This Week in the Civil War - #1026
Sherman’s relentless march northward through the South Carolina countryside effectively divided Confederate forces located in the eastern section of the state near Branchville and Charlestown from those Confederates stationed to the west at Aiken and in the state of Georgia. On Saturday, February 11, 1865 President Jefferson Davis wrote General William Hardee that, if the Confederate forces in South Carolina could be concentrated sufficiently, he believed that Sherman could be defeated at Charlestown. At the same time, however, Hardee’s immediate superior, General Pierre G.T. Beauregard, urged the evacuation of Charlestown, arguing that the Confederacy could not afford to lose another army. With the Confederate high command in conflict over what to do about Charlestown, ironically Sherman intended not to attack that city but to bypass and therefore isolate it.