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east of Madison, and turn south and reach Mil- Blair, on the south of the railroad till abreast ledgeville on the seventh day, exclusive of the of Station 9, (Barton.) General Howard in day of march. In person I left Atlanta on the person, with the Fifteenth corps, keeping fursixteenth, in company with the Fourteenth corps, ther to the right and about one day's march Brevet Major-General Jeff. C. Davis, by Lithonia, ahead, ready to turn against the flank of any Covington, and Shady Dale, directly on Milledge- enemy who should oppose our progress. At ville. All the troops were provided with good Barton I learned that Kilpatrick's cavalry had wagon trains, loaded with ammunition and sup- reached the Augusta Railroad about Waynesplies, approximating twenty days' bread, forty boro, where he ascertained that our prisoners days' sugar and coffee, a double allowance of salt had been removed from Millen, and therefor forty days, and beef cattle equal to forty fore the purpose of rescuing them, upon which days' supplies. The wagons were also supplied we had set our hearts, was an impossibility. with about three days' forage, in grain. All But as Wheeler's cavalry had hung around him, were instructed, by a judicious system of forag- and as he had retired to Louisville to meet our ing, to maintain this order of things as long as infantry, in pursuance of my instructions, not to possible, living chiefly if not solely upon the risk battle unless at great advantage, I ordered country, which I knew to abound in corn, sweet him to leave his wagons and all incumbrances potatoes, and meats. with the left wing, and moving in the direction of Augusta, if Wheeler gave him the opportunity, to indulge him with all the fighting he wanted. General Kilpatrick, supported by Baird's division of infantry, of the Fourteenth corps, again moved in the direction of Waynesboro, and encountering Wheeler in the neighborhood of Thomas's Station, attacked him in position, driving him from three successive lines of barricades handsomely through Waynesboro and across Brier Creek, the bridges over which he burned, and then with Baird's division rejoined the left wing, which in the mean time had been marching by easy stages of ten miles a day in the direction of Lumpkin's Station and Jacksonboro.
My first object was of course to place my army in the very heart of Georgia, interposing between Macon and Augusta, and obliging the enemy to divide his forces to defend not only those points, but Millen, Savannah, and Charleston. All my calculations were fully realized. During the twenty-second, General Kilpatrick made a good feint on Macon, driving the enemy within his intrenchments, and then drew back to Griswoldville, where Walcott's brigade of infantry joined him to cover that flank, whilst Howard's trains were closing up and his men scattered breaking up railroads. The enemy came out of Macon and attacked Walcott in position, but was so roughly handled that he never repeated the experiment. On the eighth day after leaving Atlanta, namely, on the twenty-third, General Slocum occupied Milledgeville and the important bridge across the Oconee there; and Generals Howard and Kilpatrick were in and about Gordon.
General Howard was then ordered to move eastward, destroying the railroad thoroughly in his progress, as far as Tennille Station, opposite Sandersville, and General Slocum to move to Sandersville by two roads. General Kilpatrick was ordered to Milledgeville and thence move rapidly eastward, to break the railroad which leads from Millen to Augusta, then to turn upon Millen and rescue our prisoners of war, supposed to be confined at that place.
I accompanied the Twentieth corps from Milledgeville to Sandersville, approaching which place on the twenty-fifth, we found the bridges across Buffalo Creek burned, which delayed us three hours. The next day we entered Sandersville, skirmishing with Wheeler's cavalry, which offered little opposition to the advance of the Twentieth and Fourteenth corps, entering the place almost at the same moment.
General Slocum was then ordered to tear up and destroy the Georgia Central Railroad from Station 13 (Tennille) to Station 10, near the crossing of the Ogeechee, one of his corps substantially following the railroad, the other by way of Louisville, in support of Kilpatrick's cavalry. In person I shifted to the right wing, and accompanied the Seventeenth corps, General
The Seventeenth corps took up the destruction of the railroad at the Ogeechee near Station 10, and continued it to Millen, the enemy offering. little or no opposition, although preparations had seemingly been made at Millen.
On the third of December, the Seventeenth corps, which I accompanied, was at Millen; the Fifteenth corps, General Howard, was south of the Ogeechee, opposite Station 7, (Scarboro;) the Twentieth corps, General Slocum, on the Augusta Railroad, about four miles north of Millen, near Buckhead Church; and the Fourteenth corps, General Jeff. C. Davis, in the neighborhood of Lumpkin's Station, on the Augusta Railroad.
All were ordered to march in the direction of Savannah, the Fifteenth corps to continue south of the Ogeechee, the Seventeenth to destroy the railroad as far as Ogeechee Church, and four days were allowed to reach the line from Ogeechee Church to the neighborhood of Halley's Ferry on the Savannah River. All the columns reached their destination on time, and continued to march on their several roads. General Davis following the Savannah River road, General Slocum the middle road by way of Springfield, General Blair the railroad, and General Howard still south and west of the Ogeechee, with orders to cross to the east bank opposite "Eden Station," or Station No. 2.
As we approached Savannah, the country became more marshy and difficult, and more obstructions were met in the way of felled trees where the roads crossed the creek-swamps on
narrow causeways. But our pioneer companies or Kilkenny Bluff, and open communication with were well organized, and removed these obstruc- the fleet. General Howard had previously, by tions in an incredibly short time. No opposition my direction, sent one of his best scouts down from the enemy worth speaking of was encoun- the Ogeechee in a canoe for a like purpose. But tered until the heads of the columns were within more than this was necessary. We wanted the fifteen miles of Savannah, where all the roads vessels and their contents, and the Ogeechee leading to the city were obstructed more or less River, a navigable stream close to the rear of our by felled timber, with earthworks and artillery. camps, was the proper avenue of supply. But these were easily turned and the enemy driven away, so that by the tenth of December the enemy was driven within his lines at Savannah. These followed substantially a swampy creek which empties into the Savannah River about three miles above the city, across to the head of a corresponding stream which empties into the Little Ogeechee. These streams were singularly favorable to the enemy as a cover, being very marshy, and bordered by rice-fields which were flooded either by the tide-water or by inland ponds, the gates to which were controlled and covered by his heavy artillery. The only approaches to the city were by five narrow causeways, namely, the two railroads, and the Augusta, the Louisville, and the Ogeechee dirt roads, all of which were commanded by heavy ordnance, too strong for us to fight with our light fieldguns. To assault an enemy of unknown strength at such a disadvantage, appeared to me unwise, especially as I had so successfully brought my army, almost unscathed, so great a distance, and could surely attain the same result by the operation of time.
I therefore instructed my army commanders to closely invest the city from the north and west, and to reconnoitre well the ground in their fronts respectively, whilst I gave my personal attention to opening communication with our fleet, which I knew was waiting for us in Tybee, Wassaw, and Ossabaw Sounds.
The enemy had burned the road-bridge across the Ogeechee, just below the mouth of the Camochee, known as "King's Bridge." This was reconstructed in an incredibly short time in the most substantial manner by the Fifty-eighth Indiana, Colonel Buel, under the direction of Captain Reese, of the Engineer corps, and on the morning of the thirteenth December, the Second division of the Fifteenth corps, under command of Brigadier-General Hazen, crossed the bridge to the west bank of the Ogeechee, and marched down with orders to carry by assault Fort McAllister, a strong inclosed redoubt, manned by two companies of artillery and three of infantry, in all about two hundred men, and mounting twenty-three guns, en barbette, and one mortar.
General Hazen reached the vicinity of Fort McAllister about one P.M., deployed his division about the place, with both flanks resting upon the river, posted his skirmishers judiciously behind the trunks of trees whose branches had been used for abattis, and about five P.M. assaulted the place with nine regiments at three points, all of them successfully. I witnessed the assault from a rice-mill on the opposite bank of the river, and can bear testimony to the handsome manner in which it was accomplished.
Up to this time we had not communicated with our fleet. From the signal-station at the rice-mill our officers had looked for two days over the rice-fields and salt marsh in the direcIn approaching Savannah, General Slocum tion of Ossabaw Sound, but could see nothing of struck the Charleston Railroad near the bridge, it. But while watching the preparations for the and occupied the river-bank as his left flank, assault on Fort McAllister, we discovered in the where he had captured two of the enemy's river-distance what seemed to be the smoke-stack of a boats and had prevented two others (gunboats) from coming down the river to communicate with the city; while General Howard, by his right flank, had broken the Gulf Railroad at Fleming's and Way Station, and occupied the railroad itself down to the Little Ogeechee, near Station 1, so that no supplies could reach Savannah by any of its accustomed channels.
We, on the contrary, possessed large herds of cattle, which we had brought along or gathered in the country, and our wagons still contained a reasonable amount of breadstuffs and other necessaries, and the fine rice crops of the Savannah and Ogeechee rivers furnished to our men and animals a large amount of rice and ricestraw.
We also held the country to the south and west of the Ogeechee as foraging ground.
Still, communication with the fleet was of vital importance, and I directed General Kilpatrick to cross the Ogeechee by a pontoon-bridge, to reconnoitre Fort McAllister, and to proceed to St. Catherine's Sound, in the direction of Sunbury
steamer, which became more and more distinct, until about the very moment of the assault she was plainly visible below the Fort, and our signal was answered. As soon as I saw our colors fairly planted upon the walls of McAllister, in company with General Howard, I went in a small boat down to the Fort, and met General Hazen, who had not yet communicated with the gunboat below, as it was shut out to him by a point of timber. Determined to communicate that night, I got another small boat and a crew, and pulled down the river till I found the tug Dandelion, Captain Williamson, U.S.N., who informed me that Captain Duncan, who had been sent by General Howard, had succeeded in reaching Admiral Dahlgren and General Foster, and that he was expecting them hourly in Ossabaw Sound. After making communications to those officers, and a short communication to the War Department, I returned to Fort McAllister that night, and before daylight was overtaken by Major Strong, of General Foster's staff, advising me that General Foster had arrived in the Ogeechee,
night of the twentieth. But the wind was high, and increased during the night, so that the pilot judged Ossabaw Bar impassable, and ran into Tybee, whence we proceeded through the inland channels into Wassaw Sound, and thence through Romney Marsh. But the ebb-tide caught the Harvest Moon, and she was unable to make the passage. Admiral Dahlgren took me in his barge, and pulling in the direction of Vernon River, we met the army tug Red Legs, bearing a message from my Adjutant, Captain Dayton, of that morning, the twenty-first, to the effect that our troops were in possession of the enemy's lines, and were advancing without opposition into Savannah, the enemy having evacuated the place during the previous night.
near Fort McAllister, and was very anxious to sault and carry the railroad, and thence turn tomeet me on board his boat. I accordingly re- ward Savannah until it occupied the causeway in turned with him, and met General Foster on question. I went on board the Admiral's flagboard the steamer Nemaha; and after consulta-ship, the Harvest Moon, which put to sea the tion, determined to proceed with him down the sound, in hopes to meet Admiral Dahlgren. But we did not meet him until we reached Wassaw Sound, about noon. I there went on board the Admiral's flag-ship, the Harvest Moon, after having arranged with General Foster to send us from Hilton Head some siege ordnance, and some boats suitable for navigating the Ogeechee River. Admiral Dahlgren very kindly furnished me with all the data concerning his fleet and the numerous forts that guarded the inland channels between the sea and Savannah. I explained to him how completely Savannah was invested at all points save only the plank-road on the South-Carolina shore, known as the "Union Causeway," which I thought I could reach from my left flank across the Savannah River. I explained to him that if he would simply engage the attention of the forts along Wilmington channel, at Beaulieu and Rosedew, I thought I could carry the defences of Savannah by assault as soon as the heavy ordnance arrived from Hilton Head.
On the fifteenth, the Admiral carried me back to Fort McAllister, whence I returned to our lines in the rear of Savannah.
Having received and carefully considered all the reports of division commanders, I determined to assault the lines of the enemy as soon as my heavy ordnance came from Port Royal, first making a formal demand for surrender. On the seventeenth, a number of thirty-pounder Parrott guns having reached King's Bridge, I proceeded in person to the headquarters of Major-General Slocum, on the Augusta road, and despatched thence into Savannah, by flag of truce, a formal demand for the surrender of the place, and on the following day received an answer from General Hardee, refusing to surrender.
In the mean time, further reconnoissances from our left flank had demonstrated that it was impracticable or unwise to push any considerable force across the Savannah River, for the enemy held the river opposite the city with iron-clad gunboats, and could destroy any pontoons laid down by us between Hutchinson's Island and the South-Carolina shore, which would isolate any force sent over from that flank. I therefore ordered General Slocum to get into position the siege-guns and make all the preparations necessary to assault, and to report to me the earliest moment when he could be ready, whilst I should proceed rapidly round by the right and make arrangements to occupy the Union Causeway from the direction of Port Royal. General Foster had already established a division of troops on the peninsula or neck between the Coosawhatchie and Tullifinney rivers, at the head of Broad River, from which position he could reach the railroad with his artillery.
I went to Port Royal in person, and made arrangements to reenforce that command by one or more divisions under a proper officer, to as
Admiral Dahlgren proceeded up the Vernon River in his barge, while I transferred to the tug, in which I proceeded to Fort McAllister, and thence to the rice-mill; and on the morning of the twenty second rode into the city of Savannah, already occupied by our troops.
I was very much disappointed that Hardee had escaped with his garrison, and had to content myself with the material fruits of victory without the cost of life which would have attended a general assault. The substantial results will be more clearly set forth in the tabular statements of heavy ordnance and other public property acquired, and it will suffice here to state, that the important city of Savannah, with its valuable harbor and river, was the chief object of the campaign.
With it we acquire all the forts and heavy ordnance in its vicinity, with large stores of ammunition, shot and shells, cotton, rice, and other valuable products of the country. We also gain locomotives and cars, which, though of little use to us in the present condition of the railroads, are a serious loss to the enemy, as well as four steamboats gained, and the loss to the enemy of the iron-clad Savannah, one ram, and three transports blown up or burned by them the night before.
Formal demand having been made for the surrender, and having been refused, I contend that every thing within the line of intrenchments belongs to the United States, and I shall not hesitate to use it if necessary for public purposes. But inasmuch as the inhabitants generally have manifested a friendly disposition, I shall disturb them as little as possible consistently with the military rights of present and future military commanders, without remitting in the least our just rights as captors.
After having made the necessary orders for the disposition of the troops in and about Savannah, I ordered Captain O. M. Poe, Chief-Engineer, to make a thorough examination of the enemy's works in and about Savannah, with a view to making it conform to our future uses. New lines of defences will be built, embracing the city proper, Forts Jackson, Thunderbolt, and Pulaski
retained, with slight modifications in their armament and rear defences. All the rest of the enemy's forts will be dismantled and destroyed, and their heavy ordnance transferred to Hilton Head, where it can be more easily guarded.
Our base of supplies will be established in Savannah, as soon as the very difficult obstructions placed in the river can be partially removed. These obstructions at present offer a very serious impediment to the commerce of Savannah, consisting of crib-work of logs and timber heavily bolted together and filled with the cobble-stones which formerly paved the streets of Savannah. All the channels below the city were found more or less filled with torpedoes, which have been removed by order of Admiral Dahlgren, so that Savannah already fulfils the important part it was designed in our plans for the future.
In thus sketching the course of events connected with this campaign, I have purposely passed lightly over the march from Atlanta to the sea-shore, because it was made in four or more columns, sometimes at a distance of fifteen or twenty miles from each other, and it was impossible for me to attend but one. Therefore, I have left it to the army and corps commanders to describe in their own language the events which attended the march of their respective columns. These reports are herewith submitted, and I beg to refer to them for further details. I would merely sum up the advantages which I conceive have accrued to us by this march.
Our former labors in North-Georgia had demonstrated the truth that no large army, carrying with it the necessary stores and baggage, can overtake and capture an inferior force of the enemy in his own country. Therefore, no alternative was left me but the one I adopted, namely, to divide my forces, and with the one part act offensively against the enemy's resources, while with the other I should act defensively, and invite the enemy to attack, risking the chances of battle.
In this conclusion I have been singularly sustained by the results. General Hood, who, as I have heretofore described, had moved to the westward, near Tuscumbia, with a view to decoy me away from Georgia, finding himself mistaken, was forced to choose either to pursue me, or to act offensively against the other part, left in Tennes
He adopted the latter course, and General Thomas has wisely and well fulfilled his part of the grand scheme, in drawing Hood well up into Tennessee until he could concentrate all his own troops, and then turn upon Hood, as he has done, and destroy or fatally cripple his army. That part of my army is so far removed from me, that I leave, with perfect confidence, its management and history to General Thomas.
I was thereby left with a well-appointed army to sever the enemy's only remaining railroad communications eastward and westward, for over one hundred miles, namely, the Georgia State Railroad, which is broken up from Fairburn Station to Madison and the Oconee, and the Central Railroad from Gordon clear to Savannah,
with numerous breaks on the latter road from Gordon to Eatonton, and from Millen to Augusta, and the Savannah and Gulf Railroad. We have also consumed the corn and fodder in the region of country thirty miles on either side of a line from Atlanta to Savannah, as also the sweet potatoes, cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry, and have carried away more than ten thousand horses and mules, as well as a countless number of their slaves. I estimate the damage done to the State of Georgia and its military resources at one hundred millions of dollars; at least twenty millions of which has inured to our advantage, and the remainder is simple waste and destruction. This may seem a hard species of warfare, but it brings the sad realities of war home to those who have been directly or indirectly instrumental in involving us in its attendant calamities.
The campaign has also placed this branch of my army in a position from which other great military results may be attempted, besides leaving in Tennessee and North-Alabama a force which is amply sufficient to meet all the chances of war in that region of our country.
Since the capture of Atlanta my staff is unchanged, save that General Barry, Chief of Artillery, has been absent, sick, since our leaving Kingston. Surgeon Moore, United States Army, is Chief Medical Director, in place of Surgeon Kittoe, relieved to resume his proper duties as a Medical Inspector.
Major Hitchcock, A. A. G., has also been added to my staff, and has been of great assistance in the field and office.
Captain Dayton still remains as my Adjutant General. All have, as formerly, fulfilled their parts to my entire satisfaction.
In the body of my army I feel a just pride. Generals Howard and Slocum are gentlemen of singular capacity and intelligence, thorough soldiers and patriots, working day and night, not for themselves, but for their country and their
General Kilpatrick, who commanded the cavalry of this army, has handled it with spirit and dash to my entire satisfaction, and kept a superior force of the enemy's cavalry from even approaching our infantry columns or wagon-trains. His report is full and graphic. All the division and brigade commanders merit my personal and official thanks, and I shall spare no efforts to secure them commissions equal to the rank they have exercised so well. As to the rank and file, they seem so full of confidence in themselves, that I doubt if they want a compliment from me; but I must do them the justice to say that, whether called on to fight, to march, to wade streams, to make roads, clear out obstructions, build bridges, make "corduroy," or tear up railroads, they have done it with alacrity and a degree of cheerfulness unsurpassed. A little loose in foraging, they "did some things they ought not to have done," yet on the whole they have supplied the wants of the army with as little violence as could be expected, and as little loss as I calculated. Some of these foraging parties had encounters with the
enemy which would, in ordinary times, rank as respectable battles.
that Hood was crossing the Chattahoochee, Bri-
The behavior of our troops in Savannah has been so manly, so quiet, so perfect, that I take it as the best evidence of discipline and true courage. Never was a hostile city filled with women and children, occupied by a large army with less I had had intimation from the Commanderdisorder, or more system, order, and good gov-in-Chief, that, in case Hood attempted to strike ernment. The same general and generous spirit his communications south of the Etowah, he of confidence and good feeling pervades the army would turn on him. which it has ever afforded me especial pleasure to report on former occasions.
I avail myself of this occasion to express my heartfelt thanks to Admiral Dahlgren and the officers and men of his fleet, as also to General Foster and his command for the hearty welcome given us on our arrival at the coast, and for their ready and prompt cooperation in all measures tending to the result accomplished.
I send, herewith, a map of the country through which we have passed; reports from General Howard, General Slocum, and General Kilpatrick, and their subordinates respectively, with the usual lists of captured property, killed, wounded, and missing, prisoners of war taken and rescued, as also copies of all papers illustrating the campaign, all of which are respectfully submitted by Your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN,
MAJOR-GENERAL HOWARD'S REPORTS.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT AND ARMY
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, December 28, 1864.
In accordance with Special Field Orders No. 64, dated September fourth, 1864, from Military Division of Mississippi, headquarters the army of the Tennessee, consisting of parts of three corps, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth, were placed in position in the vicinity of East-Point. Arrangements were made and the troops quite well supplied with clothing, provisions, and whatever else was needed. Notwithstanding we had but one line of railroad over which to draw our supplies, we were able to obtain every thing in sufficient quantity except forage, which was never abundant, and, therefore, as soon as the supply from the country was exhausted, the artillery horses and other animals began to deteriorate.
Occasionally guerrillas and raiding parties of the enemy's cavalry broke our road, which rendered the prospect of continuous supplies precarious at best.
During the month of September, I effected a consolidation of the army of the field into two corps, the Fifteenth and Seventeenth. The portion on the Mississippi constituted the Sixteenth corps. This subserved the double purpose of strengthening the two corps in the field and facilitating the transaction of business.
It having been ascertained, beyond a doubt,
When General Corse moved, it was yet uncertain as to Hood's intention. He was, therefore, directed, with the force at Rome, to act against any attempt of the enemy to move on Bridgeport from the direction of Gadsden. General Sherman further directed, by verbal instructions, that this force act as an observing one ready to strike in any direction the enemy might be discovered moving.
As soon as Hood's intentions were fully developed, the general movement northward commenced.
Pursuant to Special Field Orders No. 83, from General Sherman, the army of the Tennessee moved, October fourth, from East-Point to Smyrna camp-ground, making a toilsome march of twenty-one miles over a bad road.
The Fifteenth corps was commanded by MajorGeneral P. Joseph Osterhaus, and the Seventeenth by Brigadier-General T. E. G. Ransom.
The fifth of October, the army moved to Culp's farm, which was the prolongation of the works of Kenesaw Mountain. On the fourth, it was well ascertained that Hood's entire army, excepting Wheeler's cavalry, had moved up abreast of Marietta, struck the railroad between that place and Allatoona, and, with a part of his force at least, was moving on Allatoona.
General Sherman signalled from Kenesaw, the telegraph wires having been cut by the enemy, for General Corse to move to Allatoona at once with his whole command. General Corse reports, that he started at once with three regiments on the cars and arrived at one A.M. on the morning of the fifth instant. He sent his train back for more troops, but, owing to an accident, the train was considerably delayed in returning. After General Corse's arrival, his reënforcements and the garrison made up an aggregate of one thousand nine hundred and forty-four. The General reports that as early as two A. M. a brisk fire had opened on the skirmish line, and before dawn the enemy was pressing on all sides so as to necessitate reënforcing the outer posts.
General Corse, assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Tourtellotte, Fourth Minnesota regiment, had made every disposition possible for the defence of Allatoona Pass; though the place was naturally a strong one, yet it could hardly be expected that a garrison of less than two thousand men could hold out against an enemy so numerous as to be able to completely surround the place.
After a brisk cannonade from the south and west, kept up for some two hours, at half-past eight A.M. the rebel General, S. D. French, pe