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[425] and much time was necessarily consumed in destroying stores and railroads, and it was not till the 3rd of March that the army arrived at Cheraw. At this point large quantities of guns and ammunition were captured, brought from Charleston under the supposition that here, at least, they would be secure. Hardee had moved due north from Charleston by his only remaining railroad, through Florence, but only reached Cheraw in time to escape with his troops across the Pedee river, just before Sherman arrived. His ordnance and other stores he was obliged to leave behind. The vagrant garrison which had fled from Savannah, and Charleston, and Cheraw, in turn, now set out again on its travels—this time to attempt a junction with Beauregard at Charlotte.

Having secured the passage of the Pedee, however, Sherman had but little uneasiness about the future, for there remained no further great impediment between him and the Cape Fear river, which he felt assured was by this time in the hands of friends. On the 6th of March, he put his army in motion for Fayetteville, on the Cape Fear, north of the boundary line between the Carolinas, and on the direct road to Goldsboro. His course was still north-east, and Kilpatrick was again on the left, to cover the trains. The weather continued unfavorable, and the roads were bad; there was frequent skirmishing with the rebel cavalry; but on the 11th of March, Fayetteville was reached, and Sherman had traversed the entire extent of South Carolina. On the 12th, he sent a dispatch to Grant, the first since leaving the Savannah.

‘We reached this place yesterday,’ he said,


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