In the mean while any operations by land the north of Savannah River will be out question, because of the want of boats, wagons, and light artillery, none of which expected have yet arrived.
In case we find it practicable to effect a landing at or near Savannah by this route, I think it would be judicious and even necessary to send the force heretofore asked for as promptly as possible. As the process is a slow one, the enemy with have an opportunity to accumulate immense forces at that point, and we should be strong enough to make the thing sure.
The Atlantic I am keeping waiting, and must therefore close in haste.
T. W. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, EXPED'Y CORPS,
Hilton Head, S. C., January 31, 1862.
General THOMAS W. SHERMAN, &c.:
GENERAL: I inclose for your consideration a brief draught of proposed operations with the forces under my command. It is drawn up from my recollection of the place, and may need modification after consultation of the map of the locality, a copy of which I asked for in my communication of this morning. If I am not much mistaken in my recollections of the locality, the whole plan is feasible, though for its full success more troops would be desirable in case the enemy is in large force. I feel confident, however, that a part, and perhaps the whole, may be carried out with the present force.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. G. WRIGHT,
I propose landing on the shore of Amelia Island, to engage and cut off, it possible, the retreat of the rebel force-the landing to be beyond the reach of his batteries; the town of Fernandina to be taken possession of as soon as possible, as well as the railroad beyond. A floating force (naval) should be pushed as rapidly as possible up the Amelia River past Fernandina, to intercept the retreat of the rebels, to prevent the destruction of the railroad bridge, and to save any rolling stock of the road that may be at Fernandina. A portion of the land force may be pushed into the interior by the railroad, if through desirable; and another portion, taken on board the gunboats, may be sent up Cumberland Sound, to intercept the retreat of the garrison on Cumberland Island. Our reliance is on the squadron for boats for landing the troops and for cover in landing.
It is of the highest importance to the full success of our operations that the wharves at Fernandina, which the enemy will no doubt attempt to destroy, should be preserved. They will afford the means of putting troops on board the transports or gunboats for the further operations with great rapidity and facilitate the landing of stores, &c.
H. G. WRIGHT,
HILTON HEAD, January 31, 1862.