my letter of yesterday I stated that I thought it would be best to strike the road from Broad River. The more I examine it the better satisfied I am that that is the true point of operations. By landing where the road from Grahamville strikes the river, opposite Whale Island, a march of less than twenty miles puts you on the road at Gopher Hill. One regiment, with a battery detached, should take the road to the right and throw up intrenchments on the bank of the creek where the road from the Coosawhatchie divides. The main force would throw up a strong fort at Gopher Hill, which is probably a commanding position; a detachment could then be sent to Ferebeeville, to fortify there. The line from Gopher Hill to Broad River would then be entirely free from molestation, and constant communication could be kept up with Hilton Head, and supplies furnished Sherman's army, if Lee, abandoning Richmond, should come down to protect Charleston. I would not injure the road, as Sherman may desire to use it. I would get up to Hilton Head the two locomotives from Jacksonville, and have them put in repair, if they need it; also, all the cars and extra pairs of wheels. Of these latter, there is quite a number at Jacksonville and some at Fernandina. There are also at Fernandina spare parts of locomotives that may be found useful. To make the movement the whole of the force at Hilton Head and three-quarters of that at Beaufort could be used without running any risk. Two regiments from Florida and three from here might be spared; certainly one could be sent from Florida and three from here. By garrisoning the forts here the force might be much reduced. It is as I thought about the Star Fort, on Folly Island; there was never a day's work done on it after you came in command; what work was done has nearly blown away. I will commence work on it immediately. It will make a difference of seven companies to defend that portion of the island; a regiment is now used when three companies with the fort is an ample force.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO P. HATCH,
CITY POINT, November 22, 1864--7 p. m.
The Richmond papers of this date, just received, have but little news of Sherman. The Whig says:
We are unable to obtain any later intelligence from Georgia this forenoon, except a report, seemingly reliable, that Sherman was only eighteen miles from Macon yesterday. We did not receive any exchanges to-day from points beyond Greensborough, the mail having failed to connect at that point.
The Sentinel says:
If the rains which have been failing here for several days extend to Georgia, Sherman will have heavy traveling. It will operate greatly to his disadvantage and to our benefit; it will retard his movements and make foraging extremely difficult. Our concentration of troops to operate against him being by railroad, will not experience the like interruption. We trust that the Black Jack will hold him until our generals gather all around him for his destruction.
Other Richmond papers make no mention of Sherman whatever.
JNO A. RAWLINS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
(Same to the Secretary of War.)