Today in History:

38 Series I Volume LIII- Serial 111 - Supplements

Page 38 Chapter LXV. S. C., S. GA., MID. & E. FLA., & WEST. N. C.

so that when the enemy appeared in force upon our front on the 9th we were prepared to make a very effective resistance to any direct attack the enemy might make. A strong detached work was constructed beyond the rice-fields near the river-bank, which enfiladed the whole of our front and added very materially to the strength of the position. My line two miles and a half in length. We had on it about 2,000 men, afterward a good deal reduced by detachments. The two regiments of the State Line were placed near the Louisville road, the First Brigade of militia held the Augusta road, and the intermediate line was occupied by the Battalion of Cadets, the whole under command of Brigadier-General Carswell. The Second and Third Brigades held the line from the Augusta road to the river-bank, Colonel Hill, with a detachment from the Third Brigade, a detachment of Cadets, and Pruden's militia battery, occupying the advance work beyond the rice-fieds. The whole of my right was under the command of Brigadier-General Anderson. Later, a portion of Anderson's battery, eight pieces of Major Hamilton's artillery, and some additonal heavy guns, were placed in position. The enemy pressed close upon our works, but made no direct or determined attempt to carry them. After the fall of Fort McAllister it was clearly only a question of time when Savannah would fall into the hands of the enemy. We were informed that no re-enforcements could be expected. Our only line of communication was across the Savannah River upon a narrow rice-field dike. Our supplies of provisions and ammunition were very limited. I urged upon you the necessity of preparing a pontoon bridge, and did everything in my power to aid its early construction.

The enemy, after the capture of Fort McAllister, effected a permanent lodgment on Hutchinson's Island, crossed the Savannah River, and established works on the South Carolina shore, almost in range of our only line of retreat. In my judgment, as expressed to you at that time, they were in position to prevent the escape of any portion of the garrison for two or three days before we gave up the place. On the night of the 20th of December the evacuation of Savannah commenced. About 2 o'clock on the morning of the 21st the militia, which formed the rear guard, left the city at daybreak; reached the sand hill in South Carolina opposite to Savannah, from which place we marched to Bamburg, on the Charleston and Augusta Railroad. At the latter place you deprived us of the transportation which we had brought from in front of Atlanta, and the command came by railroad to this place, where we are now encamped. The officers and men behaved to this place, well and are entitled to all the credit and respect due to soldiers who have performed their full duty. Before closing this report long served call especial attention to three Confederate officers who have long served with the militia of Georgia, and by their gallantry and skill have materially aided in our success. I refer to Lieutenant Colonel B. W. Frobel, chief engineer; Captain J. R. Troup, inspector-general, and Captain R. W. Anderson, who, besides commanding his own most excellent battery, acted at Savannah as chief of artillery upon my line. Much credit is also due to the staff officers of my division belonging to the militia proper, for gallantry, skill, and good conduct throughout the arduous campaign from beyond the Chattahoochee to Savannah and Augusta.



Lieutenant General W. J. HARDEE,

Commanding Department, &c., Charleston, S. C.


Page 38 Chapter LXV. S. C., S. GA., MID. & E. FLA., & WEST. N. C.