of this Association displayed conspicuous gallantry and rendered important service.
The venerable and brave Commodore Josiah Tattnall
, commanding the naval forces at this station, afforded such assistance as the nature of the case and the means at hand justified.
It lies not within the compass of this address to enumerate the details of the siege, which, for ten days, was closely maintained.
An incessant cannonade was supplemented at various points by sharp shooting and musketry firing.
The artillery duels were particularly fierce at Battery Jones
, at Pine-Point battery, at the redoubts crowning the high grounds of the plantations of Lawton
, at the Central railroad crossing, and at Williamson
On more than one occasion the Federals
demonstrated in force and attempted to carry the Confederate
works, but suffered repulse.
Protected by their entrenchments, the Confederates
sustained comparatively few casualties.
On the afternoon of the 13th of December, Brigadier-General Hazen
, with the second division of the 15th army corps, by a rapid assault, swept over the abattis and rear defenses of Fort McAllister
and compassed its capture with a loss to his command of one hundred and thirty-four killed and wounded. In the language of this victorious officer, the fighting was desperate and deadly; and, when overwhelmed by the enveloping forces, the Confederates
contested every inch of ground within the fort, finally retreating to the bomb-proofs, ‘from which they still fought, and only succumbed as each man was individually overpowered.’
Upon the fall of this work General Sherman
acquired full control of the Great Ogeechee river
, and was thus enabled to communicate freely with the Federal fleet and establish a convenient base of supplies for his army, then sadly in need of provisions for man and beast.
The further retention of Savannah
was rendered impracticable, and the salvation of its garrison became the problem of the hour.
's instructions from General Beauregard
were to hold Savannah
only so long as, in his judgment, it might be advisable to do so; and that whenever it became necessary to decide between a sacrifice of the garrison or the city, to preserve the former for operation elsewhere.
A conference between Generals Sherman
and Admiral Dahlgren
resulted in an agreement that the Admiral
would speedily engage the Confederate batteries at Turner's Point
, Rose Dew and Beaulieu
, and furnish vessels suitable for the navigation of the Great