I am reviewing my troops this week. Today, I was to review Blairs Corp. Heavy rain has postponed the review until Friday.
I received the following from some gentlemen from Georgia:
When dominant political factions become so corrupt as to prefer the destruction of the General Government to their own overthrow as mere parties, and in support of such preference set at defiance the authority of such General Government, and finally actually inaugurate a war for the destruction of the same, we deem it the right and duty of all men living in the country where such parties are formed, who desire to continue loyal to their Government, to resist if possible all attempts to make them take up arms against the same; but if not able to make an open resistance, then we deem it not at all dishonorable to evade stealthily such unnatural, unlawful, and treasonable measures, nor do we deem it dishonorable to aid in the same or any other manner the open defenders of our cause.
Be it therefore resolved, That we, the undersigned citizens of Liberty and Tattnal Counties and the State of Georgia, either deserted from the army of the so-called Confederate States at home, in violation of the conscript law thereof, or by reason of our old age, will never aid in carrying on this wicked rebellion against our Government.
Resolved, That we will band together, under the leadership of some suitable person, in order that we may better defend our lives and our property against the execution of barbarous threats and orders uttered and issued against us by rebel leaders.
Resolved, That the occupation of Georgia by the Federal army is in accordance with our wishes, and that we will render any assistance in our power to said army that may [be] asked.
Resolved, That we are opposed to the principle of secession, and look upon all who support said principle as traitors to our Government.
Resolved, That hereafter, as heretofore, we will recognize the Constitution of the United States, and that alone, as the supreme law of our land, to which, though temporarily suspended here, we steadily look for that protection which, as American citizens, we are entitled to enjoy.
Resolved, That two members of this meeting be appointed to proceed as soon as practicable with a copy of these resolutions to the nearest Federal camp.
We do solemnly swear that we will not divulge to any one at all not present at this meeting anything connected therewith, or transpired threat, without the full consent and approbation of the chairman thereof, so help me God.
Be it resolved, That the penalty will be death for any person who reveals any part of the above obligation or resolution or proceeding of this meeting that has been transacted, or may hereafter be transacted at any subsequent.
The following-named persons will act to from resolutions for this meeting to be governed by:
P. J. Standfield, A. J. PAGE, Asa Barnett, J. E. Beasly, JNO S. Long
I Replied to the Request:
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Savannah, December 28, 1864
Messrs. P. J. STANFIELD, A. J. PAGGETT, and others, Of Liberty and Tattnal Counties, GA.:
GENTLEMEN: I have a copy of the resolutions adopted by you. They are surely strong enough and patriotic enough. I will aid you all possible, and do all in my power to encourage you and defend you in your course. I do think we have been at war long enough for truth to reveal itself. We are fellow-countrymen and bound by every principle of honor and honesty to maintain and defend the Union given us by Washington, and that is all I aim at, and the moment Georgia resumes her place in the Union and sends Representatives to Congress she is at once at peace, and all the laws both national and State are revived. If you will stay at home quietly, and call back your sons and neighbors to resume their peaceful pursuits, I will promise you ammunition to protect yourselves and property. If rebel soldiers do any of you violence I will retaliate, and if you will bring your produce to Savannah I will cause it to be protected in transit, and allow it to be sold in market to the highest bidder, and our commissary will buy your cattle, hogs, sheep, &c. It would be well to form a league, and adopt some common certificate, so that our officers and soldiers may distinguish between you and open rebels. I will be glad to confer with any of your people, and will do all that is fair to encourage you to recover the peace and prosperity you enjoyed before the war.
I am, with respect, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General
The Engineers building the line of defense for Savannah has requested permission to knock down buildings:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
ENGINEER OFFICE, Savannah, GA., December 28, 1864.
Captain O. M. POE, Chief Engineer Military Division of the Mississippi:
I have to report that I have examined the ground for the new line of fortifications about the city. The line will run so as to render it necessary to destroy some old buildings (some of them occupied by families) and to remove some of the camps of our troops. I have located the line to interfere with both of these as little as possible. I think it necessary to give me authority, in orders, to have all buildings or camps in the way of the line of works removed at once.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. B. REESE, Captain of Engineers, Chief Engineer Department of the Tennessee
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Savannah, GA.,
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, Numbers 145. December 28, 1864.
Captain O. M. Poe, chief engineer, is hereby authorized, in the execution of instructions to build a line of defense for the city of Savannah, to remove or destroy buildings of any character, to give orders for the removal of any camp of troops or other obstacles in the way, and commanders of troops will assist Captain Poe as much as possible in the removal of camps that may interfere with his proposed line.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp