Today in History:

58 Series I Volume XLIV- Serial 92 - Savannah

Page 58 Chapter LVI. OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA.

A new line of defenses selected by myself and approved by General Sherman has been begun, Captain Reese, Corps of Engineers, being charged with its construction. It will consist of a system of detached lunettes, in defensive relations, which are intended to be connected at our leisure. These works will be principally armed with captured guns. The line will be about two miles and a half in development and is intended for a garrison of about 5,000 men.

On the march, the Engineer Department was constantly engaged in the most arduous duties, repairing roads, building bridges, destroying railroads, and all other matters coming within our province. I think I can safely say that the department is popular in this army, and enjoys the esteem and confidence of all commanders. Not having yet received detailed reports, I cannot specify the amount of labor performed, but it was immense.

Captain C. B. Reese, chief engineer Department and Army of the Tennessee, was my constant reliance and support. The Corps of Engineers has no more valuable officer in the field. His services are appreciated in the army to which he belongs. First Lieutenant Stickney acted as assistant to Captain Reese and discharged his duty in a satisfactory manner.

First Lieutenant William Ludlow acted as chief engineer of the wing commanded by General Slocum, and is highly commended by that officer. He is a dashing young officer.

The pontoon train accompanying the Left Wing was in charge of the Fifty-eighth Indiana Volunteers, Colonel George P. Buell commanding; that with the Right Wing was in charge of the First Missouri Engineers, Lieutenant-Colonel Tweeddale. Neither of these trains, though frequently used, failed us at any time. Their efficiency became a subject of remark throughout the army. One of these trains (the one belonging to the Right Wing) has been hauled on wagons all the way from Nashville, Tenn., whence it started in April last, and it is still in an efficient condition-strong evidence of the durability of the "canvas pontoon train. "

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. M. POE,

Captain of Engineers, Chief Engineer Mil. Div. of the Mississippi.

Brigadier General R. DELAFIELD,

Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army.

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 8, 1865.

SIR: *

Early in November the preparations for the march to Savannah were completed and everything held in readiness therefor. Under directions from the major-General commanding, engineer orders were issued making the proper assignment of engineer troops and bridge trains.

Meanwhile a freshest in the Chattahoochee carried away all our trestle bridges, and such as were necessary for the passage of the army on its return to Atlanta were relied from the pontoon trains. They were put down, two at the Chattahoochee railroad bridge and one at Turner's Ferry.


* For portion of report (here omitted) relating to the Atlanta Campaign, etc., see VOL. XXXVIII, Part I, p. 127.


Page 58 Chapter LVI. OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA.