THE BATTLE OF RIVER'S BRIDGE
Although historically not a large battle, the Battle at
was significant because it is the last defensive effort of the
against the march of Sherman's army to Columbia. General
LaFayette McLaws led South Carolina's First Cavalry Regiment -
Harrion's Brigade, which
included The 32nd
Regiment Georgia Volunteer Infantry.
On February 2, a Confederate force under McLaws held the
the Salkehatchie River against
On February 3rd, two Union brigades led by Maj. Gen. Francis
waded the swamp downstream and assaulted McLaws' regiment. Lt.
Oscar L. Jackson, 63rd Ohio Infantry, describes the aftermath of the
"Again at the hospital I see the horrid results of every battle. Men mutilated in every shape conceivable, groaning, begging for assistance and gasping in death. Many of our wounded will have to lie all night in that horrid swamp, it being impossible to find them and carry them out on the narrow foot bridge that has been made. Many have had their heads propped up out of the water where they lay to keep them from drowning."Lt. Col. Oscar L. Jackson, 63rd Ohio Infantry,
after the Battle of Rivers Bridge, February 2-3, 1865¹
In total, approximately 6,200 soldiers were involved in this battle - 5,000 Union soldiers, and 1,200 Confederate. 262 men were killed - 92 Union and 170 Confederate.
McLaws retreated toward Branchville after stalling
for only one day.