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[293] these was of far less consequence than the arrival of the army at the coast; while, if isolated by the interruption of the roads, the stores would be as useless to the enemy as if they had fallen into Sherman's hands. Pivoting, therefore, his army on Millen, and swinging it slowly around from its eastern course, Sherman turned his columns southward upon Savannah, marching by the four main roads.

At Ogeechee church, about fifty miles from the sea, he found fresh earthworks, the first since leaving Atlanta; but the rebel commander doubtless perceived that both his flanks could be turned, and prudently retreated without a fight; and the national columns leisurely pursued their march. As they approached the coast, the country became more sandy and barren, and corn and grass were scarce; but the rice-fields on the Savannah and Ogeechee rivers proved a substitute. The weather continued fine, the roads were good, the trains in excellent order, and the men marched easily their fifteen miles a day. No enemy opposed them, and only a faint reverberation on the left or rear told that Kilpatrick was skirmishing at times with Wheeler's cavalry. A rebel division was falling back in front, as if to show the road to Savannah, and a few prisoners were picked up now and then. But this was all that looked like war.

Once the column turned out of the highway, marching through the fields, for torpedoes had been discovered planted in the road, with friction-matches to explode them when trodden on. There had been no resistance at this point, nothing to give warning of danger, and Sherman immediately ordered a

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