concluded to make one more effort to completely surround Savannah on all sides, so as further to excite Hardee's fears, and, in case of success, to capture the whole of his army.
We had already completely invested the place on the north, west, and south, but there remained to the enemy, on the east, the use of the old dike or plank-road leading into South Carolina, and I knew that Hardee would have a pontoon-bridge across the river.
On examining my maps, I thought that the division of John P. Hatch, belonging to General Foster's command, might be moved from its then position at Broad River, by water, down to Bluffton, from which it could reach this plank-road, fortify and hold it — at some risk, of course, because Hardee could avail himself of his central position to fall on this detachment with his whole army.
I did not want to make a mistake like Ball's Bluff at that period of the war; so, taking one or two of my personal staff, I rode back to King's Bridge, leaving with General
nteenth) was, however, up on the railroad about Pocotaligo, near the head of Broad River, to which their supplies were carried from Hilton Head by steamboats.
General Hatch's division (of General Foster's command) was still at Coosawhatchie or Tullafinny, where the Charleston & Savannah Railroad crosses the river of that name.
Aln the sandy pineland which connected with the firm ground extending inland, constituting the chief reason for its capture at the very first stage of the campaign.
Hatch's division was ordered to that point from Coosawhatchie, and the whole of Howard's right wing was brought near by, ready to start by the 1st of February.
I also r Garden's Corners, and mark it with sign-boards — obstructing the old road, so that, should I send back any detachments, they would not be misled.
I prefer that Hatch's force should not be materially weakened until I am near Columbia, when you may be governed by the situation of affairs about Charleston.
If you can break the ra
r, General Gillmore, with a stronger guard commanded by General Molineux.
Leaving to General Gillmore, who was present, and in whose department General Wilson was, to keep up the supplies at Augusta, and to facilitate as far as possible General Wilson's operations inland, I began my return on the 2d of May.
We went into Charleston Harbor, passing the ruins of old Forts Moultrie and Sumter without landing.
We reached the city of Charleston, which was held by part of the division of General John P. Hatch, the same that we had left at Pocotaligo.
We walked the old familiar streets — Broad, King, Meeting, etc.--but desolation and ruin were everywhere.
The heart of the city had been burned during the bombardment, and the rebel garrison at the time of its final evacuation had fired the railroad-depots, which fire had spread, and was only subdued by our troops after they had reached the city.
I inquired for many of my old friends, but they were dead or gone, and of them all I only sa