War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0698 Chapter LVI. OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA.

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[First indorsement.]

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS,

December 12, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded approved, as there is neither flour nor hard bread in this brigade.

N. J. JACKSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Second indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH CORPS,

Five Miles from Savannah, GA., December 13, 1864.

Respectfully returned.

Instructions have been given to the chief commissary of the corps as to the disposition of the stores.

By command of Brigadier General A. S. Williams:

ROBT. P. DECHERT,

Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,

MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

McAllister's Plantation, December 12, 1864.

Major-General SHERMAN:

GENERAL: Your dispatch* has just been received. I met the enemy's picket near the railroad, and chased Major Anderson, the commanding officer at Fort McAllister, back to his fort. From one of his escort captured, I learn that the fort is garrisoned by five companies, two of artillery and three militia; in all, about 200 men none of whom, however, have ever been under fire. There is a deep broad ditch to cross on entering the fort, and considerable opposition, no doubt, will be met with. There is a low swamp about one mile this side the fort; a battery of four guns covers the road leading through this swamp; by forcing this battery to retire, a charging party could follow it directly into the fort, and the affair would be over. I did not intend, General, to attempt the capture of the fort by a sudden dash, but I intended to deliberately storm the works. I have old infantry regiments, armed with Spencer rifles, who could work their way up to within easy range and force every man to keep his head beneath the parapet, and, finally, force my way into the fort - of course, I intended to maneuver my troops as infantry. I will march in the morning to accomplish the objects set forth in your communication. I cannot understand why our gun-boats do not move up, and make us aware of their presence by throwing a few shells into Fort McAllister. My headquarters are to-night four miles from the fort, my advance is within one mile and a half. A few hundred mounted men, under Colonel Ross, are guarding the country on this side the river; his is the only force I can hear of. I find over here many rich plantations, and can subsist my command for a month.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. KILPATRICK,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Cavalry.

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* Not found.

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