confirmed this. We were told of two gun-boats being at Augusta. These, and one transport we passed lying near Mathew's Bluff, were said to be all the boats now on the river. Reports came to us from citizens and negroes all along the river that when General Sherman advanced Charleston would be given up and a line formed from Branchville to Mathew's Bluff; an order had been issued by General Hardee conscripting 40,000 negroes to construct works, and calling upon citizens to remove their stock north of this line. All the troops in South Carolina were said to be concentrating at Branchville. Negroes told us that all the people with their stock were moving to the north of Branchville. We passed Mathews' Bluff in the night; saw camp-fires and heard voices; we were so near that we heard one man remark to another, "Colonel, I am under a thousand obligations to you. " The distance from Mathews' Bluff to Branchville is called thirty-five miles. We judge the distance from Savannah to the Bluff by river to be 125 miles. We saw no obstructions in the river below the Bluff except at one point, perhaps thirty miles from there; these had been there some time and were easily passed. Above the river there is but one bad place, which is called "Little Hell. "
D. W. WHITTLE,
Captain and Assistant Provost-Marshal-General,
Department and Army of the Tennessee.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Savannah, January 8, 1865.
Respectfully forwarded for the information of the Major-general commanding.
O. O. HOWARD,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT AND FIELD ORDERS,
ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Numbers 8.
Savannah, Ga., January 8, 1865.
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IX. These headquarters will remove to Beaufort, S. C., to-morrow, the 9th instant. Lieutenant Colonel W. E. Strong, assistant inspector-general and Chief of staff, will remain to superintend the embarkation of the Fifteenth Corps and perform all other business connected with the command, which completed, he will report to the Major-general commanding. Captain Reese, Chief engineer, will remain in charge of the fortifications until further orders. Captain Buel, Chief ordnance officer; Captain Pearson, Chief commissary of musters; Asst. Surg. D. L. Huntington, assistant medical director, and Lieutenant Taylor and Stickney, will also remain, performing the duties of their respective departments.
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By order of Major General O. O. Howard:
SAML. L. TAGGART,