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December 8.

By the map there appeared to be a road between the Big and Little Ogeechee Rivers. As the enemy was reported in some force near the Twelve-Mile post, having a line of works in his front, I resolved to turn his position by sending two divisions of the Fifteenth corps down the west bank of the Ogeechee, which were to force a crossing of the Cannoucher, and sent forward sufficient force to break the Gulf Railroad, and secure, if possible, King's Bridge, over the Ogeechee, about a mile above the railroad, also to reconnoitre with one division between the Ogeechee rivers. The movement on the right bank led; General Osterhaus in person conducted it with his First and Second divisions.

I accompanied General Corse, who found a good ridge road on the left bank of the Big Ogeechee. We came upon some carefully constructed works some three miles and a half from Station No. 2, but they were abandoned.

The road was obstructed with trees at several points, but the obstructions were so quickly removed by the pioneers that the column did not halt. On reaching the Savannah Canal, we found the canal bridge burned. A new one was made in less than half an hour. The Ogeechee bridge, near the canal's mouth, called Dillen's Ferry, a mile and a half above, I found practicable for a pontoon-bridge.

General Corse sent forward a reconnoissance which found the enemy in force at the junction of this road with the King's Bridge and Savannah road. General Osterhaus effected a crossing of the Cannoucher with a couple of brigades, as directed.

The Seventeenth corps meanwhile moved up abreast of Station No. 2, having much corduroying to do and many obstructions to clear away.

After reaching the canal, I returned to the Station No. 2, and communicated with General Sherman in person. He was glad of the results of the reconnoissance, but directed me to allow General Blair to continue on the Louisville road.

The next day, December ninth, the Seventeenth corps came upon the enemy in rifle-pits, three and a half miles from Station No. 2. General Blair drove the rebels from them, but soon came upon an intrenched line with guns in position.

At this place the road led through a swamp densely covered with wood and undergrowth, peculiar to this region. The swamp was apparently impassable, yet General Blair moved three lines of battle, preceded by a skirmish-line, along on the right and left of the road for some two or three miles, occasionally in water knee-deep. He drove the enemy from every position where he [16] made a stand, and encamped for the night near the Station No. 1.

The Fifteenth corps marched as follows: the detached brigades succeeded in reaching the Savannah and Gulf Railroad at different points, and destroying it.

The Third division, General John E. Smith, closed upon General Corse at the canal. As soon as he was within supporting distance, General Corse moved forward toward Savannah. He encountered about six hundred rebel infantry with two pieces of artillery near the Cross-Roads. His advanced brigade quickly dislodged them, capturing one piece of artillery and several prisoners. He followed them up across the Little Ogeechee, and by my direction, took up a strong position about twelve miles from Savannah, sent a detachment which broke the Gulf Railroad. His advance crossed the Little Ogeechee, and halted about eight miles from the city. King's Bridge had been burned by the rebels. All the enemy's force was withdrawn from Osterhaus's front in the morning, except the independent garrison at Fort McAllister, situated on the right bank and near the mouth of the Ogeechee.

During the day that section of the pontoon-bridge which had been with General Blair's column, was sent to Dillen's Ferry, near Fort Argyle, and laid across the Ogeechee, thus substantially uniting my two right columns.


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J. M. Corse (8)
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