John Hough letters - March 21, 1865

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Letter #11

Goldsboro North Carolina
March 21, 1865

Dear brother

            I received yours & Sarahs letters of Feb 15 & fathers of Jan 14, was glad to hear from you, rather old but all new to me as I had not heard from you since I left Atlanta.  I wrote to father last week when we were camped on the river, last Saturday we crossed the river and came to town, have a nice camp ground & have fixed very comfortable quarters which I hope we shall enjoy for a while & rest after our long march I would like to give you a perfect history of our march but can not very well as I did not keep a diary, but will give you the route & some of the particulars.  After leaving Beaufort we struck the Charleston & Augusta railroad near Branchville followed and tore up the track west about, 20 miles, & went within about 50 miles of augusta  There was one Corps ore more still west of us.  I dont know how near they went to Augusta, probably we tore up 40 or 50 miles of that road.  The Infantry tore up the rails, piled them on the tres and fired them then we followed with our irons hooks & twisted them  After finishing that job we started for Columbia, left the road in the morning marched 7 miles to the Edisto river, built a bridge over that then went over and went into camp.  Started next morning of day light – the usual time – marched 15 miles to the North Edisto.  Arrived there about 20th .  Stoped on the bank of the river & went to getting dinner one hour was allowed us before going to work building a bridge over over the river  We had our dinner just ready to eat when the rebs commenced fireing at us, from a battery, over the river, a number of shells burst just below us & before we knew what was up one came right among us struck our gun stacks breakeing some of them just glazed one fellows hand and the ball or a splinter struck one man in the face, hurt him considerable but not very seriously, did no other damage except tareing a fiew knapsacks  We got back out of that as soon a possible out of range of their guns left our things & went down to work getting out timber each side of the bridge. Their guns were ranged for the bridge but they shot over, a fiew had to work around the bridge to fix it a little befor dark but they did not get hurt although the shells came very near them  They stopped a little after dark & that was the last of it  We worked there nearly all night to finish the bridge marched the next day about 9 AM  One of our sharp shooters was killed there besides one or two other men skirmishing  There was a long swamp & thick woods between us & the rebs so I did not see any of them  They were all gone in the morning.  The Saluda & Broad river at Columbia were pontooned so we did not have to bridge them.  They were so deep & wide we could not.  There was not much fighting there a fiew shells were thrown into the City  We marched into the City in the morning for it nearly all burned down, got a pretty good supply of rations there.  Judging from what was left I think it was a very fine City.  I did not see the state house but those that saw it said it was splendid  We stayed there one day then left for the railroad, which runs north west up as far as Winsboro.  Each Company had to twist one mile and march about 10 to Camp.  There was only 10 Companies with us, the other two were left back when we left Atlanta  After leaveing that road we started for Fayettevile, or for Cheraw first that is quite a place on the Great Pedee river.  We destroyed 25 large guns there besides a large amount of amunition & small armes  We worked there one day building pontoons  Orders came just before we finished them to stop work, they were not needed.  A Citizen here who was tired of Rebeldom, joined us to go north he is with us now waiting for transportation

            We have marched about five hundred miles since leaving Beaufort.  Nearly a thousand from Atlanta.

            I understand our Colonel has his choice to stay here & keep this railroad in repair or go on the next Campaign if he went on the next Campaign to be ready within 20 days.


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