Our failure to seize the railroad on the 29th or very early the next morning was fatal to success, for the enemy took prompt and effective measures to oppose us. Their small cavalry force in the vicinity was collected; word was sent in every direction of our landing, and that reinforcements must arrive the next morning or the positions would be given up. General Hardee
could spare no troops from Savannah
, but ordered two regiments from Charleston
But fortune favored the enemy by the opportune arrival at Savannah
at 2 A. M., November 30, of Gen. Gustavus W. Smith
with a force of Georgia
militia brought from Macon
by a roundabout way. Governor Brown
had refused to allow his State troops to serve elsewhere than in Georgia
; but General Smith
permitted himself to execute the instructions of General Hardee
, and the cars holding the Georgians were shunted from the rails of the Gulf
to those of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad; the leading brigade arriving at Grahamville
about 8 A. M., on the 30th.
's and the local force it was hoped to protect the railroad until the arrival of other troops later in the day.
Col. C. J. Colcock
, the district commander, who was temporarily absent, arrived at Grahamville
at 7 A. M. It was arranged that General Smith
should advance about two miles to Honey Hill
, which was already fortified for defence, and that Colonel Colcock
should take some cavalry and one field-piece, and move in advance of that point to support his pickets and contest our advance.
at the landing made his headquarters at Boyd's house, and saw to the disposition of the troops as they arrived.
The regiments were bivouacked in the fields; and the troops, not knowing how moments necessary for success were being lost, were in fine spirits.