On this morning (April 5) 150 years ago, at 8 a.m., Brigadier-General Edward E. Potter led a division of troops out of Georgetown, South Carolina. As mentioned in the earlier post, this was a two brigade force with detachments of engineers, artillery and cavalry. In the Second Brigade marched the 54th Massachusetts Infantry and Captain Luis Emilio.
Emilio later recalled, in his History of the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the day’s march:
April 5, at 8 a.m., Potter’s force moved from Georgetown, the First Brigade in advance, over the centre or Sampit road for three miles, when the column took another to the right leading to Kingstree. Marching through a heavily timbered country and encountering no hostiles, the division compassed nineteen miles, camping at nightfall near Johnston’s Swamp.
Thus we have a simple map with a single blue arrow to depict the first day of Potter’s Raid.
Potter would describe the terrain as “poor and sandy” for the first two days of the march. If you searched out back-roads approximating the march today, 150 years removed from the event, one would find dirt roads bordered by pine trees.
Save the power-line/telephone pole, not far removed from the scenes past by Potter’s force.
(Citations from OR, Series I, Volume 47, Part I, Serial 98, page 1028; Emilio, Luis F., History of the Fifty-fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1863-1865. Boston: Boston Book, 1894, page 291.)