have on the public mind, but the military is the only point view that should be taken of it. It is no point from which to operate, and will probably fall of itself the moment Savannah in occupied by our forces, and therefore the resources of the Navy and Army here should be husbanded for a more important operations, viz, the attack of the enemy's line the moment preparations can be made.
The point precise point of the hostile line to be struck and mode of attack cannot now be specifically set out without first knowing first knowing the means not be placed in our hands, and must therefore be left to time and circumstances; but in my judgment, with the necessary means, Savannah should be the point, and to be accomplished somewhat in this way: Pulaski to be vigorously shelled, as already recommended in a former communication; at the same time the gunboats of the naval squadron to shell out the garrisons of the first on Vernon and Augustine Rivers, to be closely followed up the landing of the land forces in the vicinity of Montgomery and Beaulieu, thus taking Augustine River, Fort Jackson, and Savannah in reverse; this operation to be connected at the same time with one from this point of Bluffon, New Bridge, and Hardeeville, to get effectual possession of the railroad crossing the Savannah River, and prevent re-enforcement arriving at Savannah from the center and left on their line. A small head of column shown at Port Royal Ferry would have its effect in aiding this demonstration. I am firmly convinced that an operation of this sort would ot only give us Savannah, but, if successful and stone enough to follow up the success, would shake the so-called Southern Confederacy to its very foundation.
Not knowing precisely what for the men and means necessary to the success of this operation. But I must modify the terms of my letter of the 27th November, which did not lid to this precise cooperation, and recommend that the on, "regiment of cavalry, one regiment of regular artillery, ten regiments of infantry, one pontoon brigade" be extended to "one regiment of cavalry, one regiment regular artillery, and twenty regiments of infantry, and as many pontoon brigades as can be sent here". An addition to our armament will also be required to enable us to carry on siege, if necessary, for which the ordnance officer will make requisition.
I do not say but the thing can be done with less troops, but it would be better to have too many that too few, particularly as any success should be followed up rapidly and with sufficient force. I must, at the risk of being considered importunate, again repeat the necessity of having some more experienced staff officers, particularly a quartermaster of rank and great experience, artillery officers, and, if they cannot he had ordnance officer.
All our work, which is immense, is done by volunteer soldiers, and is all drags for the want of a sufficient number of able directors. The negro labor expected to be obtained here is so far almost a failure. They are disinclined to labor, and will evidently not work to our satisfaction without those aids to which they have ever been accustomed, viz, the driven and the lash. A sudden charge of condition from servitude to apparent freedom is more than their intellect can stand, and this circumstance alone renders it a very serious question what is to be done with the negroes who will hereafter be found on conquered soil.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. W. SHERMAN,