Saturday, December 17, 1864

NEAR SAVANNAH, GEORGIA

A number of 30-pounder Parrott guns reached King’s Bridge today. I proceeded in person to the headquarters of Major-General Slocum, on the Augusta road, and dispatched (by flag of truce) into Savannah, by the hands of Colonel Ewing, inspector- general, a demand for the surrender of the place:

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, IN THE FIELD, NEAR SAVANNAH, December 17, 1864

General WILLIAM J. HARDEE, commanding Confederate Forces in Savannah.
You have doubtless observed, from your station at Rosedew that sea-going vessels now come through Ossabaw Sound and up the Ogeechee to the rear of my army, giving me abundant supplies of all kinds, and more especially heavy ordnance necessary for the reduction of Savannah. I have already received guns that can cast heavy and destructive shot as far as the heart of your city; also, I have for some days held and controlled every avenue by which the people and garrison of Savannah can be supplied. I am therefore justified in demanding the surrender of the city of Savannah, and its dependent forts, and shall wait a reasonable time for your answer, before opening with heavy ordnance. Should you entertain the proposition, I am prepared to grant liberal terms to the inhabitants and garrison; but should I be forced to resort to assault, or the slower and surer process of starvation, I shall then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and shall make little effort to restrain my army: burning to avenge the national wrong which they attach to Savannah and other large cities which have been so prominent in dragging our country into civil war. I inclose you a copy of General Hood’s demand for the surrender of the town of Resaoa, to be used by you for what it is worth. I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, In the Field, October 12, 1864.
TO THE OFFICER COMMANDING U. S. FORCES AT RESACA, GA.:
SIR: I demand the immediate and unconditional surrender of the post and garrison under your command, and should this be acceded to, all white officers and soldiers will be paroled in a few days. If the place is carried by assault no prisoners will be taken.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. HOOD, General

Further reconnaissances from our left flank demonstrated that it is impracticable or unwise to push any considerable force across the Savannah River, for the enemy holds the river opposite the city with iron-clad gun-boats, and could destroy any pontoons laid down by us between Hutchinson’s Island and the South Carolina shore, which would isolate any force sent over from that flank. I therefore ordered General Slocum to get into position the siege guns, and make all the preparations necessary to assault, and to report to me the earliest moment when he could be ready, whilest I should proceed rapidly round by the right, and make arrangements to occupy the Union Causeway from the direction of Port Royal.

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