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[95]

I took up my headquarters and then wrote home: “I want to see the loving faces, yours and the children's, so much that I am really homesick. I went to General Sherman and told him: ‘Now let me off. I don't ask but two days at home.’ He answered: ‘General, I would give a million of dollars, if I had it, to be with my children. Would you do more than that?’ I told him I should say nothing more; and I have given up for the present.”

It was only four days after the writing of that letter before a new and more difficult campaign of the Carolinas opened before us.

We remained in comparative quiet at Savannah till January 1, 1865.

On New Year's Day Sherman took me aside and said that we were to move on through the Carolinas as soon as possible. He had a map of the coast in his hand. Opening it he showed me Robertsville in South Carolina, and also Pocotaligo Junction, on the Savannah & Charleston Railroad.

It was not far from Pocotaligo that the Confederates, including G. W. Smith's Macon contingent, had met Foster's and Saxton's Union men and defeated them while we were on the march from Atlanta to the sea.

Sherman said that he wanted me to move my wing of the army by water over to the Island of Beaufort, S. C., and go thence northward, cross an arm of the sea, secure a landing, and then proceed to Pocotaligo. I must time myself so as to get there by January 15th (inst.). “Can you do it” There were too many elements in the problem presented to be solved offhand.

After, Yankeelike, asking some questions, I said that the time was rather short, “but we would do the ”

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