Today in History:

9 Series I Volume XLIV- Serial 92 - Savannah


Station 91/2 (Barton), General Howard, in person, with the Fifteenth Corps, keeping farther to the right, and about one day's march ahead, ready to turn against the flank of any enemy who should oppose our progress. At Barton I learned that Kilpatrick's cavalry had reached the Augusta railroad about Waynesborough, where he ascertained that our prisoners had been removed from Millen, and therefore the purpose of rescuing them, upon which we had set our hearts, was an impossibility. But as Wheeler's cavalry had hung around him, and as he had retired to Louisville to meet our infantry, in pursuance of my instructions not to risk battle unless at great advantage, I ordered him to leave his wagons and all incumbrances 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 Waynesborough, and encountering Wheeler in the neighborhood of Thomas' Station, attacked him in position, driving him from three successive lines of barricades handsomely through Waynesborough and across Brier Creek, the bridges over which he burned; and then, with Baird's division, rejoined the Left Wing, which in the meantime had been marching by easy stages of ten miles a day in the direction of Lumpkin's Station and Jacksonborough. 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 3rd of December the Seventeenth Corps,nied, was at Millen; the Fifteenth Corps, which I accompanied, was at Millen; the Fifteenth Corps (General Howard) was south of the Ogeechee, opposite Station 7 (Scarborough); the Twentieth Corps (General Slocum) on the Augusta railroad, about four miles north of Millen, near Buck Head 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 destinations 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 Numbers 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, or narrow causeways; but our pioneer companies were well organized, and removed these obstructions in an incredibly short time. No opposition from the enemy worth speaking of was encountered until the heads of columns were within fifteen miles of Savannah, where all the roads leading to the city were obstructed more or less by felled timber, with earth-works and artillery. But these were easily turned and the enemy driven away, so that by the 10th 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