subsequently across to the Carolina shore with a section of Battery I, First New York Artillery. He took up a strong position on the 19th in advance of Izard's house, and made several demonstrations and reconnaissances toward Clydesdale Creek and the Union causeway road from Savannah to Hardeeville. The enemy opposed these movements in strong force. The nature of the country for miles back (being rice plantations crossed by dikes and canals) effectually prevented anything beyond a menace. These threatening movement, however, undoubtedly hastened the evacuation of Savannah. In the meantime our main line was pushed toward the enemy's works, and preparations for assault made by close reconnaissances, construction of light bridges, and experiments with balks of the pontoon train and fascines of straw and cane for bridging canals. Strong field-works were constructed for the heavy guns and for the field guns, some of them masked on the road within 150 yards of the enemy's line. These preparations were completed on the 20th. The assailable points in our front were very few; almost every foot was covered deep by artificial ponds from the irrigating canals, behind which and upon the approaches were strong earthworks for artillery, connected throughout by rifle-pits well constructed. The confidence of the troops in carrying these works war, however, perfect and earnest.
During the day of the 20th the fire from the enemy's works and gunboats was unusually heavy and continuous. Reports from Carman's brigade indicated that large columns were crossing to the Carolina shore, either to cover their only line of communication or preparatory to a final evacuation of the city. In the night General Geary reported to me that the movements across the river were apparently still going on. Division commanders were instructed to keep on the alert and press their pickets closer to the rebel works, but the enemy, intending to abandon his heavy guns, kept up a fire until the moment of quitting their defenses. At 3. 30 o'clock on the morning of the 21st Geary reported that Barnum's brigade was in the rebel main line. Orders were sent him and General Ward to advance the picket-lines and follow with their division into the city. By 6 a. m. Geary's division without opposition had entered the city. Patrols were sent out to preserve order. Two regiments were ordered to occupy Fort Jackson and other works below the city. General Geary was temporarily assigned to the command of the post and his division placed within the city. The retreating rebels had disconnected the pontoon bridge to Hutchinson's Island and set fire to that connecting with the Carolina shore. The ram Savannah still lay of Screven's Ferry, two miles or so away and occasionally fired a shot toward the town. She was evidently covering the removal of supplies up the causeway road. There were no means of reaching her, and our guns, though well served, plainly did her no damage. At night she was destroyed, as had been all the other rebel public vessels they day previous.
The troops of the corps while in front of the rebel works suffered a number of casualties. Among those killed was Lieutenant C. A. Aherets, One hundred and thirty-fourth New York Volunteers, assistant to Lieutenant-Colonel Asmussen, inspector-General of the corps, an excellent and faithful young officer. Among the severely wounded was Colonel John H. Ketcham, One hundred and fiftieth New York Volunteers, an officer of superior intelligence and worth. Major Wright, Twenty-ninth Ohio Volunteers, an excellent officer, also received a painful wound.
14 R R-VOL XLIV