STEAMER GOLDEN GATE,
Savannah River, December 22, 1864-7 a. m.
(Received 7 a. m. 25th.)
I have the honor to report that I have just returned from General Sherman's headquarters in Savannah. I send Major Gray, of my staff, as bearer of dispatches from General Sherman to you, and also a message to the President. The city of Savannah was occupied on the morning of the 21st. General Hardee, anticipating the contemplated assault, escaped with the main body of his infantry and light artillery on the afternoon and night of the 20th by crossing the river to the Union Causeway opposite the city. The rebel iron clads were blown up and the navy-yard burned. All the rest of the city is intact and contains 20,000 citizens quiet and well disposed. The captures include 800 prisoners, 150 guns, 13 locomotives in good order, 190 cars, a large supply of ammunition and material of war, 3 steamers, and 32,000 bales of cotton safely stored in warehouses. All these valuable fruits of an almost bloodless victory have been, like Atlanta, fairly won. I opened communication with the city with my steamers to-day, taking up what torpedoes we could see, and passing safely over others. Arrangements are made to clear the channel of all obstructions.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Major-General, Commanding Department of the South.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, GA., December 22, 1864.
Commanding Department of the South:
GENERAL: We are now in full possession and all its dependencies. Hardee is supposed to be about Hardeeville, and General Sherman directs me to say that he suggest you take a strong defensive position about the head of Broad River, and if you need any help he will furnish you all assistance speedily. Hardee has from 15,000 to 20,000 men. As we are in possession, the proposed co-operation will not be required or necessary, but if you need help it will be at once sent you on notice. Please forward to the lieutenant-General the accompanying dispatch,* be request of General Sherman.
I am, General, with respect,
L. M. DAYTON,
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, COAST DIV., DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Talbird's, December 22, 1864.
General J. P. HATCH:
GENERAL: The officer in command of the guard at the marsh battery reports that the enemy's troops were marching on the railroad toward Charleston at 3 p. m. this day. He thought that three regiments passed; he saw that number of colors. He also reports that a train passed at 4 a. m. this morning; saw the light of the locomotive.
EDWARD E. POTTER,
*See p. 6.