Near Savannah, Georgia
This evening I rode over myself, and spent the night at Mr. King’s house, where I found General Howard, with General Hazen’s division of the Fifteenth Corps. His engineers were hard at work on the bridge, which they finished that night, and at sunrise Hazen’s division passed over. I gave General Hazen, in person, his orders to march rapidly down the right bank of the Ogeechee, and without hesitation to assault and carry Fort McAllister by storm. I knew it to be strong in heavy artillery, as against an approach from the sea, but believed it open and weak to the rear. I explained to General Hazen, fully, that on his action depended the safety of the whole army, and the success of the campaign.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, December 12, 1864
General SLOCUM, Commanding, &c.:
A flag of truce today brought in letters from Wheeler to Kilpatrick. One was headed Waynesborough, 6th, and the other seventeen miles from Savannah, 11th December. The officer bringing it said he belonged to Wheeler’s staff. The men of his escort said they or he were from Ross. The flag came to our picket on Louisville and Savannah road, and I give you all I know, from which you may judge Wheeler’s position. He may be concocting devilment for us, or it might be a blind to cover up. The General, you know, is at King’s Bridge. I will send word to General Davis.
I am, General, yours, &c.,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp
General Slocum has captured the steamer Resolute and turned it over to Captain Whittlesey and the commissary stores on board of her turned over to Colonel Bulloch, chief commissary of subsistence. General Jackson has been directed to detail fifteen engineers and mechanics to repair the steamer Resolute. General Slocum has orders to press the siege. We cannot flank Savannah to the north.