he found Admiral Dahlgren
in command of the blockading squadron.
At Port Royal
there were abundant stores of bread, provisions, and clothing, as well as siege-guns and ammunition.
, he learned, had made several unsuccessful attempts to cut the Charleston railroad; and it was now arranged to forward supplies to the army and heavy ordnance for an assault upon Savannah
On the 15th, Sherman
returned to his lines in the rear of the town.
It was just one month since the army had started from Atlanta
On the 12th of November, Sherman
severed communication with the North
; on the 13th of December, he reopened it with Foster
and the fleet.
In these thirty-one days he had utterly destroyed two hundred miles of railroad, breaking up every connection between the rebel forces east and west of Georgia
He had consumed the corn and fodder, as well as the cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry, in a region sixty miles wide, carried away more than ten thousand horses and mules, and liberated countless numbers of slaves.
Many of the stores and provisions were essential to the armies of Hood
. The damage done to the state of Georgia
he estimated at one hundred millions of dollars, of which twenty millions inured to the national advantage; the remainder was simple waste and destruction.
Sixty-five thousand men and thirty-five thousand animals had obtained abundant food for forty days, and the troops reached the coast, needing no provisions but bread.
They started with five thousand