and from Thunderbolt having spiked their guns, destroyed the carriages, and thrown all ammunition into the water, concentrated at Fort Jackson
at 8 o'clock on the evening of the 20th, whence, under the command of Colonel Edward C. Anderson
, they were conveyed by steamer to Screven
's ferry, marching thence the same night to Hardeeville
They were accompanied by the crew of the Confederate ironclad Georgia
, Captain Gwathmey
, that floating battery having been scuttled by her officers.
The guns having been spiked, carriages broken, and ammunition destroyed at the Isle of Hope
, Beaulieu, and Rose Dew batteries, the garrisons from those points repaired to Savannah
and the same night crossed the pontoon bridges; the artillerists from Beaulieu
and Rose Dew moving forward to Hardeeville
, while the dismounted cavalry from the Isle of Hope
reported for duty to General Wheeler
From the western lines our troops were quietly withdrawn in the order and at the hours indicated in the circular issued by Lieutenant-General Hardee
There was no confusion, and all movements were executed promptly and in silence.
Abandoned guns were spiked, their carriages disabled, and all ammunition destroyed so far as this could be done without attracting the attention of the enemy in our immediate front.
To conceal our operations, occasional firing was maintained until the latest moment.
Forty-nine pieces of field artillery, with limbers, caissons, forges, battery wagons, and baggage wagons, were safely withdrawn and transported over the pontoon bridges.
Without halting in Savannah
, the retiring Confederate army pursued its march for Hardeeville, S. C.
, which was designated as the place of rendezvous.
The destruction of the ammunition on the western lines was not commenced until after the withdrawal of the infantry, and was cautiously performed by the artillerists.
The guns were not spiked until the last moment.
With several rounds of ammunition on hand, they were kept ready for action while the ordnance stores and equipments, which could not be retired, were being rendered useless.
The field return on the morning of the 20th of December, 1864, showed in the trenches, on detail duty, and in the fixed batteries along the water approaches to the city, an aggregate of 9,089 men of all arms present for duty.
The Ladies' gun-boat, or ironclad Georgia
, was sunk at her moorings abreast of Fort Jackson
on the night of the 20th.
The ironclad Savannah
, Captain Brent
, being unable to proceed to