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up from those smoking, bloody ramparts--and exclaiming, “Savannah is ours,” he seized a slip of paper, and wrote a dispatch to the Government, closing with, “I regard Savannah as already gained.” Calling one of his aids, he said, "Captain, have a boat ready, I must go over there.' Swift rowers were soon pulling him across the river, and, just at dark, he walked into the fort—his face aglow with enthusiasm-and seizing Hazen by the hand, overwhelmed him with praises, as well he might, for Hazen had captured Savannah for him, and thus made his Georgia campaign the decisive movement of the war.
Sherman now communicated with the fleet, and going on board the Admiral's flag-ship—the Harvest Moon-arranged with General Foster to send some siege ordnance from Hilton Head. After consulting with Dahlgren he returned to his lines at Savannah.
The reports of the division Commanders on the condition of things, made him determine, the moment the siege guns arrived from Port Royal, to assault the enemy's works. A number of thirty-pounder Parrott guns having reached King's bridge, he, on the 17th, sent in a formal demand for the surrender of the city, which Hardee rejected. He now made further reconnoissances, and ordered Slocum to get in position siege guns, and make every thing ready for the final assault at the earliest moment. He also established a division of troops, under Foster, on the neck between the Coosawhatchie and Tullifinney Rivers, where his artillery could reach the railroad, and then started for Port Royal, in
person, to get reinforcements for him, so that he could assault and carry the railroad, and thus obtain possession of the Union Causeway, from the direction of Port Royal. This was the plank road on the South Carolina shore, which once occupied, would complete the “investment of Sar vannah
BUNNENDEA OF A DANN AH.
He put to sea on the night of the 20th, but a gale of wind arising, it was deemed impossible to get over the Ossabaw Bar, and the vessel (the Harvest Moon) ran into the Tybee to make the passage through the inland channel into Warsaw Sound, and thence through Romney Marsh. But the ship, caught in the ebb-tide, could not make the passage, and Dahlgren took him in his tug toward Vernon River. To his surprise, Sherman received, on the way, a message from his Adjutant, Captain Dayton, stating that Savannah was evacuated, and our troops already in possession of the enemy's lines. He immediately hurried back, and on the morning of the 22nd, rode into the City of Savannah.
The surrender of the place was made to Geary, who was placed in command of the city. Sherman sent the following terse dispatch to the President:~"I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the City of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty guns, and plenty of ammunition, and about twentyfive thousand bales of cotton.” There proved to be thirtyeight thousand bales. Three steamers were also captured, besides locomotives, cars, &c., and eight hundred prisoners.
Thus ended this wonderful campaign, the success of which very few believed in. With an army of sixty or seventy thousand men, to swing entirely loose from his base, and move, for weeks, through a hostile country, depending solely on forage for supplies, was one of the boldest movements in military history.
The Southern press said, scornfully, that he was marching to the "paradise of fools,” and the European journals, almost without exception, predicted a total failure.
At the North, his success was considered very doubtful. Even Grant, in reply to Sherman's request to be allowed to undertake the enterprise, said, “If you were to cut loose, I do not believe you would meet Hood's army, but would be
WEAKNESS OF THE SOUTH,
bushwhacked by all the old men, little boys, and such railroad guards as are still left at home.”
That march could not have been made through one of the Northern States, but slavery, which the South boasted was an element of strength in war, because it allowed all the whites to enter the army and yet secured the cultivation of the soil, was found, in an invasion, to be an element of fatal weakness. The working population, in a free State, would have hung around the flanks of such an invading army “like lightning around the edge of a thunder-cloud,” but in the South, that population was all on the side of the invadersin short, an element of strength to us
CHAPTER X X XVIII.
EXPEDITION FROM VICKSBURG-GRIERSON'S EXPEDITION-BRECKENRIDGE IN
EAST TENNESSEE-STONEMAN SENT AGAINST HIM--ROUT OF THE ENEMY
DESTRUCTION OF WYTHEVILLE AND TIIE SALT WORKS AT SALTVILLE-HOOD
FREESBORO'- -CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN-EVENTS EAST-PLOT TO BURN THE
CITY OF NEW YORK-ARREST AND EXECUTION OF REBEL OFFICERS-WAR
REN'S EXPEDITION-FIRST ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE FORT FISHER-CO-OPERA
TIVE MOVEMENT FROM PLYMOUTH-LOSS OF THE OTSEGO,
UT while, during the months of November and Decem
ber, Sherman's army was leisurely making its way toward Savannah, “two expeditions, one from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and one from Vicksburg, Mississippi, were started by General Canby to cut the enemy's line of communication . with Mobile and detain troops in that field. General Foster, commanding Department of the South, also sent an expedition, via Broad River, to destroy the railroad between Charleston and Savannah. The expedition from Vicksburg, under command of Brevet Brigadier-General E. D. Osband, (Colonel of Third United States colored cavalry,) captured, on the 27th of November, and destroyed the Mississippi Central railroad bridge and trestle-work over the Big Black River, near Canton, thirty miles of the road, and two locomotives, besides large amounts of stores. The expedition from Baton Rouge was without favorable results.
“A cavalry expedition, under Brevet Major-General Grierson, started from Memphis on the 21st of December. On
the 25th, he surprised and captured Forrest's dismounted camp at Verona, Mississippi, on the Mobile and Ohio railroad; destroyed the railroad, sixteen cars loaded with wagons and pontoons for Hood's army, four thousand new English carbines, and large amounts of public stores. On the morning of the 28th, he attacked and captured a force of the enemy at Egypt, and destroyed a train of fourteen cars; thence turning to the south-west, he struck the Mississippi Central railroad at Winona, destroyed the factories and large amounts of stores at Bankston, and the machine-shops and public property at Grenada, arriving at Vicksburg Jan
“During these operations in Middle Tennessee, the enemy with a force under General Breckenridge, entered East Ten
On the 13th of November, he attacked General Gillem, near Morristown, capturing his artillery and several hundred prisoners. Gillem, with what was left of his command, retreated to Knoxville. Following up his success, Breckenridge moved to near Knoxville, but withdrew on the 18th, followed by General Ammen. Under the directions of General Thomas, General Stoneman concentrated the commands of Generals Burbridge and Gillem near Bean's Station, to operate against Breckenridge and destroy or drive him into Virginia, destroy the salt works at Saltville, and the railroad into Virginia, as far as he could go without endangering his command.
“On the 12th of December he commenced his movement, capturing and dispersing the enemy's forces wherever he met them. On the 16th he struck the enemy, under Vaughn, at Marion, completely routing and pursuing him to Wytheville, capturing all his artillery, trains, and one hundred and ninety-eight prisoners; and destroyed Wytheville, with its stores and supplies, and the extensive lead works near there. Returning to Marion, he met a force, under Breckenridge,