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nction with General Hardee's forces.
He arrived at Ridgeway, about twenty-five miles from Columbia, on the night of the 17th, and remained there nearly two days, giving orders to his different commands, and reporting to the President and General Lee every incident of importance connected with the movements of his troops.
His first telegram to the latter read as follows:
Ridgeway, S. C., Feb. 17th, 1865:9.30 P. M. General R. E. Lee, Richmond, Va.:
Enemy having forced crossing of Saluda and Broad rivers above Columbia, city had to be evacuated this morning.
My forces are now retiring on this place.
Everything possible shall be done to retard enemy's advance, but I cannot separate cavalry from infantry without fear of disaster, owing to small number of latter—only about three thousand effectives.
Moreover, having no supply trains, troops must move along railroad. G. T. Beauregard.
In answer to a despatch from the Secretary of War, alleging interference with provision