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[84] the Savannah river, the absence of all noise and confusion during the movement consummated at night, and above all the safe conduct of such a large body of troops, with artillery and wagons, along the narrow rice dams and causeways of the Carolina shore, in a slender column, in close proximity to a strong Federal force extending from Izard's plantation for more than a mile parallel or nearly so with the Confederate line of retreat—and that without loss or interruption—indicate at once the skill and care with which the Confederate commander had arranged his plans and the excellent behavior of his troops in executing them.

Although, during the night of the 20th, General Geary reported to General Williams, commanding the 20th army corps, that the Confederate movement across the Savannah river was believed to be in progress, the only instructions issued to division commanders were to keep on the alert and press their pickets closer to the Confederate works. Our fire, maintained until the moment when our forces were withdrawn from the western lines, seems at once to have restrained the enemy and to have confused him with regard to our real intentions.

It was not until half-past 3 o'clock on the morning of the 21st that our abandonment of the western line was discovered. Orders were at once issued to advance the pickets on the left of the Federal lines and to press forward into the city. By six o'clock A. M., General Geary's division had entered without opposition, and the city of Savannah was in the possession of the Federals. Two regiments were detached to occupy Fort Jackson and the works below the city. General Geary was temporarily assigned to the command of Savannah, and his division encamped within the city limits. Near the junction of the Louisville and Augusta roads, and about half-past 4 o'clock in the morning of the 21st, the Hon. Richard D. Arnold, mayor of Savannah, and a delegation from the Board of Aldermen, bearing a flag of truce, met that officer and through him made formal surrender of the city just evacuated by the Confederates.

Eleven times consecutively, my friends, have you complimented me with the presidency of this Association, and on fourteen special occasions has it been my privilege to address you. Such confidence and distinction, while far transcending the measure of my desert, have been very gratifying to me and will be cherished among the most pleasing recollections of my life. Few ties are so potent as

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