Captain R.W. Burt's Late War Diary

February 1865

Feb. 1st: Marched at 7 AM and halted at Hickory Hill, 15 miles, where we found some Rebel cavalry and drove them across the Coosahatchee.

Feb. 2nd: Did not march until 3 PM, then went 8 miles. Advance continually. Skirmishing with Rebel cavalry. Bivouacked at 9 PM.

Feb. 3rd: Marched at daylight. Raining. Moved 12 miles through level pine country. Put up works.

Feb. 4th: Left Barker's Mill at daylight and marched to within one mile of Big Salkehatchee. Bridges destroyed across the swamps and river.

Feb. 5th: Crossed the river and camped 3 miles beyond. Rebels were strongly fortified at Beauford's Bridge.

Feb. 6th: Marched at 8 AM and found Rebels at Little Salkehatchee. Third Division crossed and drove them away and we camped 3 miles beyond.

Feb. 7th: Marched at daylight and drove the Rebels from the railroad 15 miles east of Branchville. Tore up 2 or 3 miles of railroad and camped at Bamburg Station. A large amount of cotton destroyed.

Feb. 8th: Tearing up railroad all day.

Feb. 9th: Marched 10 miles towards Orangeburg and crossed the railroad. Three years since the Regiment left Camp Sherman

Feb. 10th: Did not march but tore up railroad where the 20th Corps had worked.

Feb. 11th: Marched at daylight. Crossed South Edisto River and swamp half mile wide. Marched 18 miles. Commissions came for Jury, Jeremy, and Park Evans for captains; also for Held, Follett, Hupp, Gale and Richardson for lieutenants.

Feb. 12th: Detailed to command Brigade forage party again. Rebels dispute the crossing of the river. First Division marched but two miles. Rebels driven back and some troops crossed.

Feb. 13th: Crossed river and marched 15 miles towards city of Columbia. A rosin manufactury where First Division camped.

Feb. 14th: Marched 15 miles and halted to fortify on a hill 3 miles from Congaree River. Rebels made a demonstration on our skirmish line.

Feb. 15th: Skirmishing with Rebels all day. Advanced 5 miles and crossed Little Congaree and drove the Rebels from strong works. Formed line of battle in a large field and advanced across it and camped at dark. Rebels shelled us all night.

Feb. 16th: Crossed the Saluda River on pontoon bridge (Rebels had burned all the bridges) and marched over the Broad River and bivouacked for the night.

Feb. 17th: Crossed pontoon bridge over Broad River about noon and marched into Columbia. 76th camped half a mile beyond the city. Terrific fire destroyed more than half of the city that night. The 76th was ordered to the city to assist in stopping the fire.

Feb. 18th: 76th on provost duty in the city. Some shells exploded, wounding 35 of our soldiers. Large amount of Rebel ordinance destroyed.

Feb. 19th: The 76th quartered in one of the streets of the city. Arsenal burned.

Feb. 20th: Our forces evacuate. General Sherman left 500 cattle and a lot of rice and salt for the citizens. Marched 12 miles.

Feb. 21st: Marched 12 miles through sand hills and miserable poor country.

Feb. 22nd: Marched 8 miles to Peay's Ferry. Leroy Horn of my company captured.

Feb. 23rd: Crossed the Wateree at Peay's Ferry on pontoon bridge and marched 12 miles.

Feb. 24th: Marched 12 miles. I was on General Gates battle ground three miles from Camden. Tim Albaugh taken prisoner while out foraging.

Feb. 25th: The 76th remained all day at General Howard's headquarters. General Logan issued orders for Corps badge to be worn. (An eastern army corps transferred to the west first introduced the custom of wearing badges and in 1864 the different western army corps adopted the practice. The badge of the 15th Corps represented a cartridge box on a red field for the First Division, white for the 2nd Division and blue for the 3rd Division. It is related as having been selected by General Logan in the following manner: As the 15th Corps was passing by an officer inquired of one of the men in the Corps what his badge was. He stuffed his hand on his cartridge box and exclaimed, "This is our badge".)

Feb. 26th: Marched 16 miles to Tiller's Ferry on Lynch Creek. Skirmishing with the Rebels.

Feb. 27th: Our Division did not move. 76th working at bridge over Lynch Creek. The water very high.

Feb. 28th: Waiting for the water to fall and the bridge to be completed. Mustered.

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