Friday, December 16, 1864

Near Savannah, Georgia

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, near Savannah, GA., Numbers 133. December 16, 1864

I. Captain O. M. Poe, chief engineer, will cause all the railroads leading out of Savannah to be most thoroughly destroyed, the Charleston road as far as and, if possible, including the bridge over Savannah River; the Macon road as far as Station 1 1/2; and the Gulf road as far as and including the Ogeechee River bridge

II. Major-General Howard will dispatch two divisions, without wagons, to destroy the Gulf road as far as the Altamaha River bridge, and exhaust the country in that direction of supplies. General Kilpatrick with his cavalry will cover this working force, and co-operate with it.

III. The depot of supplies is for the present at King’s Bridge. General Easton, chief quartermaster, may use his discretion in landing supplies at Fort McAllister and the rice mill.

IV. Army commanders will forth with send to General Easton, chief quartermaster, at King’s Bridge, all negroes, horses, mules, fan wagons rendered surplus by our change in operations, or to such points on the Ogeechee River as General Easton may indicate, in order that they may be sent to Port Royal Island, where they can be more easily supplied; they will also avail themselves of the present favorable Weather to bring forward ten days’ food, and will reserve for that purpose enough wagons to handle them; all other wagons must be sent to the Ogeechee River as soon as possible.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:
GENERAL: The mail-boat and General Foster’s steamer, neither capable of carrying any freight, a re the only vessels that have arrived here as yet. these boats reports only six sweet water on the bars below this place at low tide. I fear the steamers and other vessels below, which contain our supplies, draw too much water to get up. I will go down the river in the morning and lighten up the transports, and do everything else that can be done to get supplies to this point.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. C. EASTON, Chief Quartermaster


Transports with rations have arrived below the fort. I have ordered one to be brought to the fort wharf. If any command is pressed they can send by land via King’s Bridge.

I directed the vessels having supplies for this army be sent to King’s Bridge. General Easton and Colonel Beckwith are here to receive them.

Steamer Nemaha, Ogeechee River, GA., December 16, 1864.
Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding:

GENERAL: On my way up today I sounded the river, obtained two good pilots, one of whom is on the Island City, and removed a pier and the burnt rubbish of the railroad bridge so as to permit vessels to pass. Between that bridge and this point there is only seven feet of water at high water; up to the railroad bridge from the mouth of the river there is ten feet of water at low water. All the vessels with supplies may come to the railroad bridge, but from there to this point lighters must be used, except at high water, when the light-draught steamers may be used, except at high water, when the light-draught steamers may come up. The siege battery of 30-pounder Parrotts is in the river; three pieces on the steamer Sylph and three more on another steamer. Forage is also here on vessels, both steam and sailing. Two large steamers and one schooner with commissary stores are also in the river coming up. In going down I will endeavor to pick up on the plantations pilots enough to place one on each vessel, if possible, and hurry them up. All of them should arrive at the railroad bridge at noon to-morrow. The Sylph is of light-draught, and can come directly here and land the 30-pounder Parrots at the landing. I shall leave as soon as the water rises sufficiently to proceed directly to Hilton Head, to send a steamer to Fortress Monroe with Lieutenant-Colonel Babcock. After that I shall return at once.
Respectfully, yours,
J. G. FOSTER, Major-General, Commanding

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