mond. He now wishes me to say that you will retain your entire force, at least for the present, and with such assistance s may be given you by General Foster and Admiral Dahlgren, operate from such base as you may establish on the coast. General Foster will obey such instructions as may be given by you. Should you have captured Savannah, it is thought that by transferring the water batteries to the land side, that place may be made a good deport and base for operations on Augusta, Branchville, or Charleston. I f Savannah should not be captured, or if captured and not deemed suitable for this purpose, perhaps Beaufort would serve as a dept. As the rebels have probably removed their most valuable property from Augusta, perhaps Branchville would be the most important point at which to strike, in order to sever all connection between Virginia and the Southwestern Railroad. General Grant's wishes, however, s are that this whole matter of your future action should be entirely left to your discretion. We can send you from here a number of complete batteries of field artillery, with or without horses, as you may desire. Also, as soon as General Thomas can spare them, all the fragments, convalescents, and furloughed men of your army. It is reported that Thomas defeated Hood yesterday near Nashville, but we have no particulars nor official reports, telegraphic communication being interrupted by a heavy storm. Our last advice from you was General Howard's note announcing his approach to Savannah.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
King's Bridge, December 16, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN:
GENERAL: The mail-boat and General Foster's steamer, neither capable of carrying any freight, a re the only vessels that have arrived here as yet. these boats reports only six sweet water on the bars below this place at low tide. I fear the steamers and other vessels below, which contain our supplies, draw too much water to get up. I will go down the river in the morning and lighten up the transports, and do everything else that can be done to get supplies to this point.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. C. EASTON,
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, FIELD ORDERS,
In the Field, near Savannah, GA., Numbers 133.
December 16, 1864.
I. Captain O. M. Poe, chief engineer, will cause all the railroads leading out of Savannah to be most thoroughly destroyed-the Charleston road as far as and, if possible, including the bridge over Savannah River; the Macon road as far as Station 1 1/2; and the Gulf road as far as and including the Ogeechee River bridge
II. Major-General Howard will dispatch two divisions, without wagons, to destroy the Gulf road as far as the Altamaha River bridge, and exhaust the country in that direction of supplies. General Kilpatrick with his cavalry will cover this working force, and co-operate with it.