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ENTAVED EXFPESSIY FOR CLARKE & CO. PUBLISHPES.
VAJ GEN. W LAM. T. SHERMAN. U.S.A.
THE RIGHT WING-Two COLUMNS-No. 9-MILLEN-THE PRISON PEN" WORKING
THE ROAD”_CAPTURED MAIL-CORDUROY-EDEN-JENK'S BRIDGE-TWELVE MILE POST_King's Bridge ENEMY'S RIFLE Pits-BLAIR—IN SIGHT OF SAVANNAH–THE LEFT WING-Its MARCH-MONTIETH SWAMP"WATER WITCH"-JACKSONBOROPontoonS–KILPATRICK AND WHEELERATKINS-WAYNESBORO—THE NINETY-SECOND ILLINOIS-BEFORE SAVANNAH-CHARLESTON SEVERED—SAVANNAH INVESTED REBEL DEFENSES—FORT MCALLISTER-HAZEN'S ASSAULT—SHERMAN ON A RICE HOUSE-ILLINOIS REGIMENTS ENGAGED-MEETS THE NAVY-DAHLGREN AND FOSTERGUNS FROM PORT ROYAL-ASSAULT ORDERED-HARDEE LEAVES SAVANNAH-GEARY GOES IN-SHERMAN TO LINCOLN—TO THE SEA-BOWMAN'S RESUME-LINCOLN TO SHERMAN-CHATTANOOGA TO SAVANNAH-THE END NOT YET.
T HE right wing swept down the Ogeechee. Osterhaus with its
I right, Sherman accompanying Blair, who with the 17th was on the left. November 30th Wood and Corse encamped near Deep Creek. Blair reached the Ogeechee at Barton, and crossed on a pontoon bridge.' On the 1st of December the right wing moved in three columns, Hazen's and John E. Smith's divisions, the lower, on the Statesboro road; the middle, Wood's and Corse's divisions, on the Savannah road, and Blair's corps along the Georgia railroad, destroying as they went. At night the two columns on the right encamped opposite Station No. 8, where Wood secured and repaired a bridge, and sent over a detachment to break the railway and burn the depot both of which were done. Blair halted the 17th Corps at No. 9.
On the 2d Blair entered Millen, having destroyed the road and depots to that point, with a large stock of cross-ties, lumber. It required an effort to restrain our gallant men at the seat of one of the Southern bastiles, where their comrades had suffered day after day, wearily and painfully watching the delayed coming of the
delivering host. The prison stockade was in a thick forest of pine, six miles from the town. It was a square of fifteen acres, enclosed by a high log fence. Within was the dead line, a rail-fence, and the huts in which brave men burrowed, sickened, starved and died! In the center was a brick kitchen--a quarter of a mile away was the hospital with accommodations for 300 patients, and without it were 650 graves, a single month's mortality! One unburied corpse, found in one of the huts received Christian burial.
Wood and Corse rested near Clifton's Ferry, where they spanned the river with a bridge, and Corse sent a brigade to assist the 17th in “working on the road.” Scouts dashed on to Scarsboro and captured a Savannah mail, and read the morning papers of that day, thus again establishing communication with the outside world, through rebel sources. The 15th Corps remained in position the next day, sending additional forces to aid in destroying the railway between Millen and Scarsboro. The 17th Corps came up to No. 7, near Scarsboro and encamped. On the 4th Wood and Corse reached Wilson's Creek, and Blair, with part of Corse's men made Station 53; Hazen and Smith reached Scarsboro, Hazen having had a brush with rebel cavalry, and having been compelled to make a corduroy road through swampy ground. On the 5th advances were made with little opposition. On the 6th reconnoissances were made in various directions. Efforts to save the bridges for crossing were made, but the rebels had fired them. At Eden Station the bridge was partially burned, but Colonel Williamson constructed a foot-bridge, and threw over a small force, which went to the railway, one detachment going as far as Twenty-mile Station, fighting both ways. General Howard sent a Lieutenant to strike the Gulf railroad, but he found too strong a rebel force before the approaches to the burning bridge over the Cannonchee, and fell back. Wood's command rested at Wright's Bridge, except a brigade which crossed on the foot-bridge mentioned, and marched down the east bank toward Eden. At Jenk’s Bridge a pontoon bridge was laid, in spite of bold resistance, and the troops began to cross. General Rice, of Corse's division, encountered the rebel force and drove them from behind rail barricadės, receiving small loss. The other troops advanced as rapidly as possible.
General Howard resolved on the 8th to dislodge the enemy, reported
to have a strong force at the Twelve-mile post, and sent two divisions of the 15th down the west bank of the Ogeechee, to force the crossing of the Cannonchee, cut the Gulf railway and take King's Bridge across the Ogeechee, and to reconnoiter between the Big and Little Ogeechee. The way was filled with trees, etc., which were rémoved; a burnt bridge over the Savannah Canal was replaced in a half hour, and the bridge near the mouth of the canal found sufficient for pontoon crossing, which was laid. A reconnoissance disclosed the rebels in force at the junction of the road upon which our troops were moving and the King's Bridge and Savannah road. Osterhaus got over the Cannouchee with two brigades, and the 17th Corps, corduroying much of the way, toiled up to Eden, or Station No. 2.
On the 9th Blair came upon the rifle-pits of the fue, three miles and a half from Station No. 2, and launched upon them a force which drove the occupants, but the pursuers were stopped by an entrenched line defended by guns in. position. Blair's advance was through a thickly wooded swamp, full of undergrowth, but his three battle lines, preceded by hardy skirmishers made their way, driving the enemy, reaching Station No. 1, where he camped for the night. . Savannah was near. Soon the ardent troops hoped to bathe their blistered feet in the waters of the sea!
The Savannah and Gulf railway was reached and cut by the 15th Corps. Corse confronted six hundred rebels with two pieces of artillery. A single brigade dislodged them, capturing one of their guns, and chasing them within twelve miles of the city. His advance crossed the Little Ogeechee and camped within eight miles of Savannah. King's Bridge was burnt, but pontoons spanned the Ogeechee, and thus, almost within sight of Savannah, Howard, under the eye of his chieftain, united the columns of his victorious army, and gave adoring praise to the God he worshiped.
Slocum was not idle, but was crowding forward his army, the left wing of the great Eagle swooping down upon the South.
Williams' 20th Corps left Louisville December 1st, marching until the 8th via the Louisville and Savannah road, down the Peninsula between the Ogeechee and Savannah rivers, and on the 8th encamping near Eden Cross-roads. His intermediate stops were Baker's Creek, Buckhead Church, Horse Creek, Little Ogeechee, Sylvania