Thursday, January 26, 1865

Pocotaligo, South Carolina

I want Mowers Division to fool the enemy into thinking we will march on Charleston.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Pocotaligo, S. C., January 26, 1865
Major General O. O. HOWARD, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
General Mower is still maneuvering against the Salkehatchie bridge and it is important the movement from Garden’s Corners should be kept up. Continue it until you receive further orders. If boats can be obtained, let an effort be made to cross, but I do not wish it done at the risk of loss of life; merely to attract the enemy’s attention.
Your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Slocum Reports from the left wing at Sister’s Ferry, West of Savannah:

SAVANNAH, GA., January 26, 1865. 8 p.m.
Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
Davis made a good march yesterday and found the roads in fair condition. I have heard nothing from Williams. I leave here on transport tomorrow morning and shall stop at Purysburg. I think we shall be at Sister’s Ferry on the day mentioned in your letter, the 29th.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. SLOCUM, Major-General

General Foster Writes:

POCOTALIGO RIVER, January 26, 1865.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Commanding, &c.:
I went over the defenses at Pocotaligo today, and waited as long as I could on account of the falling tide in hopes of seeing you. I wished to ask you if you would not consider the advisability of vacating the intrenched camp that you have ordered to be established after you have passed so far on your march as to have entirely cut loose from any connection by the way of Pocotaligo. The force required to hold such a camp will to be larger than I at first supposed, say 3,000 men, while if the object be to secure debouching the roads at defiles or other good defensible points. I would respectfully suggest that the force be retained in such a position only until a positive result has been obtained from your march and you are entirely beyond Columbia. Then, if Charleston be taken, to allow the force to guard the railroad for our future use; but if that city does not fall, to have this force destroy this road as far as possible and then retire to Port Royal Island, to be used in attacks, as at Bull’s Bay and Georgetown, or other places that have to be assaulted as demonstrations. I beg that you will pardon me for my suggestions. I only desire to make myself as useful as possible, and therefore to have available as large a force as possible.

With great respect, very truly, yours,
J. G. FOSTER, Major-General of Volunteers
P. S. – We found only seven inches in Pocotaligo Creek at low tide.

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