Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 3, 1865

Charge of Weaver's Brigade Across the Salkehatchie, South Carolina - Harper'sDiary of Orrin Brown, Sister’s Ferry, Georgia

Friday–Feb. 3rd

We had a light shower of rain in the after part of the night and it is still cloudy and damp. We had company drill at 2PM and it rained pretty near all of the time we were out. I wrote a letter hame today. I read 5 Chapts. in the Testament today.

The Right Wing of Sherman’s Army saw action 3 February 1865 at Rivers’ Bridge on the Salkehatchie River in South Carolina.  Confederate forces under Gen. Lafayette McLaws held the crossing.  When Federal forces reached that point on the 2nd they commenced to pontoon across the swamp in order to bypass the road.  Their patience ran out, and on this day Maj. Gen. Francis P. Blair and troops of the XVII Corps opened up on McLaw’s right, forcing the Rebel troops to withdraw toward Branchville the next day.

Interestingly, Blair’s father Frank (Francis Sr.) Blair had been working unofficially to persuade Confederate President Jefferson Davis to open peace talks.  This led to the groundbreaking Peace Commissioners meeting at Hampton Roads, Virginia, with President Lincoln on the 3rd of February 1865.  While the parley only resulted in starting to re-establish prisoner exchanges, it was a huge risk for both sides and laid a groundwork that might have led to a peaceful resolution of the War.



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