On the 4th of December General Gillmore
made a reconnoissance up the Whale Branch
to Port Royal Ferry, and the admiral went into the Coosawhatchie River
with the Pawnee
, where the enemy had placed two guns to bar a passage.
The stream was too narrow and winding to get nearer than two thousand yards, and the enemy, after firing a few shots retired to the woods.
At the same time, General Hatch
pushed out a column from his right, and the Pontiac
sent her boats up the creek from Boyd's Landing, the affair being made to assume the appearance of a demonstration.
The general and the admiral determined to move the force up to Tulifiny Creek with the expressed intention of destroying the railroad above.
On the 5th of December (1864), the greater number of the troops and the naval force on shore were embarked, leaving General Hatch
with a sufficient force to maintain his position, aided by the gunboat Pontiac
At 8 A. M. of the 6th, the vessels had reached a landing on the right bank of the Tulifiny, but low water prevented landing, except in boats, which was accomplished with as much despatch as possible, and the whole force moved up the single road lying between the river Coosawhatchie
and the Tulifiny.
The line of railroad, however, was not reached, and if anything was effected by the movement, it was in diverting a force from opposing the march of General Sherman
to the sea.
On the 11th the admiral left the Tulifiny, and the following day reported the presence of General Sherman
's troops near Savannah
His occupation of that city on the 22d practically ended all naval operations that were not auxiliary to the movements of the army, except that of blockade.
Rainy weather held the Union
army fast until January 24th. General Sherman
was then at Beaufort, S. C.
, with the right