through the town. There were perhaps 800 population at that time. Cotton brokers had made it a center of some importance. Our skirmishers alleged that they found the town on fire when they came in sight, and before we could arrest the flames a third of the houses were consumed.

From testimony that came to us the fire at Orangeburg

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