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[440] ‘Camp near Camden, S. C., February 26, 1865.’ Camden is at least thirty miles east of Columbia, and on the opposite side of the Catawba river. By the roundabout course pursued by the army, it is double that distance. The crossing of the river occupied several days, and was effected twenty or thirty miles north of Camden. The waters were very high, and once across, there was no such thing as returning. Everybody and everything was moving away from Columbia as rapidly as possible. Only a small part of Sherman's army marched through or near Camden. The knowledge or consideration of these facts shows how improbable, if not absolutely impossible, it was, under the circumstances, that any letter written by one of ‘Sherman's Bummers,’ near Camden, South Carolina, could afterwards have found its way to the streets of Columbia.

It so happens, also, that no officer named Thomas J. Myers—the name purporting to be signed to the document you have reprinted— belonged to General Sherman's army. The records show that, throughout the war, there was but one officer in the military service of the United States with that name, and he was not in Sherman's army, and did not—as is implied in the direction, Boston, Mass., and the reference in the letter to the ‘Old Bay State’—belong to any Massachusetts regiment. ‘Alas,’ cries the weeping Thomas, ‘it (the captured jewelry) will be scattered all over the North and Middle States.’ It so happens, also, that of the ninety regiments of Sherman's army which might have passed on the march near Camden, South Carolina, but a single one—a New Jersey regiment—was from the Middle States. All the rest were from the West—never called the North, in the local idiom of Western people. A letter from the only Thomas J. Myers ever in the army would never contain such a phrase.

To crown all, Thomas J. Myers resigned from the military service on the 18th of February, 1865—eight days before the date of the pretended letter—while his regiment was in Northern Alabama.

I should not have taken pains to look up and analyze these facts if I did not think it matter for profound regret that a periodical, presumably published in the interest of historical truth, should give currency to this document. No possible good can come of its publication, if genuine, but much harm. It throws no light on one single fact or method by which the war was conducted. As to General Sherman's procedure, on his famous march, history will judge it on acknowledged and recorded facts—which are ample and accessible— not on any such irritating and preposterous assertions as are contained

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