Friday, December 9, 1864

SPECIAL HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, FIELD ORDERS, In the Field, Pooler Station, GA., Numbers 129.

I. Especial attention is called to paragraph V, Special Field Orders, Numbers 17, and all persons unauthorized riding horses should at once be dismounted and the animals turned over for cavalry use.

II. Brigadier-General Kilpatrick is authorized to organize a patrol to seize all horses and mules ridden by any persons without authority of law, or who may be away from their proper command, appropriating such animals for the use of his cavalry command.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman

Howard Writes:

On my arrival at the canal General Corse pushed out his reconnaissance. He encountered about 600 rebel infantry, with two pieces of artillery, near the cross-roads. His advance brigade quickly dislodged them, capturing one piece of artillery and some prisoners. He followed them up across the Little Ogeechee, seven miles from Savannah. I went to the railroad with some mounted infantry, and saw the road broken at that point. King’s Bridge was burned by the rebels, and all that were on the west side of the Ogeechee withdrew this morning. The bridge for General Blair, near Fort Argyle, is now (5:25 p. m.) finished. In all probability General Osterhaus has burned the railroad bridge before this time, as two brigades of his had crossed the Ogeechee at last accounts. General Corse has taken up a strong position, by my direction, about twelve miles out of Savannah on this road. General Smith with his division is encamped near Savannah Canal Bridge place. I have not heard from General Blair, except from his guns. General Smith will send one brigade about two miles up the tow-path, and General Blair can communicate that way, if he gets ahead far enough. Please let him read this note.

I met Mr. King today, and find him the possessor of King’s Bridge. I mean your Marietta friend. He will be pleased to see you when you come this way. Since writing the above, Captains Duncan and King and Lieutenant McQueen report that they captured a locomotive, with a train of seven cars loaded with plunder, which was being run out of Savannah, which they destroyed.

We have captured here today probably 50 prisoners. Fort McAllister is said to be occupied by the enemy entirely independent of any other force. I have tonight sent Captain Duncan and two scouts in a canoe down the river to attempt to communicate with the fleet. Two empty trains left Savannah on the Gulf road, and are cut off; two attempted to leave this evening, one of which I reported as burned.

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Pooler (Numbers 1), 8 p.m.
Major-General HOWARD, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:

Your dispatch from Canal bridge just received. The Seventeenth Corps moved at the usual hour today, and found the enemy defending the position covered by the swamp, about fifteen miles from Savannah. There was some skirmish fighting and use of artillery on both sides, but General Mower, who was in the advance, handsomely drove the enemy from his positions and works, and we reached this point and encamped in good season. The Seventeenth Corps will move as usual tomorrow morning, and will proceed until it reaches the main line of the enemy’s works, supposed to be about four miles from Savannah. We will work to the right and connect with you.

The General-in-chief desires you to move on the direct road on Savannah as usual, making progress until the enemy’s main line is developed; he also wishes you to communicate with the fleet if possible. General Kilpatrick’s command is divided, covering this and General Davis’ column, and reports positively that Wheeler is on the east side of the Savannah River.

If the Cuyler you have as a prisoner be R. R. Cuyler, brother of Surgeon Cuyler of the old Army, or his son George, the general wishes you to send him to us when practicable, and in the meantime treat him as well as possible. Present the General’s best wishes to Mr. King, and say he regrets Brown had not the good sense to follow his advice. The general thinks it best for you to leave a brigade at the bridge at Fort Argyle, to hold and guard it, as we may need it. We have not heard from General Slocum direct, but the sound of his guns would place him at Cherokee Hill or near there; we heard them about sundown.

I am, General, yours, &c.,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

SPECIAL HDQRS. DEPT. AND ARMY OF THE TENN. FIELD ORDERS,

Savannah Canal, near Dillon’s Bridge, GA., Numbers 190.
The operations of this army tomorrow will be as follows:
First, Major-General Osterhaus commanding Fifteenth Army Corps, will direct Brigadier General J. E. Smith, commanding Third Division, to push his division forward toward a point marked on the map as Beverly, reconnoitering and feeling for the enemy by the plank and other roads leading into Savannah.

Second, he will direct Brigadier-General Corse, commanding Fourth Division, to continue his reconnaissance toward a point marked Hermitage, carefully feeling toward Savannah by all the roads in his front leading thereto.

Third, the two divisions of the Fifteenth Corps on the west side of the Ogeechee will leave their trains, with small guards, to follow them, and, crossing the river as heretofore directed, will move the leading division to the support of General Smith and the other to the support of General Corse.

Fourth, Major-General Osterhaus will take charge of the right column, and the general commanding will in person take command of the left column.

Fifth, Major-General Blair, commanding Seventeenth Army Corps, will move his command forward by the Pooler and Savannah road, feeling toward the Silk Hope and Cherokee Heights road, so as to communicate with General Smith.

Sixth, each corps commander will locate his train as will be most convenient, and with the view of obtaining forage for it from the other as well as from this side of the Ogeechee.

By order of Major General O. O. Howard

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Pooler (Numbers 1)

Major-General SLOCUM, Commanding Left Wing:
As yet we have heard nothing from you today except your guns, nearly due north, from 3 to 5 p.m. General Howard has reported, and is in possession of the Gulf railroad; captured one piece of artillery, some prisoners, and a train of cars; both corps have met opposition, but have overcome it; and Howard will move the Fifteenth via the plank road, and the Seventeenth via this the main road, on Savannah, in the morning.
The general wishes you to continue along the Savannah River in your movement on the city, making as much progress as you can until the enemy’s main line is developed.

I am, General, respectfully, yours, &c.,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

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