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[296] pontoon bridge, with the plantation rice flats for pontoons, moored by old guns and car-wheels for anchors, and covered with flooring supplied by pulling down the wharves and wooden buildings. After giving a letter of instruction as to the plan of operations, indicating the contingency under which the movement should begin, he returned to Charleston. Instructions were also given for the most feasible defence of the causeway and road from Screven's Ferry. On the 14th Hardee telegraphed the General, stating the enemy's movements, his own doubts, and his desire in the emergency to have orders; and on the 15th he again telegraphed, urging the General to return and determine on the ground the actual time for the movement of evacuation and junction with Jones. Beauregard (whom I accompanied) arrived again in Savannah on the night of the 16th, after running the gauntlet of Foster's batteries near Pocotaligo, in a wagon, so as to save the railroad from obstruction by an unlucky shot at his train, and making, by like conveyances, the distance along which the railroad had been broken by Sherman near Savannah. He found the pontoon bridge only about one-third constructed, some of Wheeler's cavalry having destroyed a number of rice flats collected, supposing they had been gathered by Sherman for the crossing of the river. But the work was prosecuted with such vigor by Chief Engineer (Colonel) John G. Clarke, in person, that by daylight of the 19th the General found it all but completed-stretching from the city to Hutchinson's Island, over which a causeway was built; thence to Pennyworth Island, where another causeway was laid; thence across the Back river to a causeway which led over the swamps to the main land of the Carolina bank. Beauregard ordered the movement to be made that night, though accident delayed it until the night of the 20th, when by this route — the only exit from SavannahHardee was safely withdrawn, with field artillery, baggage and stores, and the bridge then destroyed. This was one of the neatest achievements of the war, rivaling in decision, resource and skill the celebrated evacuations of Corinth and of Morris' Island by the same commander. But, meanwhile, General Sherman, cautiously leaving his sixty thousand men concentrated on the Georgia bank of the river, had gone in person around by the sea to Hilton Head, in order to procure the assistance of Foster's army for the investment of Savannah from the Carolina bank. It is clear that had Slocum's suggestion been adopted, or had even the single brigade of his corps, which had crossed the river above Savannah, been

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