open field in front of Pardee's left. This position being exposed to fire from all the batteries in my front, the work upon it had to be done quietly and at night.
December 18, the working detail on Fort Numbers 2 continued until 9 a. m., at which time the heavy fog lifted; that on Fort Numbers 1 worked all day inside the parapets. All the roads within my lines and to the rear were corduroyed to-day. The usual artillery firing continued by the enemy during the day and also throughout the night, their principal aim being to prevent our men from working on the forts, in which they did not succeed. To-night a working detail from my First Brigade began the construction of Fort Numbers 3 in the open field to the right and in advance of Numbers 2. Details from the Third Brigade continued working on the latter while Fort Numbers 1 was being finished by details from the Second Brigade.
December 19, a conference of the division and brigade commanders with the general commanding the corps was held at 10 a. m. to-day, with view to the adoption of a plan for storming the enemy's works as soon as the heavy guns should be in readiness to open fire. Fort Numbers 1 was finished this evening. The details from First ant Third Brigades continued work on the other forts during the night under a heavy artillery fire from the enemy. Several casualties occurred, among them Major Wright, a most valuable officer, commanding the Twenty-ninth Ohio Volunteers, who was severely wounded by a shell. Sloan's battery of 3-inch rifled guns had already taken position in a work thrown up to the right of Fort Numbers 3 and in the open field.
December 20, the usual artillery firing and sharpshooting to-day. By this evening we had constructed and in readiness for use in the contemplated assault 200 large straw fascines to fill up ditches in front of the enemy's works, also a large number of fascines made of bamboo cane. The latter were to be used for bridging the canal by laying them across balks, which were furnished from the pontoon train for that purpose. The work on Forts 2 and 3 was well advanced to-day, and would probably be completed to-night. Three siege guns (30-pounder Parrots) were brought down this evening and mounted in Fort Numbers 1. I ascertained this morning that the enemy had completed a pontoon bridge from Savannah across to the South Carolina shore, and notified the general commanding corps of the discovery. This bridge was about two miles and a half from my left. The usual artillery firing was kept up by the enemy during the day and night. During the night I heard the movement of troops and wagons across the pontoon bridge before mentioned, and sent a report of the fact to the general commanding corps. Leaving one of my staff to watch the sounds in that direction, I notified my officer of the day and brigade commanders to keep a vigilant watch upon the enemy, as they were probably evacuating. The details on Forts 2 and 3 continued working through the night, the enemy shelling them heavily.
December 21, after 3 o'clock this morning the firing ceased, and my pickets advancing to the enemy's line found them hastily retreating. Having possession of their line of works, with all their cannon in front of my own and the other divisions of the corps, I immediately sent a staff officer to notify the general commanding, and at the same time pushed forward rapidly in the direction of Savannah, hoping to overtake and capture a part of the enemy's forces. My skirmishes deployed, and swept over all the ground between the evacuated works and the Ogeechee Canal from the river to the Augusta road, which my main