In his diary of March 5, 1865, my great-grandfather Lt. Edwin L. Lybarger, 43rd OVI, recorded an evening in the company of Gen. Sherman:
Sherman called in the evening and we had the pleasure of hearing the colloquial power of Gen. Sherman. He conversed for half an hour in an easy manner with Mr. Woodward and his Mother-in-law, but showing in every thing he said, his implacable hatred of the rebel cause.
He said among other things that he did not want the South to come back in the Union, for we could drive them out and people the country with a better race. That all the men, women and children in Charleston ought to have been killed and the city destroyed when they fired on Sumpter and [we] would have had no war and that he should pursue his vocation with perseverance while the war lasted. When asked where he expected to go next, he replied, “I have about 60,000 men out there and I intend to go pretty much where I please.
The 17th Corps crossed the great Peedee and camped on the East bank.