completely destroyed; but Dillon's Ferry, a mile and a half above, I found practicable for a pontoon bridge. General Corse sent forward a reconnaissance, which found the enemy in force at the junction of this road with King's Bridge and Savannah road. General Osterhaus effected a crossing of the Cannouchee with a couple of brigades, as directed. The Seventeenth Corps meanwhile moved up abreast of Station Numbers 2, having much corduroying to do and many obstructions to clear army. After reaching the canal, I returned to the Station Numbers 2 and communicated with General Sherman in person. He was glad of the results of the reconnaissance, but directed me to allow General Blair to continue on the Louisville road.
The next day (December 9) the Seventeenth Corps came upon the enemy in rifle-pits three miles and a half from Station Numbers 2. General Blair drove the rebels from them, but soon came upon an intrenched line with guns in position. At this place the road led through a dense swamp covered with wood and undergrowth peculiar to this region. The swamp was apparently impassable, yet General Blair moved three lines of battle, preceded by a skirmish line, along on the right and left of the road for some two or three miles, occasionally in water knee-deep. He drove the enemy from every position where he made a stand, and encamped for the night near Station Numbers 1. The Fifteenth Corps marched as follows: The detached brigades succeeded in reaching the Savannah and Gulf Railroad at different points and destroying it. The Third Division (General John E. Smith) closed up on General Corse at the canal. As soon as he was within supporting distance General Corse moved forward toward Savannah. He encountered about 600 rebel infantry with two pieces of artillery near the cross-roads. His advanced brigade quickly dislodged them, capturing one piece of artillery and several prisoners. He followed them up across the Little Ogeechee, and, by my direction, took up a strong position about twelve miles from Savannah, and sent a detachment which broke the Gulf railroad. His advance crossed the Little Ogeechee and halted about eight miles from the city. King's Bridge had been burned by the rebels. All the enemy's force was withdrawn from Osterhaus' front in the morning, except the independent garrison at Fort McAllister, situated on the right bank and near the mouth of the Ogeechee. During the day that section of the pontoon bridge which had been with General Blair's column was sent to Dillon's Ferry, near Fort Argyle, and laid across the Ogeechee, thus substantially uniting my two right columns.
December 10, the entire command closed in on the enemy's works which covered Savannah-General Osterhaus with the right column, consisting of General Corse's division, followed by General Hazen, on the King's Bridge road; the central column, consisting of General John E. Smith's division, followed by General Woods; and the left, General Blair's corps, Major-General Mower's division in advance. These several columns struck the enemy's lines simultaneously with the Left Wing of the army. The nature of the country was such as to render the approaches to that front extremely difficult. By means of the canal and the Little Ogeechee River he was able to flood the country; besides, the great portion of the front was a marsh, with a deep stream winding through it, under the cover of a number of batteries of the enemy. Pursuant to Special Field Orders, Numbers 130, from your headquarters, the Army of the Tennessee simply gained ground to the right. With regard to opening communication with the fleet, the engineer department, under direction of Captain C. B. Reese, chief engineer, was instructed to rebuild King's Bridge, which was effected by the