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Chapter 41: the march to the sea; capture of Fort McAllister and Savannah

General Sherman charged me to open further communications with the fleet, and directed Kilpatrick with his cavalry to assist me. As soon as the two wings struck the main works at Savannah, Kilpatrick set out to accomplish his part of the operation. He crossed the Big Ogeechee at Jenks's Bridge, and then went on and followed Colonel Oliver's trail over the Cannouchee, near Bryan Court House. Sherman directed Kilpatrick to try to take Fort McAllister right away, as the garrison probably did not exceed 200 men with 13 guns. Haste was necessary, as in many things our supply was running short, and McAllister was the only remaining obstacle to our communicating with the fleet and establishing a new line of supply. Kilpatrick had visited me and represented the necessity of having infantry support.

This plainly appears in a letter of his to Sherman, dated December 11, 1864, in which he says: “I have proposed to General Howard to cross the Ogeechee with my command and a force of infantry and take the fort. General Howard has accepted my proposition, and will give me the infantry asked for, and I will only await your permission. I promise to take the fort — if it is as it was represented to me — and ”

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