supply of negroes, mules, horses, &c., and our teams are in far better condition than when we started. My first duty will be to clear the army of surplus negroes, mules, and horses, an suppose General Saxton can relieve me of these.
I am writing on board a dispatch-boat, down Ossabaw, at midnight, and have to go back, to where I left my horse, eight miles up, in a rowboat, and thence fifteen miles over to our lines by daylight, so that I hope this will be accepted as an excuse for this informal letter; but I know you are anxious to hear of our safety and good condition. Full and detailed reports of the events of the past month will be prepared at a more leisure moment, and in the meantime I can only say that I hope by Christmas to be in possession of Savannah, and by the new year to be ready to resume our journey to Raleigh. The whole army is crazy to be turned loose in Carolina; and with the experience of the past thirty days judge that a month's sojourn in South Carolina would make her less bellicose.
The editors in Georgia profess to be indignant at the horrible barbarities of Sherman's army, but I know the people don't want our visit repeated. We have utterly destroyed over 200 miles of railroad, and consumed stores and provisions that were essential to Lee's and Hood's armies. A similar destruction of roads and resources hence to Raleigh would compel General Lee to come out of his entrenched camp. I hope General Thomas has held Hood. My last accounts are of the fight at Franklin, but rebel papers state that Decatur, Ala., has been evacuated. This I regret, though it is not essential to the future. If Hood is making any real progress I would not hesitate to march hence, after taking Savannah, for Montgomery, which would bring him out of Tennessee; but it seems to me that winter is a bad time for him. I will try and see Admiral Dahlgren and General Foster before demanding the surrender of Savannah, which I do not propose to make till my batteries are able to open. the quick work made with McAllister, and the opening communication with our fleet, and consequent independence for supplies, dissipated all their boasted threats to head me off and starve the army. The efforts thus far have been puerile, and I regard Savannah as already gained.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Numbers 198.
Anderson's Plantation, GA., December 3, 1864.
I. Brigadier-General Woods, commanding First Division, will cause a rifle-pit to be thrown up along the ridge in the open field on the right and left of the Cemetery battery for a t least three regiments of infantry. Brigadier-General corse, commanding Fourth Division, will continue this line of works to the right for a similar number of troops, selecting for a position the edge of the belt of timber on the right of the buildings in front of his left wing. In case of an attack theses works will be occupied at once by the troops of the above-mentioned divisions, the commanders of which will keep the troops necessary for this purpose under daily orders.
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By order of Major General P. Joseph Osterhaus:
F. F. WHITEHEAD,