We had a cool night but it came off warm and pleasant this morning. There was heavy canonadeing in the same direction that it was yesterday again this AM. We have no marching orders yet. Our Regt. went out on dress Parade at 5 PM. We drew one days rations of Hardtack 1 1/2 of Sugar and 2 of Coffee this evening. I read 13 Chapt. in the Testament today.
Where South Carolina was first in secession—for which Sherman’s troops extracted a heavy toll—North Carolina was last to secede, and harbored significant Union sentiment throughout the conflict. Sherman hoped to find a friendly field of travel, and confident in the war’s impending conclusion made efforts to tread more lightly. Orders were given to rein-in foraging, and extend terms of peace to towns and villages if the locals refrained from firing their bridges and other resistance. However, with some 60,000 troops and perhaps another 20,000 refugees and other hangers-on, the word took awhile to make it down the chain of command and depredations continued to be visited on the countryside as they crossed the state line.
I want to give a shoutout to the North Carolina Office of Archives and History for their solid timeline in Sherman’s March through North Carolina: A Chronology. I’m finding this an excellent resource adding value to the Official Records to track both Union and Confederate troops across the Tar Heel state.