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[693] be firmly held; but night fell while he was preparing to attack it, and it was found empty next morning. Morgan's and Carlin's divisions encamped next day 10 miles from Savannah; and here the 20th corps passed them and pushed toward the city. Thus, on the 10th of December, Savannah was completely beleaguered, and the mystery which had hung over Sherman's march and its destination dispelled.

Hazen was in front of Fort McAllister on our left, and had been exchanging shots with it — hoping thus to attract the attention of our fleet blockading the coast, when Gens. Sherman and Howard rode1 to Dr. Cheves's rice-mill to reconnoiter that fort. Kilpatrick had just been sent across the Ogeechee with a like purpose, and to open communication, if possible, with our fleet off the coast. About noon, as the two Generals scanned the fort through their glasses, it was observed to open fire inland from several guns; while Hazen's skirmishers could be discerned approaching it, and the smoke as of a steamer was visible off the mouth of the Ogeechee. A signal from Hazen now imported that he had invested the fort. Sherman signaled back that it was important to carry it that day. The steamer signaled that she was sent by Gen. Foster and Admiral Dahlgren to communicate with our army, but was in doubt whether to approach the fort as hostile or friendly. At that moment, Hazen's bugles sounded the charge; when his division rushed over torpedoes and abatis, through a shower of grape, up to and over the parapet, and, after a brief but desperate struggle, McAllister was ours. Her garrison of 200 surrendered; having 40 or 50 killed and wounded to our 90. Among the spoils were 22 guns and much ammunition.

Sherman watched till he saw our colors hoisted over the fort, and heard the cheers of the victors as they fired their pieces into the air; when, taking a boat, he went with Howard down to the fort and congratulated Hazen; rowing thence down the Ogeechee till he met the National tug Dandelion, Lt.-Com'r Williamson; who informed him that Capt. Duncan, whom Howard had sent down the Ogeechee in a canoe, to run by the fort and communicate with Foster and Dahlgren, had safely reached them several days before, and that they might be expected here directly.

Foster arrived in the Nemaha during that night; and Sherman met Dahlgren on board the Harvest Moon next day; sending by him to Hilton Head for heavy guns wherewith to bombard the city — those which he had brought through Georgia in his Winter march being inadequate. When several 30-pounder Parrotts had reached him, Sherman formally summoned2 Hardee, who held the city, and who refused; suggesting that he was not yet completely invested. Slocum was now ordered to get the siege-guns into position, while Sherman started3 to pay a flying visit to Hilton Head, to arrange with Foster for stopping the exit from Savannah toward Charleston. Being detained by high and adverse winds, however, he was met,4 in one of the inland passages among the Sea Islands, by an army tug

1 Dec. 13.

2 Dec. 17.

3 Dec. 20.

4 Dec. 21.

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