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Refugeeing was taken as an evidence that the refugees were rebels and the property was destroyed. Think of this black swath extending from Barnwell to the coast, and figure upon it the value of South Carolina at the present day. Even the negroes were wary; afraid in some instances to trust themselves amongst the men who made this fearful work on the country. White table-cloths were suspended from the windows with Ilave mercy on me for a legend; and the fiery spirit of South Carolina was tamed effectually."
The Richmond papers publish the following correspondence between Generals Sherman and Wade Hampton, which shews conclusively that the "fiery spirits” of the Southerns cannot be “tamed” by a process
like the above :Head-quarters, Military Division of the Mississippi
In the Field, Feb. 24th, 1865. Lieutenant General Wade Hampton commanding cavalry force C. S. A.
“General,—It is officially reported to me that our foraging parties are murdered after capture, and labelled 'Death to all foragers. One instance of a lieutenant and seven men near Chesterfield, and another of 20'men near a ravine 80 rods from the main road, about three miles from Feasterbille. I have ordered a similar number of prisoners in our hands to be disposed of in like manner.
“I hold about 1000 prisoners captured in various
ways, and can stand it as long as you; but
I hardly think these murders are committed with your knowledge, and would suggest that you give notice to the people at large that every life taken by them simply results in the death of one of your Confederates.
“Of course you cannot question my right to forage on the country. It is a war right as old as history. The manner of exercising it varies with circumstances, and if the civil authorities will supply my requisitions I will forbid all foraging. But I find no civil authorities who can respond to calls for forage or provisions, and therefore must collect directly of the people. I have no doubt this is the occasion of much misbehaviour on the part of our men, but I cannot permit an enemy to judge or punish with wholesale murder.
“Personally I regret the bitter feelings engendered by this war; but they were to be expected, and I simply allege that those who struck the first blow and made war inevitably ought not in fairness to reproach us for the natural consequences.
I simply assert our war right to forage, and my resolve to protect my foragers to the extent of life for life. - I am, with respect, your obedient servant, “W. T. SHERMAN, Major General, U.S.A."
“ Head-quarters in the Field,
Feb. 27, 1865.
"General, -your communication of the 24th inst. reached me to-day. In it you state that it has
been officially reported that your foraging parties were 'murdered' after capture, and you go on to say that you had ordered a similar number of prisoners to be disposed of in like manner.'
That is to say, you have ordered a number of Confederate soldiers to be 'murdered.'
“You characterise your order in proper terms, for the public voice even in your own country, where it seldom dares to express itself in vindication of truth, honour, or justice, will surely agree with you in pronouncing you guilty of murder if your order is carried out. Before dismissing this portion of your letter I beg to assure you that for every soldier of mine 'murdered' by you, I shall have executed at once two of yours, giving, in all cases, preference to any officers who may be in my hands.
“In reference to the statement you made regarding the death of your foragers, I have only to say that I know nothing of it; that no order given by me authorised the killing of prisoners after capture, and I do not believe that my men killed any of yours except under circumstances in which it was perfectly legitimate and proper that they should kill them.
“It is a part of the system of the thieves, whom you designate as your foragers, to fire the dwellings of those citizens whom they have robbed. Το check this inhuman system, which is justly execrated by every civilised nation, I have directed my
men to shoot down all of your men who are caught burning houses. This order shall remain in force as long as you disgrace the profession of arms by allowing your men to destroy private dwellings.
“You say that I cannot question your right to forage on the country. It is a right as old as history. I do not, sir, question this right. But there is a right older even than this, and one more inalienable—the right that every man has to defend his home, and to protect those who are dependent upon him; and from my heart I wish that every man and boy of our country, who could fire a gun, would shoot down as he would a wild beast, the men who are desolating their land, burning their houses, and insulting their women.
“ You are particular in defining and claiming 'war rights.' May I ask if you enumerate among them the right to fire upon a defenceless city without notice?—to burn that city to the ground after it had been surrendered by the authorities, who claimed, though in vain, that protection which is always accorded in civilized warfare to non-combatants? -to fire the dwellings of citizens after robbing them, and to perpetrate even darker crimes than these-crimes too black to be mentioned.
“You have permitted, if you have not ordered, the commission of these offences against humanity and the rules of war. You fired into the city of Columbia without a word of warning. After its surrender by the mayor, who demanded protection
THE EASTERN MILITARY DIVISION.
to private property, you laid the whole city in ashes, leaving amid its ruins thousands of old men and helpless women and children who are likely to perish of starvation and exposure.
Your line of march can be traced by the lurid light of burning houses, and in more than one household there is an agony far more bitter than that of death.
“The Indians scalped his victims regardless of age or sex; but with all his barbarity he always respected the persons of his female captives. Your soldiers, more savage than the Indian, insult those whose natural protectors are absent. ·
In conclusion, I have only to request that whenever you have any of my men 'disposed of;' or 'murdered,' for the terms appear to be synonymous with you, you will let me hear of it, in order that I may know what action to take in the matter. In the meantime I shall hold 56 of your men as hostages for those whom you have ordered to be executed. I am yours, &c.,
"WADE HAMPTON, Lieutenant General.”
THE EASTERN MILITARY DIVISION, OR THE FEDERAL
CAMPAIGN IN VIRGINIA.
In this department of military enterprise the invasion of the South commenced, but we put it last because the decisive victory was gained by the Federals over the South in the last battle which was fought by General Grant with General Lee at