Amid these futile appeals of governors and generals to each other for help, these efforts to reinforce without reinforcements, this abandonment of posts and removal of prisoners and destruction of machinery, the national army moved steadily forward.
On the 3rd of December, Sherman
with the Seventeenth corps, and paused one day to communicate with all parts of his command.
was now south of the Ogeechee river
with the Fifteenth corps, and opposite Scarborough
was four miles north of Millen
with the Twentieth corps; the Fourteenth was ten miles further north, and the cavalry within easy supporting distance.
The whole command was in good position and in excellent condition.
The troops had subsisted largely on the country, and the wagons were full of forage and provisions.
Two-thirds of the distance between Atlanta
and the sea had been traversed.
At Millen Sherman
heard that Bragg
was at Augusta
, and that Wade Hampton
had been ordered to the same point from Richmond
, to organize a cavalry force.
The national commander, nevertheless, determined to push on towards Savannah
He had no desire to spend his time in front of fortified cities, or to encumber his wagons with wounded men. His policy was to avoid any contest that might delay him in the establishment of a new base of operations and supplies.
What he aimed at was to destroy the great lines of communication between the rebel armies and the important rebel towns.
had no strategic value when those lines were annihilated.
They were, it is true, filled with munitions of war, but the destruction of