HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Savannah, January 7, 1865
Admiral DAHLGREN, Savannah River:
DEAR ADMIRAL: The letter you send me is from Admiral Porter, at Beaufort, N. C. I am not certain that there is a vessel in Port Royal from Admiral Porter or I would write him. If there be one to return to him I beg you to send this, with a request that I be advised as early as possible as to the condition of the railroad from Beaufort, N.C., back to New Berne, and so on toward Goldsborough; also all maps and information of the country above New Berne; how many cars and locomotives are available to us on that road; whether there is good navigation from Beaufort, N. C., via Pamlico Sound, up Neuse River, &c.
I want Admiral Porter to know that I expect to be ready to move about the 15th; that I have one head of column across Savannah River at this point; will soon have another at Port Royal Ferry, and expect to make another crossing at Sister’s Ferry. I still adhere to my plan submitted to General Grant, and only await provisions and forage. The more I think of the affair at Wilmington the more I feel ashamed of the army there; but Butler is at fault, and he alone. Admiral Porter fulfilled his share to admiration. I think the admiral will feel more confidence in my troops, as he saw us carry points on the Mississippi where he had silenced the fire. All will turn out of the best yet.
I am, with respect, yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General
These gentlemen are tired of the war and want Georgia to return to the Union. I support them in hopes of driving a wedge between Jeff Davis and the state of Georgia. I had Dayton send a letter of support:
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, Ga., January 7, 1865.
Mr. ISAIAH BEASLEY and OTHERS:
GENTLEMEN: By direction of General Sherman I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours dated January 3. He has also had an interview with the bearer of the same, Mr. Rodgers. He wishes me to express his satisfaction at you earnestness and progress, and wishes you to go on quietly and secretly with your organization. Keep up constant communication with the commanding officer here, whoever he may be, and who will always assist you. You cannot depend on General Sherman always being here, but you will meet with encouragement from our officers. You had better send in at times some of those guerrillas and persons who give you trouble, and we will dispose of them as prisoners of war, or if they are guerrillas and bushwhackers will banish them for the country or punish them. General Kilpatrick will be informed of your society and intentions, and you can feel assured of his good will and influence. The pass you have proposed will be adopted, and General Kilpatrick’s officer will be notified.
I am, gentlemen, with respect,
L. M. DAYTON
Howard’s Corp Continues their move to Beaufort:
1. Captain C. B. Reese, Chief engineer, will direct the pontoon train, in charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Tweeddale, to at once proceed to Fort Thunderbolt, preparatory to embarkation to Beaufort, S. C., to which point it will follow the Seventeenth Corps as soon as transportation can be furnished.
2. Major-General Osterhaus, commanding Fifteenth Army Corps, will hold his command in readiness to move to Beaufort, S. C., and will send one division to Fort Thunderbolt Monday morning, the 9th instant, preparatory to embarkation. The remainder of his command will follow as soon as transportation can be furnished. He will continue to furnish the necessary daily details for labor on the fortifications heretofore ordered, or so much thereof as the deceasing number of his troops present will admit, relieving each division when ready to embark from all details by details from remaining divisions.