Took the road, via Hebron, to the same place. At this point some cavalry, under the command of Wheeler, offered resistance, but were quickly dispersed, only the skirmishers of the advanced guard of the two infantry corps being engaged. The court-house in Sandersville, a very substantial brick building, was burned by order of General Sherman, because the enemy had made use of its portico from which to fire upon our troops. The Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps, which had been destroying railroad, here communicated from Irwin's Cross-Roads, and then left the railroad, the order of march being as follows: The cavalry on the left flank; the Fourteenth Corps direct to Louisville; the Twentieth Corps, via Davisborough, to Ogeechee bridge, destroying the railroad from Tennille Station to and including said bridge; the Seventeenth Corps, by the first road south of the railroad, to Burton Station (Numbers 9 1/2); and the Fifteenth Corps via Johnson's. The Twentieth Corps, after burning Ogeechee bridge, passed to the northward through Louisville; the Seventeenth Corps crossed the Ogeechee on a pontoon bridge at Station 9 1/2, and thence moved along the railroad to the Five-Mile Post from Savannah; the Twentieth Corps through Springfield; and the Fourteenth Corps close as possible to the Savannah River; the Fifteenth Corps continued on the south side of the Ogeechee to Station 2 (Eden), when three divisions crossed to the north side, while one (Hazen's) moved on down to Fort McAllister, which work was very handsomely carried by assault, capturing the entire garrison, twenty-three guns, and all the stores. The same evening General Sherman personally communicated with the fleck. Orders had been given on the previous day for the investment of the city. No attempt at assault was made, though the opinion universally prevailed that such an attempt would be successful. The general commanding was now willing to sacrifice any lives, feeling certain that the city must soon fall into our hands at any rate.
The line occupied by the enemy was as follows: Beginning at the mouth of the small creek emptying into the Savannah two miles and a half above the city; thence along the southeastern bank of that creek until the headwaters of Salt Marsh Creek were reached; then following along that stream to and along Vernon River to the sea, the lower points being held by detached works behind impassable swamps. All the approaches to this line were rendered very difficult by dams constructed across all small streams. A line was found interior to this, commencing at Laurel Grove Cemetery on the right, and resting on the river between Savannah and Fort Jackson. This was a very heavy line, consisting in part of a continuous bastioned line and in part of a system of detached lunette in defensive relations. No attempt was made by the enemy to hold this line. They abandoned Savannah and all its dependencies on the night of December 20, and we occupied them on the morning of the 21st, a vast amount of warlike material and many guns (the number not yet definitely known) falling into our hands. I noticed among them once brass 6-pounder having upon it the arms of the State of Georgia and the words "Georgia Military Institute. " I suggested to Captain Baylor, chief of ordnance, that he send that gun to the Military Academy at West Point, and he has signified his intention of doing so. The enemy evidently evacuated his position on account of want of supplies. An assault had been ordered, and would have been made in a day or two, which would probably have been successful. I should have said that the enemy, in consequence of our occupation of the city, destroyed his gun-boats and the iron-clad ram Savannah.