Saturday, December 10, 1864

SPECIAL HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, FIELD ORDERS, In the Field, near Savannah, GA., Numbers 130. December 10, 1864

The army having arrived before Savannah, will proceed to invest the place, and to open up communication with our fleet in Ossabaw and Wassaw Sounds.

I. The Left Wing, Major-General Slocum, will make a left flank near the Savannah River above the city, and extend round to a point near the plank road. He is also charged with the utter destruction of the Savannah and Charleston Railroad back to and including the Savannah River bridge, as also the Central Georgia road from his line back to Pooler (Numbers 1). One battalion of the First Regiment Michigan Engineers and Mechanics will be ordered to report to General Slocum, to twist the rails.

II. The Right Wing, Major-General Howard, will extend from General Slocum’s right to the Savannah River below the city, or to the Shell road. General Howard is also charged with opening communication with the destruction of the Gulf railroad back to and including the Ogeechee River bridge.

III. Captain O. M. Poe, chief engineer, will forthwith cause thorough reconnaissances to be made, so as to compile an approximate map for the use of army commanders, and will also cause roads to be examined and opened, to facilitate communication with the different parts of it.
IV. Brigadier-General Kilpatrick, commanding cavalry, will watch all roads to the rear, and also assist General Howard in opening communication with the fleet Army and corps commanders will at once overhaul their trains, and be prepared, on short notice, to send to the fleet everything not absolutely required for our success.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Little Ogeechee, near Savannah, December 10, 1864.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
I have directed that tomorrow Major-General Blair so place his command that his right flank will rest on King’s Bridge and Savannah road; that General Osterhaus will push his corps to the right, his left flank resting on the same road. I find that on the east side of the Ogeechee every inlet to the sea to which access can be had is commanded either by a fort or battery. I think, however, that on the west side of the river access can be had to Ossabaw Sound; and, with a view to this, I have directed Captain Reese, of my staff, to repair King’s Bridge, and shall throw over a reconnaissance for the purpose of ascertaining whether it is practicable to communicate with the west side of the river. The party I sent last night down the river for that purpose has not yet returned. I have not yet received any further orders from you than what you gave me verbally today.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
O. O. HOWARD, Major-General

The orders for the operations of Howard’s army tomorrow:

First, Major-General Osterhaus, commanding Fifteenth Army Corps, will move his entire corps around to the right of the King’s Bridge, and Savannah road, placing one division in reserve on that road, from which well be furnished the pioneer corps, and such other details of men, teams, &c., as may be required by Captain Reese, chief engineer, in the reconstruction of King’s Bridge.

Second, Major-General Blair, commanding Seventeenth Army Corps, will move his command by the Darien road around to the right, until his right rests on the King’s Bridge and Savannah road.

Third, all the trains, cattle, &c., on the west side of the Ogeechee will be crossed over to the east side, the trains, with small guards, to be parked, as nearly as practicable, in rear of their respective divisions, and the cattle occupying such places in the rear of the army as may be most convenient for forage, &c.

Fourth, the portion of the engineer regiment with the Fifteenth Corps, and as many officers and men os same as can be spared from the Seventeenth Army Corps (leaving enough to take care of the bridge at Dillon’s Ferry), will report, with tools, &c., without delay, to Captain C. B. Reese, chief engineer, at King’s Bridge.

Fifth, the pontoon bridge at Dillon’s will not be taken up until King’s Bridge in repaired, or until further orders, Sixth, corps commanders will direct an equitable division of the rations on hand to be made to their divisions.

By order of Major General O. O. Howard

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,Little Ogeechee, near Savannah, GA., December 10, 1864.

Brigadier General JOHN M. CORSE, Commanding Fourth Division, Fifteenth Army Corps:
I have heard that you have discovered a way by which you think you can turn the flank of a portion of the enemy’s force in your front. If such is the case every effort you make for that purpose will meet my hearty approbation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
O. O. HOWARD, Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Near Savannah, GA., December 10, 1864.
Major General J. A. MOWER, Commanding First Division:
GENERAL: The major-General commanding directs me to say to you that you will send out three or four men in your front, to creep up as far as possible toward the enemy’s works, and ascertain the nature of the ground between you and the works. Should there be no swamps or creek in front of your left brigade, and the ground prove favorable for an advance, you will proceed to throw up tonight works for two batteries: one in front and to the right of where Generals Sherman and Blair and yourself were standing together today, the works to be placed so as to be masked by the bushes that are there; the other on the crest that is in front and a little to the left of the point mentioned where you were standing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. CADLE, Jr., Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, ARMY OF Georgia, Four Miles from Savannah and Charleston Railroad,
December 10, 1864. 4:30 a. m.
Captain L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp:
CAPTAIN: At this point my column found our road very badly obstructed and the enemy on opposite side with two small works. We drove him from the works, and have removed all obstructions, and I do not anticipate much difficulty between here and the railroad. We move at daylight. Davis is moving, but his road is a difficult one. I think I shall meet him near Cherokee Hill today.

Very respectfully, &c.,
H. W. SLOCUM, Major-General

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