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[74] and Liberty, seeking to communicate with the Federal fleet by way of Kilkenny bluff and Sunbury. Returning on the 16th, he went into camp in the vicinity of King's bridge, picketing and plundering the country south of the Ogeechee.

The attempt of Colonel Atkins, with two thousand cavalry, supported by a division of infantry under General Mower, to destroy the railway bridge over the Altamaha river was thwarted. Upon the first appearance of the enemy the Confederate cavalry, stationed at detached points along the coast south of the Great Ogeechee river, hastily retreated beyond the Altamaha, leaving the region lately occupied by them a prey to the daily incursions of the Federal cavalry.

The Federal artillery was distributed at convenient intervals and at suitable locations along the line, but was chiefly massed opposite the Confederate redoubts on our right, in front of Daly's farm, the battery on Lawton's plantation, and the work at Salt-Creek bridge. The work last mentioned, known as Battery Jones, was subjected to an incessant fire during the continuance of the siege.

Although severely repulsed at Honey Hill on the 30th of November, the Federals advancing from the South Carolina coast during the early part of December made several unsuccessful attempts to obtain possession of the Charleston and Savannah railroad, with a view to strengthening the operations of General Sherman and compassing the isolation of the Confederate garrison in Savannah.

The western lines, about which the chief interest concentres, were begun so soon as it was ascertained that General Sherman had inaugurated his movement from Atlanta, and were constructed as rapidly as available labor and means would permit. The credit of their location is due to Major John McCrady, then chief engineer of the district, under the direction of Major-General Lafayette McLaws. On the 20th of November the first assignment of guns was made for their armament, and others were hastened into position as rapidly as they could be withdrawn from the city lines and other localities from which they could be spared.

Troops for the occupation of these lines commenced taking their posts on the 7th of December, and at once entered, with much activity, upon the task of strengthening them and extending the infantry cover.

The troops of Major-General Gustavus W. Smith, numbering about 2,000 muskets, were disposed on the right from the Savannah river almost to the crossing of the Central railroad—a front of about

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