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[362] event that it became expedient to evacuate that city. By this route also were re-enforcements expected. General Hardee had no troops which could be detailed for this important service, except two regular Confederate regiments from Charleston, and it was feared that they would arrive too late for the emergency. Not a moment could be lost, and it was urged upon General Smith that if he would move at once and hold the enemy in check, several thousand troops, en route from North and South Carolina for the re-enforcement of the garrison at Savannah, would appear and ensure the effectual repulse of the Federals. Although the statute organizing the State forces confined their service and operations to the limits of Georgia; although, strictly speaking, there rested upon these troops no legal obligation to move beyond the confines of their own State, whose territory they were instructed to defend; although General Smith had a qualified authority from Governor Brown to withdraw the Georgia State forces under his command from Confederate service in case they were ordered beyond the limits of the State, and although his men were ‘almost broken down by fatigue and want of rest,’ realizing that the battle for the salvation of the metropolis of Georgia was on the instant to be fought on Carolina soil, and, after a full conference with the Lieutenant-General, becoming satisfied that it was right and proper the movement should be made, General Smith issued the requisite orders, and, about eight o'clock on Wednesday morning, the 30th of November, arrived at Grahamville, South Carolina, with his leading brigade. The conduct of that officer and the Georgia State troops in this emergency will be remembered with pride and satisfaction.

On Tuesday, the 29th of November, a Federal force, under the immediate command of Brigadier-General John P. Hatch, consisting of five thousand men of all arms, including a brigade from the navy, proceeded up Broad river to Boyd's Neck, where it landed with the intention of occupying the Charleston and Savannah railroad at Grahamville. This involved a march of only seven miles. This expedition was conceived in aid of General Sherman, who was known to be seeking the coast at some convenient point. By thus severing the communication between Savannah and Charleston, the former city would be completely isolated and Sherman enabled at pleasure, and without hazard, to cross the Savannah river at almost any point below Augusta, and establish communication with Port Royal, then the principal Federal depot on the south Atlantic coast.

When General Hatch effected a landing at Boyd's Neck, the only


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