HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., December 14, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff of Armies of United States, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I opened communication with General Sherman in the Ogeechee River at daylight this morning. Fort McAllister, with its garrison and armament of twenty-one guns, was taken by assault at 4. 30 p. m. yesterday by Hazen's division of the Fifteenth Corps. This important capture opens the Ogeechee river to General Sherman as a base of supplies, which, with a siege train of 30-pounder Parrotts, are being rapidly forwarded. His army closely invests Savannah on the south side of the Savannah River, and a force which will take position of the north side of that river will prevent the escape of Hardee or the garrison. Argyle Island, in the Savannah River, is held by our troops, who have captured two steamers on the river at that point, one of which is in running order; the other was burnt. The Central railroad is completely destroyed; also the Charleston and Savannah Railroad to within three and a half miles of the city. A long distance on the Gulf road is also destroyed, together with the bridge over the Ogeechee. General Sherman will without doubt capture Savannah and all its garrison and armament. His army is in splendid condition and morale.
I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
HILTON HEAD, S. C., December 14, 1864.
Bvt. Major General M. C. MEIGS,
General Sherman has arrived near here, and at least six large steamers, drawing not more than seven or eight feet, in addition to those already in the department, will be required to transport supplies to his army. the sailing vessels now here with supplies for him draw so much water that they cannot go up the Ogeeche River as far as required.
C. W. THOMAS,
Major and Chief Quartermaster Department of the South.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE JAMES,
December 14, 1864-2. 50 p. m.
A Richmond paper of to-day says:
Up to yesterday morning no fighting had taken place between Sherman's army and the Confederate troops in the defense of Savannah. An official dispatch of yesterday mentioned that Sherman had developed his army near the town.
The Whig says:
So far as we can learn Sherman's army has invested Savannah; beyond the usual skirmishing no fight had taken place. A press telegram dated yesterday, 13th, from August, says in the fight at Coosawhatchie, Friday, General Gartrell was badly wounded in the side by a shell. Notwithstanding his severe wound he remained on the field until the fight closed.