Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 18, 1865

Civil War, February 1865 (Swanson)Diary of Orrin Brown, across the Broad River from Thompson, South Carolina

Saturday–Feb. 18th

We have no marching orders this morning. We are waiting for them to put down the Pontoons and the river is very wide and they had to send back to one of the other Divis. this morning to get some more pontoons. The weather came off clear & warm this morning. We received orders to be ready to march at 2.30 PM so we packed up and lay there till dark when we got orders to put up our tents for the night and be ready to march at 6 tomorrow morning so we went to bed on that. I read 3 chapt. in the Testament today.

South Carolina was a journey for Sherman, not the destination.  That would be Robert E. Lee and the rest of the Confederate Army stubbornly dug in at Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, in front of U.S. Grant and the Army of the Potomac.  President Lincoln had risked a peace parley at the Hampton Roads Conference on 3 February, but was rebuffed by CSA President Davis. Now, two weeks later, Sherman had invested Columbia, and Confederate Gen. Hardee had abandoned Charleston to give chase, while remnants of the CSA Army of Tennessee hurried east in a desperate attempt to keep Sherman mired in the Carolinas.

In many ways, this was a metaphor for the Civil War overall.  We should remember, the war was politics by other means, a journey to achieve a lasting peace that often we are still trying to achieve today.



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