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[83] to the bay below. As the left wing had marched abreast of mine, Sherman, establishing his own headquarters on the Louisville road, soon invested Savannah, covering every approach, in conjunction with our naval fleet, except the communications with Charleston across the Savannah River.

Just before this operation of investment began-December 9, 1864, after our last combat, and near the Savannah Canal — I drew up a dispatch to the commander of the naval forces to this effect:

We have met with perfect success thus far. Troops in fine spirits and near by.

Respectfully, O. O. Howard, Major General Commanding.

I believe that I inserted the word “Sherman” before “near by” but the above is the form in which the dispatch has always appeared.

I selected Captain William Duncan, who had escaped from capture and had returned to my escort, and told him to take with him Sergeant Myron J. Amick and Private George W. Quimby and proceed down the Ogeechee, passing Confederate stations, the King's Bridge, Fort McAllister, and all obstructions, and go out to sea and communicate with the fleet. It seemed next to impossible that the feat could be accomplished, but Captain Duncan's already distinguished career as a scout and his confidence that he could accomplish the enterprise led me to try him. He secured a long dugout, rather narrow and somewhat weather-beaten; then, putting in rations, he took my dispatch and another from my signal officer and set out. He went along very well by night, having passed the bridge

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