Today in History:

7 Series I Volume XLIV- Serial 92 - Savannah


had a gun-boat and ram heavily armed that would have made the step extra hazardous; also the submerged rice fields on the northeast bank were impracticable. I then went to Hilton Head to arrange with General Foster to re-enforce his movement from Broad River, but before I had completed the move Hardee got his garrison across and off on the Union plank road. Our troops entered at daylight yesterday, took about 800 prisoners, over 100 guns (some of the heaviest caliber), and a perfect string of forts from Savannah around to McAllister, also 12,000 bales of cotton, 190 cars, 13 locomotives, 3 steam-boats, and an immense supply of shells, shot, and all kinds of ammunition. There is a complete arsenal here, and much valuable machinery. The citizens mostly remain, and the city is very quiet. The river below is much obstructed, but I parted with Admiral Dahlgren yesterday at 4 p. M., and he will at once get about removing them and opening a way. The enemy blew up an iron-clad (Savannah), a good ram, and three tenders, small steamers. As yet we have made but a partial inventory, but the above falls far short of our conquests. I have not a particle of doubt but that we have secured 150 fine guns, with plenty of ammunition. I have now completed my first step, and should like to go on to you, via Columbia and Raleigh, but will prepare to embark as soon as vessels come. Colonel Babcock will have told you all, and you know better than anybody else how much better troops arrive by a land march than when carried by transports. I will turn over to Foster Savannah and all its outposts, with, say, one division of infantry, Kilpatrick's cavalry, and plenty of artillery. Hardee has, of course, moved into South Carolina, but I do not believe his Georgia troops, militia and fancy companies, will work in South Carolina. His force is reported by citizens at from 15,000 to 20,000. The capture of Savannah, with the incidental use of the river, gives us a magnificent position in this quarter; and if you can hold Lee, and if Thomas can continue as he did on the 18th, I could go on and smash South Carolina all to pieces, and also break up roads as far as the Roanoke. But, as I before remarked, I will now look to coming to you as soon as transportation comes. We are all well and confident as ever.

Yours, truly,


Major-General, U. S. Army.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States, City Point, Va.

In the Field, Savannah, Ga., January 1, 1865.


On the 12th of November my army stood detached and cut off from all communication with the rear. It was composed of four corps-the Fifteenth and Seventeenth, constituting the Right wing, under Major General O. O. Howard; the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps, constituting the Left Wing, under Major General H. W. Slocum-of an aggregate strength of 60,000 infantry; one cavalry division, in aggregate strength 5,500 under Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick, and the artillery, reduced to the minimum, one gun per 1,000 men.


*For portion of report (here omitted) relating to operations in North Georgia and North Alabama, see VOL. XXXIX, Part I, p. 580.