HDQRS. THIRTY-THIRD MASSACHUSETTS VOL., INFANTRY,
Near Savannah, GA., December 20, 1864.
Captain C. H. YOUNG,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
I have the honor to submit the following, which is a correct statement of two scouts sent out last night for the purpose of reconnoitering in front of the enemy's works:
STATEMENT OF CORPORAL BLACK.
After arriving at the picket-line he started to about forty paces to the left of the Savannah and Charleston Railroad; advanced some seventy paces on clear ground without discovering any obstructions and no impediments, after which encountered large pine trees felled, ground uneven and no water; with some difficulty climbed over the felled trees and came to swampy ground, and still further on came to a pond varying from six to twelve feet in width, tried depth of the pond by means of a pole and judged it to be some five feet deep with soft spongy ground, after which moved further to the left by creeping under and climbing over the fallen trees and found tolerable good ground, no water, but fallen timber, and as far as he could and found tolerable good ground, no water, but fallen timber, and as far as he could see it was all fallen timber-not trimmed. To his judgment advanced to within some 200 yards of the enemy's main works, could distinctly hear the enemy talk and see them gathered around their camp-fires; owing to the reflection of their fires it was difficult to see very distinctly. On returning he kept still further to our left, thinking by avoiding the trees he could return much easier then going over the same ground he advanced over, encountering less obstructions.
STATEMENT BY PRIVATE M'GOWAN.
Started from picket-line about paces to the left of the point where Corporal Black started from, advanced nearly 100 paces without encountering any obstructions, then encountered small tress apparently carefully fallen to obstruct the advanced of troops; here he was unable to advance any further, upon which he went further to the left encountering the same obstruction; ground uneven and sloping down to swampy ground, which appearance indicated there must be a stream of water running through and tress fallen clean to the enemy's works; could plainly hear the enemy talk and see them around their camp-fires; returned nearly on the same ground with about the same obstructions.
Very respectfully, yours,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., December 20, 1864.
General W. T. SHERMAN:
GENERAL: Dispatch received. General Easton left for Fort McAllister yesterday morning on the steamer Mayflower. Please come on shore; I want to see you very much.
J. G. FOSTER,
HDQRS. COAST DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Deveaux's Neck, S. C., December 20, 1864.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Department of the South:
GENERAL: Yesterday morning I put three rifled guns in the marsh, 900 yards from the small railroad bridge, and damaged it so much that