Diary of Orrin Brown—March 3, 1865

John Craig House, Sherman's HQ at Chesterfield, SCDiary of Orrin Brown, on Thompson’s Creek north of Chesterfield, South Carolina

Friday–March 3rd

We broke up camp at 6 AM and found a very good road till about 2 PM then the road was bad again. It was damp and cloudy last night and we had one pretty hard shower today but the sun came out clear this evening. We marched 24 miles back and did not get into camp till about dark. Our foragers came in tonight with their mules will loaded with meal and Bacon. Our Brig. was detailed to go out and fix the road after dark tonight and worked about an hour. I read 2 Chapt. in the Testament today.

Chesterfield County led the South Carolina secession movement as the first county voting to secede from the Union, at a convention on 19 November 1860.  This became the general waypoint destination of Sherman’s various columns on their Carolina Campaign, where the troops would rendezvous to cross the Great PeeDee river in the vicinity of Cheraw, SC.  Sherman’s army had advanced between Camden and Chester, with Pvt. Brown and the Slocum’s Left Wing (including Kilpatrick’s cavalry) to the west feigning toward Charlotte, North Carolina.

Chesterfield District c.1825

The Official Records note skirmishes near Cheraw from 28 February through the 5th of March, at Chesterfield and Thompson’s Creek on the 2nd and 3rd of March, and “Affair near Big Black Creek” on the 3rd.  Sherman camped on the 2nd of March at Chesterfield.  After burning most of the town, they moved into Cheraw on the 3rd.  Despite Confederate troops trying to burn cotton bales as they retreated across the river, Sherman found ample military and civil supplies here, including 24 guns, 2,000 muskets, 3,600 barrels of gun powder, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.  On the 4th-6th of March, and expedition was also mounted from Cheraw on the railroad and supplies at Florence, South Carolina.  The commercial district burned as Sherman’s troops left, heading on to North Carolina and Lee’s army in Virginia.



This entry was posted in Pursuit of Happiness and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.