HEADQUARTERS FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
December 11, 1864 - 6. 15 p. m.
Colonel RODGERS, Chief of Staff:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that by this time two divisions of my corps are in position, having relieved the Seventeenth Corps entirely. Baird's division is still at Saint Augustine Creek. The inclosed report of General Baird will show the general commanding the state of affairs at the railroad crossing. My trains are stuck in the mud for the balance of the night on the road Colonel Asmussen advised me to take; it will be corduroyed by morning. My headquarters are on the Georgia Central road, about a mile west of General Sherman's. The bearer can stay at the headquarters of the Left Wing and bring any communication desired.
JEF. C. DAVIS,
Brevet Major-General, Commanding.
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
December 11, 1864 - 2 p. m.
Colonel A. C. McCLURG, Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: I have received your note directing me to encamp on Saint Augustine Creek, and asking a report of my operations this morning. I found the trestle-work about fifteen feet high, built upon piles and through a swamp not passable except upon bridges, which it would take days to build if we had the material. The farther and was occupied by the rebels with a battery, which was so remote that their shot barely reached us; our Napoleons would not have reached them. It was utterly impossible to get near the battery, as the only approach was along the railroad track, under fire of the battery. There was a locomotive and platform can near the rebel battery, and perhaps it had a gun on it. The bridge over the river was not visible, and unless a way can be found through the swamp, which I am assured there is not, it is not possible to get near the river on this side at this point. A small train of cars was seen on the South Carolina side, not in motion. My men went out on the trestle-work and burned it for considerable distance from this end; they also tore up and destroyed about three-quarters of a mile of track. To use the railroad bridge for foot passengers they will have to build over the portion of the burned trestlework on top of the piles, which can be done, but the track [can] not be repaired in some time. I find rebels now on my flank, on the Monteith road, I presume.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH CORPS,
Five miles from Savannah, GA., December 11, 1864.
Brigadier General J. W. GEARY, Commanding Second Division:
GENERAL: The general commanding directs that if you can find any boats in the river you send fifty or sixty men to Hutchinson's Island to ascertain what they can.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBT. P. DECHERT,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
44 R R-VOL XLIV