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TE TRI-WEERLIl Wlls
By_Gaill WINNSBORO, S. C., TUESDAY. MORNING, MARGH 27, 1866. rVOT. ITT - .A
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The Destruellon of Columbh,'S. C.
WHO IS RESPONSBLE ?
LETTER FROM GEN. WADE HAMPTON.
COLUMB[A, June 19, 1865.
To the Editor of the New York Day
GENTS.-In your paper of gth, May,
I have just seen General Sherman's offi
cial report of 'his march through the
two Carolinas. As this report misrepre
sents me in the grossest and falsest mati.
ner, I trust that you will not deny me
the right to vindicate myspf. It, is'due
to history, if nt to me, that the false.
hoods of General Sherman in referbnce
to the destruction of this city should be
exposed. This shall be done in the
briefest possible mannor.
The idi '1s 0Y" "MATal Wade
HaMpton, who commanded the Confede
rate rear guard of cavalry, had, in anti.
cipation of our capture of Columbia, or
dered that all.cot-ton, public and private,
should be moved into the street ind
fired to prevent our making use of it.
* * * Some of these piles of cotton
were burning, especially one in the
very heart of the city, near-the court.
house, but the fire was partially subdued
by the labor of our soldiers. * * *
Before one single public building had
been tired by order, the sniouldering
fires set by Hampton's order were re.
kindled by the wind, and communicated
to the buildings around. About dark
they began to spread and got bi yond
control of the brigade on duty within
the city. The whole of Wood's divis
ion was brought in, but it was found im.
possible to check the flames,' which, by
-midnight, had becgine unmanageable,
and raged until about four, o'clock, A.
M., when the wind subsiding, they
were under control. * * * I die.
claim, on the part 'of ay -army, 'any
agency in this fire, but, on the contrtry,,
'elain that *a ssved what of Columba
remains unconsumed. A6d, -without
hesitation, charge Gen. Wade Harop.
ted witl having burned hii owncity' of
Columbip, not with malicious intent, as
the manifetation bf a billy 'Rotnan
stoicism," but from the 1oljy and want of
sense in-filing,it with 1i t, cotton and
timber. Our officers anT men qn.doty
worked well to nxtinguia the flames."
It would3 be difficul%f not itpo i
'ble, to exp'feb(a u dal:I hum1t'f
paragraphs, a'greige tiier~ of :lIo^
hmoods than arecontA d 'in thelboaVe
extracts. There is # pe word'ef
truth in all that h endi i
the statement' tha am to
commanded theOofert 'V f
of ca valry." He did ho ordi*
ton "moved into the street and'frU
On the contrary, my brat act on takjf
command of' the cavahry-to whfc
sent to General Beaurqgard the danger
tthe town of Ming~ theo e.ton is the
eireeto. Upon tiaus representatiori, he
aeuthorised ine to give . ordere that no
cott'on ina the itowa bslagd be fired,
which oer arns .trjet, id out.
ileft th 'l'etal ti iflh6r.
,man's eqamta spr.4 ai4 Leer
what c be 3 tiat
knows it to be so. A distignished citi.
zin of tlis State-whose name, were I
Ut liberty to give it, would. be a suffl.
cient voucher, even at the North, for
the truth of 'any statement made by
him-has given to the public a minute
biatory of the destruction of the city.
From this document, which is too
long for insertion in your paper, I will
make a few extracts, which will show
how true is General Sherman's solemn
dipclainier of "any agency in this fire."
and his claim, to have "saved what of
Coltimbia remains unnonsumned." The
Mayor had been informed that he would
be notified when to surrender the city
knowing that ineffectual resistance on
our part would furnish the ready excuse
for all lawlessness on the part of the ene
my.. I would not allow my troops 'to
become engaged in the city, and they
'were ithdrawn on the morning pf 17th
At nine o'clock A. M., on that day,
the Mayor, at the head of the deputa
Lion from the City Council, went out to
meet Geheral Sherman for the purpose
ofsurrendering the city, which he did in
the following letter :
"COLUMBIA,' S. C, Feb. 17, 1865.
"To Major-General Sherman:
"The Confederate forces having
evacuated Columbia, I deem it my duty,
as Mayor and representative of the city,
to ask for its citizens the treatment ac
corded by the usages of civilize,d war
fare. , therefore, respectfully request.
that you.will s'end a suffieient guard in
in advance of the army. to maintain or.
der in the city, and protect the.persons
and property of citizens.
"Your obedient svrvant,
"[Signed] (3 T. GOODWIN,
The deputation met the advance
guard of the enemy. under Colonel
Stone-Fifteenth Corps-outside of -lhe
city, and Colonel Stone returned with
thpm to the .town in their carriagQ.
The Mayor reports that on surrendfr.
ing the ci1.y to Colonel Stone, tho latter
assured him of the oafty of the citizens,
and the protection of their property
while under his command. He could
not answer for General Sherman, who
was in the rear, but he expressed the
conviction that he would fully confirm
the assurances which lie (Colonel Stone)
had given. Subsequently General Sher
man did confirm them, and that night,
seeing that the Mayor was exhausted
by the labors of the day, he counselled
him to retire to rest, saying, "Not a
finger's breadth, Mr. Mayor, of your
city shall be harmed. I ou may lie
down to sleep, satisfied that your town
shall be *a safe in my hands as if wholly
in yo r-own." * *
"At about eleven o'clock the head of the
col.umn reached Market Hall. Hardly
had the troops reached the head of
Main street, when the work of pillage
was begun. Stores were broken open
in the presence of thousands within the
first hour arter their arrival. No at.
teitpt w,as made to arrest the burglars.
The authorities ogicerP, soldieis, all
seemed to consider it a matter of course.
And woe to his who'carried a watch
with -gold jhain pendant, or who wore a
choice. biht, or over coat, or boots, or
shoos. He was 'sipped by ready ox.
perts in the twinklin of an eye." * *
"About twelve o'ocl the jail was dis
covered to be on fire fm within. This
bulldifig was immediat4-V in the rear of
the, market or city or Oj Hall, and in
a densely built p.ortion o '~e pity. * *
TIhe fire in the jail had, 'treceded
by' that of som6 cotton'lY$ in the
streg Both fire. 'were sood tdued
by our.fireme,n. 1A abont ''lock
:y that of the jati was rek and
aan extinguished." . *,
Thie experience of the -Bremen.
fit.e re in the otod in' the
f.asort to dise(irag~ Ieir
a,rts; They were thwarted
ae by the conatiigedl intoe
soldier. Finally their
sa th baybn ts so
nmolisha*' i A*
his offlicerp. yet tihey- saw nQthing to re
buke or restrain." * . "Robbery
was going on at every corner, in every
house, yet there was no censure, no pun
ishment " ' * * * "Among the first,
fires at evening, was one about dark,
which broke out in a filthy portion of
low houses. occupied mostly as brothels.
There were then some twenty firesin
full blast, in as many different quarters,
at nearly the same momenti and while
the alarm sounded from the quarters, a
similar alarm was sent up aimost simul.
taneously from Cotton Town, the north.
ernmost limit of the city, and from
Min street, in its very centre" * . *
"The wretches engaged in this appoint.
ed incendiarism wete well prepared
with all the appliances essertial to their
work. They carried with, them from
house to house pots and vesiels contain
ing c)mbustible liquids, atti with balls
of fire saturated in this liqul, they con
veyed the flames with wondirful rapidi
ty from dwelling." * * .* "what
remained from the morning of engines
and hose were brought out by the fire.
men, but these 'Were soon driven from
their labors by the pertinacibus hostility
of the incendiaries. Engines were tum.
bled over and disabled, thb hose was
hewn to pieces, and the firimen, dread.
ing worse usage to thelseWes, left the
field in despair." ' v
* * * -Old men andV 0women and
children were t.o be seen, often while the
flames were roaring and raging arout.d
theni-while wiills were racking and
rafters tottering and tumbl ng, in the en
deavor to save their cloth 'g und some
of their more vultable q ects. They
were driven out.headloig pistols clap.
ped to their heads, violonj hands laid on
throat and collar, and the ruffians seem
ed to make but little distition ill their
treat ment of man and w 'An. Ladies
were hustled from their c ambers under
the strong arm or with xeir menacing
pistol at'their hearts. TI ir ornaments
plucked from their bre ts-their bun.
dies taken from ther han " * *
"A lady nuderg4ing':paj bf labor had
to be borne out, oil ia mattt-ss into the~
open air to esc;pe the fire. It was in
vain that her situation was described to
the incendiaries, as they applied the
torch within and without the house.
They beheld the situation ol the sufferer
and laughed to scorn the rayer of her
safety. Another lady wai but recently
confined. Her life hung upon a hair.
The demons were apprt,e of the facts
in the case. They burst in> her cham.
ber-took rings from the diy's finger,
plucked the watch from bei -ath her pil
low, shrieked offensive lan iage in her
ears, and so overwhelmed er with ter
ror that she sunk under t treatiemt,
surviving but a day or wo." * *
"The churches were at firt sought by
many streams of populatin. Thither
t.he hellish perseverance i the fiends
followed them, and the clit ches of God
were set on flanie. Again lriven forth,
numbers made their way it the recesses
of Sydney Park, and her fancied to
find security. But the !ngenuity of
hate and nalice was not 0 be baffled,
and firebrands thrown fror the -eight
into the deepest hollows of the Park
taught the wretched fugiti s to despair
of any escape from enemi4 of such un
weared and unremitting rag I"
But enough of this atro ty, the bare
recital of which makes huianity skud
der, the heart grow sick. trely enongh
has been quoted from the iarrative.of
these horrors to prove thit Gepieral
Sherman alone is respoasible for th de
struction of Columbia, and for the m fly
other atrocities commtt by his ar .
Hie declares that the Ires set by
order consumed the,citf. I have shoiw
how false is this statoiient; but eveni
it were true, how d7es he clear himself
of the guilt of burnp' g private dwellings
outside of the cityimnits? IOrly ini the
afternoon of th,(day he entered C7olum.
'ia my hous# which was two miles
the ciy was..fired ;-soon after~h
houq 9. Tretholm, Ges. Lov)1
rs. re Wallace, hfi. r
s5ine 4iciuty s"t~' mame a#
Gene csnemrmanden .'bt
hedose eh brndby-h ta
noe can hie deny t4 deAtroye4 i part
or whole the vi isof'ai,l
ilak ii G r il ,
Wo yCa a4 anbQh
noes no% Q~
q r. 1
him there is scarcely one house left stand
ing, from the Savannah Rivey to the
Pee Dee, and yet he tiared to declare
solemnly that he did not burn Colum.
biat I I do not wonder that he should
strive to escape the infamy which, like
the leprosy of Gehazi, shall cleave unto
him an unto his seed forever, for he
.commission of this dark deed. Nor am
I surprised that he should naturally seek
to escape by taking refuge behind a
falsehood. But ie shall not with impu.
nity make me the scapegoat for his sins.
Wherever he has taken his army in
this State, women have been insulted or
outruged, old men have been hung to
extort from them hidden treasure. The
fruits of the earth have.been destrosyed,
lenving starvation where plenty once
reigned, and the dwellings of rich and
poor alike have been laid n ashes. For
these deeds history will brand him as a
robber and incendiary, and will deserv.
edly "damn him to everlasting fame."
I am, your obedient servant,
We used to smile at Sidney Smith's
humerous :account of English taxes,
never dreaming that such would, at
some time, be our own experience.
Since "misery loves company," we re.
produce it for the consolation of our tax
Taxes were piled on taxes, until they
reached every article which enters into
the mouth, or covers the back, or is
placed under foot; taxes upon every
thing which it is pleasant-to see. hear,
feel, smell or taste ; taxes upoa warmth,
light and locomotion, taxes rpon every
thing on earth.and on the waters under
the eardh: on eveiytl.ng that comes
f om abioad or is grown at home ;
taxes on the raw niateriad; taxes on
fresh value that is added to it by inidus
try of man ; taxes on the source which
pampers mani's appetite, and the drug
which restores him to health ; on the
ermine which hanga the criminal; on
the poor man's salt and the rich man's
specie; on the brass nails of the cofin,
and the ribbons of the bride. At bed
or board, couchant or levant, we must
The echool boy whips his taxed top;
the beardless youth manages his taxed
horse with a taxed bridle on a taxed
road; and the dying Englishman, pour
ing his medicine which has paid seven
per cent. into a spoon that has paid fif
teen per cent. flings himself back upon
the chint. bed which has paid twenty.
two per cent. makes his will on an eight
pound stamp, and expires in the arms of
%i apothecary, who has paid a license
>a hundred pounds for the priviledge
>f putting him to death. His whole
property then is immediately taxed
Irom two to ten per cent. Besides th;
probate large fees are demanded for
Murying him in the ohancel ; his'virtti s
ire handed down to posterity on taxed
iiarble; and lie is then gathered to his
athers to be taxed no more.
How OUR IDEAS EXPAND.-Less than
,wenty years ago, at the close of the
Hexican war, the whole country was
torrified at the magnitude of the Na
ional debt, and at the great price (fif
:een millions of dollarsi) paid for, Cali
'ornia and the other territory noqoired
,rom our Southern neighbor. Tpday,
Nith a national debt thirty told greater
'han that of 1848, a propositionto guar
intee an immense loan; almoit passes
Dongress, and barely elicits an ordinary
iiscussion in the newspapers,df the land,
'A few millions of. debt, caused the
enuders of the generationi fast passing
uway, to tremble-billfons are looked
ipon by' the politiciad of this day, with
eigcatmpladen ', and who can tell
r&h :. repuzdia, o, retrnchmeant, or.a,
ill greater. ptansiog of national' debt
a d natioS , travagance-.--- dal.bor.
'rA full stomch sakes an empty head.
ad in the~~ fa 1ei.' '
he full mei .-& at
liont i d'
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