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[695] off his foraging parties; forcing back his cavalry on his infantry. Georgia was swiftly and cheaply traversed, simply by reason of the admirable dispositions which left the enemy in doubt as to his objective, and paralyzed, at Macon, Augusta, Savannah, &c., forces which should have been concentrated to oppose his advance.

Sherman announced his crowning triumph to President Lincoln as follows:

I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.

The President responded as follows:

Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., Dec. 26, 1864.
my dear Gen. Sherman:
Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift — the capture of Savannah.

When you were about to leave Atlanta for the Atlantic coast, I was anxious, if not fearful; but, feeling that you were the better judge, and remembering that “nothing risked, nothing gained,” I did not interfere. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is all yours; for I believe none of us went further than to acquiesce. And, taking the work of Gen. Thomas into the account, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success.

Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate military advantages, but, in showing to the world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger part to an important new service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old opposing forces of the whole — Hood's army — it brings those who sat in darkness to see great light.

Please make my grateful acknowledgments to your whole army, officers and men.

Yours, very truly,

Two separate expeditions were sent out from the Mississippi to distract the enemy's attention from Sherman, and prevent a concentration against him. One of them, under Gen. Dana, was dispatched from Vicksburg; encountering,1 on the Big Black, a Rebel force which it defeated, after an obstinate fight; destroying several miles of the railroad, including the bridge, with locomotives, cars, cotton, and valuable stores. The other, under Gen. Davidson, moved simultaneously from Baton Rouge to Tangipahoa, where it broke up the same railroad, destroying bridges, &c.; pushing on to Franklinton and West Pascagoula; meeting little resistance, taking some prisoners, and causing alarm for the safety of Mobile.

A third and more important mounted expedition was dispatched2 by Gen. Dana from Memphis, 3,500 strong, led by Gen. Grierson, south-eastward through north Alabama to Tupelo on the Mobile railroad, which was thoroughly broken up southward to Okolona; Col. Karge, by the way, surprising3 a Rebel camp at Verona, dispersing the force holding it, capturing 32 cars, 8 warehouses filled with ordnance and supplies, which were being loaded for Hood's army on 200 wagons taken by Forrest from Sturgis at Guntown. All were destroyed.

At Okolona, Grierson intercepted4 dispatches from Dick Taylor, at Mobile, promising reenforcements, which deserters said would arrive at 11 A. M. next day. he decided, therefore, to attack at daylight, and did so: the Rebels being intrenched at a little station known as Egypt, with 4 guns on platform cars, and some 1,200 to 2,000 men. While the fight was in progress, two trains came up the road with reinforcements for the enemy; but Grierson interposed between these and his stationary foes, repelling the former, and routing the latter; capturing and destroying a

1 Nov. 25.

2 Dec. 21.

3 Dec. 25.

4 Dec. 27.

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