HEADQUARTERS 3rd CAVALRY DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS,
MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
December 11, 1864.
Captain L. M. DAYTON,
Aide-de-Camp to Major-General Sherman:
CAPTAIN: My people have been all day making a road out of range of the rebel guns. I have thoroughly examined the entire country on the south of General Howard between the Ogeechee and the rebel lines. It is impossible to cross the Little Ogeechee at any point. I have been in sight of Fort McAllister; it has about 200 men and thirteen guns mounted. I have proposed to General Howard to cross the Ogeechee with my command and a force of infantry, and take the fort. I am certain from what I learn that I can take it, and once done the fleet can come up to within two miles of General Howard's right. Boats will then be at our disposal, and the Little Ogeechee can be crossed. I saw, I think, the fleet to-day behind Green's Island. Captain Hayes, of my staff, will make the attempt to-night to reach the fleet; a negro has volunteered to pilot him though in a boat. General Howard has accepted my proposition; will give me the infantry asked for and I only now await your permission. I promise to take the fort - if it is as represented to me - and let in our fleet; at all events, will reach the Sound and communicate with the fleet.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
Seventeen Miles from Savannah, December 11, 1864.
General J. KILPATRICK,
Commanding Cavalry, U. S. Army:
GENERAL: Since writing the letter herewith transmitted I have received the inclosed note from Doctor Byne, announcing the death of Captain Norton. I have directed that Corporal Lacey be sent to me, that he may be transmitted safely to your lines. I shall not consider him a prisoner of war, as he was not captured in action. I also send herewith a book containing writing by yourself, which I presume you must value, and which must have been left by accident at a house where you spent the night. While writing you I take the opportunity to suggest that we adopt a system for the exchanging prisoners belonging to our respective commands. It certainly would aid us in reclaiming from prison our friends, and would enable us both to do a great deal toward alleviating the sufferings of our officers who are now in prison, or who may hereafter become prisoners of war. Should you assent to this proposition I will obtain the release of such officers and men of your command as we have in prison, and will send you a list of the officers and men I desire released. I will also agree, upon the release of an of my officers and men, to release on similar parole a like number of officers and men of your command. Believing that you will think as I do that every commanding officer's duty is to take advantage of every opportunity which presents itself to benefit the condition of his men, I trust to receive a favorable response.
Respectfully, General, your received servant,
Major-General, C. S. Army.