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Chapter 43: march through the Carolinas; the taking of Columbia

Most of the swamp and the Congaree Creek were lying perpendicular to our pathway. The swamp for the most part had been cleared, drained, and placed under cultivation, but the rain had softened the surface so that on all our new roads our men sank into the mud at every step. It was worse for the horses than for the men, so that our cavalry was soon stalled. There was much of the swamp growth of small trees. The old existing roadway was a causeway 10 or 12 feet above the bottom land, having deep ditches on each side. An unaccountable accident must have overtaken some quartermaster of ours, for a long stretch of the side ditching was filled with overturned vehicles, such as army wagons and ambulances.

This overturning unfortunately occurred within direct range of the enemy's musketry fire. The fog at the time was so thick that it was difficult to get the teams involved out of the predicament. Fortunately for us, probably on account of the fog, as soon as we deployed our lines on both sides of the road and commenced firing, the enemy replied to us, without being particular as to direction. Owing to this bad aiming, coupled with the fog, we managed to save our trains.

Our men in their strong skirmish line became enthusiastic. They pressed the Confederates back,

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