During the Civil War when Sherman began his march through South Carolina from Savannah, Ga. the people of upper Marion, now Dillon County thought that their homes would be directly in his path. They had heard of his "March to the Sea" through Georgia, leaving a trail of devastation in his wake, burning houses, carrying away horses, Negroes and taking everything else that was valuable. They had also heard that Sherman, when he reached South Carolina intended to make the devastation greater than he did in Georgia, because he regarded South Carolina in a measure responsible for the war, she being the first State to seceed. He certainly made this threat good for he left scarcely a house of any importance standing and as to property and valuables everything of this character was carried away or destroyed except the little that was hid in the Swamps or buried in the ground. The writer Philip Y. Bethea lived with his parents on Catfish Creek in Upper Marion, now Dillon county near the Marlboro line, being at that time fifteen years of age. From hearing old soldiers talk of their hardships in prison life and the atrocity of the Yankees especially of Sherman's soldiers, I had a horror of this raid and determined not to fall in their hands. Our family consisted of seven children besides father and mother and one son James D. in the army. This was February 1865. We heard that Sherman had burnt Columbia and was advancing towards Fayetteville N.C. We began to make preparations for the expected raid by hiding such things as we could unbeknowing to the Negroes. My brother Elisha and I hauled away two barrels of lard, pretending in the presence of the Negroes that we were carrying it for delivery to a purchaser in the neighborhood of James Bass. After leaving home and got out of sight we drove into the woods some distance where we had previously dug holes to receive it and there buried it destroying all traces of the affair. After we had finished, it was too soon to return home so we spent the time collecting wood to take back home. In due time we reached home with our load of wood, reporting in the presence of the Negroes, the safe delivery of the lard handing in a pretended receipt. At night after the Negroes had gone to their cabins, we packed into barrels and boxes bed clothing, crockery, clothing, molasses, honey, hams and such other things we wished to save. We were about a week doing these things and when we had finished, we waited for a dark night. As good luck would have it , a rainy night occurred and we, Elisha and I, got the wagon and hauled the boxes and barrels to the Swamp and hid them in bunches of thick bushes. We had a great deal of meat in the smokehouse and we were anxious to save at least a part of it. We did it burying in the smoke house at least 1000 lbs. We also filled a big box with meat in the garret of the dwelling. The box was nearly as large as the one buried. On Friday, March 3rd 1865, my brother Jim came home, retreating before Sherman. He told us, if the army came to our house, it would be there by Monday or Tuesday. He advised that the horses and mules be carried to the Swamp on Saturday. An artillery Company took dinner at our house. They were some hungry and eat like they hadn't had a square meal in a long time. It took quite a quantity of rations and a good deal of cooking. During the day we heard a fight going on across the river in Darlington County. We could hear the reports of the small arms distinctly. The distance on an air line was not more than twelve miles. The soldiers told us that the Yankees would be along about Monday. Along about this time a man, representing himself as a scout from Johnson's army, came to our house and took my father's saddle horse and left a broken down horse in its place. I always believed this man was a spy of Union Army. My grandfather gave my father a fine mare called "Jenny Lind" a most beautiful animal to replace the saddle horse taken by the scout. On Saturday morning we heard a loud noise or explosion up towards Cheraw. We understood afterwards that a gin house or warehouse was blown up with powder and this was the noise we heard. Uncle David McLeod, several days before all these happenings, came to our house from Marlboro County to get out of the way of the raiding army. On Sunday morning March 5th, 1865 my father sent a part of his horses and mules to Reedy Creek Swamp under the care of two Negro men. My father decided to leave some of the mules in the lot at the mercy of the Yankees. My oldest sister Kate went over to Uncle Elisha's to stay, with his girls, until everything was over. Uncle Daniel, my brother Jim and 'Lish, mae and myself with the Negroes Allen, Tupper and Bob decided it was time to get out of the way of the Yankees. We took sufficient rations, cooking utensils and bed clothing and started for Catfish Swamp. About the time we were ready to start, William W. Bethea a neighbor and cousin joined us. We had with us several horses and mules. On our way we were joined by Jeff and Sid Jackson, two brothers and neighbors. They also had one or two horses. We soon reached the swamp and selected for our camp the lower end of an island in the Swamp. Across this island a path led to settlements situated on the other side of the Swamp and Creek. The nearest house on that side was old Bellie Dew's. Sunday and Monday passed without incident. We sent out spies or scouts every day and they reported no enemy in sight, but rumor said the Yankees might appear most anytime. We in camp in the meantime were having a jolly time, playing cards, telling jokes, and eating all we wanted. On Tuesday, March 7th, 1865 Jim and Uncle Daniel went out to our houses but they did not stay long for the Yankees were reported up the road at the Parker Bethea place, and they did not wish to run the risk of capture. Things got very dull about one or two o'clock and it was suggested that some of us go over to old man Dew's and get something to do - drink. He usually kept such on hand. Uncle Daniel, Lish, Jeff Jackson and the Negro Allen volunteered to go. They left immediatly promising to bring a plenty to drink back with them. Those left at the camp were having a dull time, but they consoled themselves, that it would not be long before the delegation would return from old man Dew's with plenty of cider or brandy. While waiting and lolling about the camp trying to amuse ourselves we heard a rumbling sound towards the upper part of the island, like a horse running. We all sprung to our feet and stared in that direction. We soon saw a man on a black horse running for our camp. Before he reached us we saw that it was Anderson Jackson, a brother of Jeff. He lived near the Swamp about a mile above our camp. When he rode up we saw he had a Negro lad with a valise, behind him on the same horse. A dog followed behind. Anderson was very scared and much excited. He belonged to the regular army and was home on furlough. He told quite a sensational tale, that the whole country was blue with Yankee soldiers, that they would be several days passing, that he escaped capture by the skin of his teeth, that his brother Jim was a prisoner, that they had Dick and Old Henry (the former was a Negro and latter a mule) and he told a lot of other things all startling and sensational. I and the other small boys of the camp both white and black were scared very badly, all this coming from an old soldier who had been in the trenches and even been wounded. We boys saw that he was very scared. He would run all about the camp telling every one to get his things together in order to leave for a more secure place for if we remained there, the Yankees would certainly capture us. During all this excitement and hurry to get off, Jim Jackson came running into camp. He told quite an exciting tale of the race the Yankees gave him and his final capture, that he was tied on the back of old Henry and driven by a squad of Yankees to the Baptist Church on main road where the army was passing, that he was taken to my father's on the way, that our yard was full of soldiers going everywhere and turning up everything, that the soldiers made my mother roll up her sleeves looking for bracelets, that all the Negroes had either fled to the Swamp or lay hid under the different houses. He said they turned him loose because he had only one useful hand (he had cut off four of his fingers from his left hand to keep out of the war). We found out afterwards that he told the Yankee's he was a Union man and he took the oath of allegiance to U.S. Government. By the time Jim Jackson had completed his narrative Dick appeared. He told quite a frightful tale, pretty much like the story of Jim Jackson with some embellishments. He closed his recital by saying that old Caesar, my father's confidential servant, had turned traitor, had carried the Yankees to the horses and mules hidden in Reedy Creek Swamp, that Caesar had given to the Yankees all our names and that they intended to have us if they had to turn over every leaf in Catfish and that the officer when he heard the Negro Tupper's name mentioned, said "God damn Tupper, I want to get hold of him." This piece of information increased the fright of Tupper. He was about the same age as I. These tales frightened all the younger ones of the camp for they believed every word that was told. Dick said he got away while crossing a branch where the bushes were thick. He did not seem to be scared. After Dick had told all he could think of both real and imaginary, Anderson who was an old soldier, naturally took charge of the crowd. He soon realized that all were not present and he asked where they were. He was told they had gone to old man Dew's to get cider or whatever they could to drink. He seemed to be distressed on learning this and said in a whining voice, almost crying, "We will never see them again. They will certainly be captured." He asked farther, how long they had been gone, etc. He was told they had been gone over two hours. "They are no doubt already captured and on their way to prison. Poor Jeff! What will mother say when she hears it?" Some of the older ones did not agree with Anderson and said no doubt the boys would return soon. In leaving camp, it was suggested, that we go to the crossing and wait until they came. Anderson said there was great danger in this; it would delay us too long and might be the cause of our capture. "They may come with the boys from old man Dew's forcing them by threats and at the point of the bayonet to lead them to our camp, said Anderson. "I say its best to get away from here at once." The crowd notwithstanding Anderson's insistence, decided to wait until the boys showed up. all this naturally increased our fright and we were looking and expecting the Yankees every minute. When we started for the crossing, Anderson attempted to mount his horse by jumping from the ground, but his foot slipped and he fell across the saddle pommel. He slide to the ground landing on his feet and his hand clasping his side. He called out in a whining tone,"Oh, I broken a rib! Oh, what pain! Maybe two ribs are broke!" I thought we now had a disabled man on our hands and very probably a litter would have to be improvised a great impediment to a fleeing camp. By the time you could turn around, he was as well as ever and directing his Negro Calvin to take special care of his valise, as it contained a Yankee uniform and if the Yankees got it they would shoot or hang him for a spy if he was captured. We soon reached the crossing and quietly sat down on the bank of the stream to wait for the boys and the cider. Soon a general conversation sprang up interspersed here and there with bursts of laughter and other racket. Anderson almost took a duck fit in a quiet and suppressed way. He begged the boys in an undertone to be quiet and only speak in whispers, that the Yankees, now with the boys as prisoners, might right now be stealing upon us. He was almost crazy with fear. The boys quieted down but every once and a while, Anderson would whisper, "Hush, I think I hear them coming! Didn't you hear a stick crack?" He asked where the dog was. He was told that when we had reached the crossing, she (the female dog) had taken the foot log and disappeared on the other side. Anderson's distress, on learning this, was increased, "She will betray us. She will go straight to the Yankees and our location will be revealed. O Lord, Save us", blubbered Anderson. We remained at the crossing at least a half hour, Anderson most of the time begging us to be quiet. Then we heard the boys returning. As they drew nearer, we heard their loud talking and an occasional burst of laughter. This worried Anderson who was constantly saying, "They will betray us. The Yankees will hear them." The growth across the stream was a thick jungle of bamboos and reeds, impenetrable to sight - no one could be seen approaching until he reached the water, where the foot-log crossed. The party drew nearer and nearer and the noise they made more distinct. They finally emerged from the dense growth in single file. We all jumped up waiting their approach. Anderson by gesticulating with his hands and hissing big whispers towards them, attracted their attention. He was endeavoring to tell them to be quiet, but in doing this cut a comical figure to their view, and they all began to laugh. Anderson continued to gesticulate and whisper with more force. This increased their merriment and Jeff remarked, "I believe Buddy Andy is crazy, what does he mean by cutting up that way?" They began to cross over on the foot log Uncle Daniel first, then Jeff, then the dog, then my brother Lish with the Negro Allen bringing up the rear. When they reached the middle of the stream, Lish seized the dog, raised her aloft and threw her into the deep water. This caused a yell of merriment on their part and the struggles of the swimming dog made considerable noise. Anderson yelled above the din, "Lie down! We are lost! The Yankees will now be upon us." the most of us dropped to the ground flat on our stomachs. The dog, in the mean time swam ashore, shook itself and began to smell about as if it was on the trail or track of some animal. All at once a rabbit jumped out of a clump of bushes, followed by the dog, yelping every jump. Anderson called to the crowd, "We are now certainly as good as captured for the Yankees will hear the dog and come straight to us." The boys now having got over, Anderson proceeded to tell them what had taken place in their absence. While he was telling them, the dog returned from the rabbit chase and as soon as he spied her he called out, "kill that damn dog." Bill Bethea threw up his gun to his shoulder preparing to fire, when Anderson called out "Don't shoot the Yankees will hear the gun." One of the Negroes grabbed the dog and held her mouth to prevent her from making a noise. Bill put down his gun and unsheathed an old cavalry sabre which was among our munitions of war and started to run her through with it, Anderson again called out, "Don't do that! The Yankees will hear her holler." All this commotion and excitement increased our fright, for we did not know but that the Yankees would swoop down upon us any minute. By this time it was sunset and it was decided to strike camp, selecting a well protected place in the upper part of the island. The boys made so much noise that night in camp, Anderson took some bed clothing and went off into the dark for he said the Yankees would certainly find us before the night passed and he did not propose to be led off to prison and eventually be hung as a spy; that in the excitement of capture and the fright of the Negroes, someone would tell the Yankees about that Yankee uniform, so he would have his own fireless camp.

We crossed the swamp next morning and made a camp on the lower end of Sandy Island. We remained here until Thursday morning. Anderson had gone out the night before and returned early in the morning. He said all the Yankees had gone and for everybody to go home. When we reached home my father told us the raid was less than fifty men. They had a good many horses, mules and Negroes. This made the crowd large or look large. Old Caesar had certainly turned traitor. He carried the soldiers to the horses in Reedy Creek Swamp. The Yankees had not been at the house fifteen minutes before he brought in from the Swamp "Jenny Lind" the fine mare. He made himself very officious in hunting up things and giving information.

My father said he saw the soldiers lead up Jim Jackson on old Henry. The officer inquired of my father what sort of a man Jackson was. My father did not give him a very good name as a soldier or patriot, said the authorities could not get him to the war that he was a general shirker that the loss of his fingers was caused by himself to keep out of the war, never had done any fighting, could not get him that close to the front, etc., etc. Jackson afterwards told my father that what he told the officer was the sweetest words he could have said. His statement secured his release.

Old Caesar joined the army and after the surrender awhile, on morning, my father found him at our gate so sick with fever he was almost dead. He could barely walk and looked like a skeleton. He begged piteously to be taken in, that he was going to die etc. Said he had made a great mistake in going off with the Yankees and doing as he did. He begged to be forgiven. My father took him in and with the doctor's aid saved his life. A crowd of deserter hunters heard that Old Caesar was back and came to our home to get him and shoot him but my father interceded and saved his life the second time. But that old nigger had the devil in him. He recovered from the fever, got fat on grub from our kitchen, and as reconstruction came on grew insolent and got to be such a radical nuisance we ran him off the plantation.

My father said after the Yankees left the house he found a mule left in the lot. It turned out that none of them could ride it. We saved another mule, having gone after a load of wood to a far off forest.

Old Caesar was the only one of my father's slaves that went off with the Yankees. They were all at home, except those in camp with the horses, and did not show any desire to leave home, notwithstanding the Yankees told them about freedom, etc. The two Negroes who were with the horses in Reedy Creek Swamp, escaped from the Yankees the first opportunity, which was about an hour after their capture.

The Yankee raid entered our section of the county from North Carolina crossing Little Pee Dee River at Little Rock, SC (old Harleesville). From Little Rock their line of travel was along the Cashway Road to the cross roads at Parker Bethea's, then down the Marion and Bennettsville road via Catfish Baptist Church to cross roads at John C. Bethea's, then on the Mars Bluff and Little Rock road, northeast towards Little Rock to North Carolina over Harleesville bridge, their entering point. From all accounts there were very few soldiers in this raid, the crowd looked large from having so many Negroes and horses along. The object mainly was to carry off the Negroes and stock, so as to cripple the farmers, preventing the raising of supplies for the Confederate Government.