Our arrival with other troops at Hilton Head
was in consequence of General Foster
's orders to co-operate with General Sherman
in his ‘march to the sea,’ for the latter had telegraphed General Halleck
from Kingston, Ga.
, November 11,—
‘I would like to have Foster break the Charleston and Savannah Railroad about Pocotaligo about the 1st of December.’
A force of some five thousand men was gathered at Port Royal
and organized as the ‘Coast Division,’ under command of General Hatch
. Gen. E. E. Potter
's First Brigade was composed of the Fifty-sixth, One Hundred and Twentyseventh, One Hundred and Forty-fourth and One Hundred and Fifty-seventh New York, Twenty-fifth Ohio, Thirtysecond, Thirty-fourth, and Thirty-fifth United States Colored Troops; Col. A. S. Hartwell
's Second Brigade, of the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Massachusetts, Twenty-sixth and One Hundred and Second United States Colored Troops. Lieut.-Col. William Ames
commanded the artillery, consisting of Batteries B and F, Third New York, and Battery A, Third Rhode Island. Capt. George P. Hurlbut
, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, had a detachment of his regiment.
formed a naval brigade of sailors and marines with some howitzers for duty ashore under Commander George H. Preble
, and ordered the