HDQRS. TWENTIETH CORPS, PROVOST-MARSHAL'S OFFICE,
Savannah, Ga., January 9, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel H. W. PERKINS, Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: I have the honor to report the arrival through our lines of three citizens, employs of the Georgia Central Railroad Company, two from Macon to Gordon, on the 1st of January, which was all to be repaired, for the time being, of this road. The authorities were preparing the Macon and Atlanta road for the purpose of opening communication with Augusta, and had, on the 25th ultimo, still thirty miles to repair. They were not repairing the West Point road. The line was to be via Columbus, Macon, and Atlanta to Augusta. Railroad iron was very scarce, and it was doubtful whether they had sufficient to complete their line. The bridge over the Oconee River, on the Atlanta and Augusta road, was not yet repaired, and the authorities were at great loss for sawed timber, their mills all having been burned. The road would not be in running order for a month or more. The Augusta papers of the 4th had in them a telegram, partly official, announcing the death of General Hood. It was not considered true The latest telegrams received and published reported his army endeavoring to cross the Tennessee, but had been prevented by flood and loss of pontoons. Much anxiety was felt for this Army. All kinds of rumors prevailed concerning Lee's Army, as to evacuating Richmond, re-enforcing the forces in South Carolina, &c. There seemed to be no authority for any. The garrison in and around Augusta seemed to number about 1,000. General Fry was commanding the post. Considerable force was reported at Branchville. Telegraph line was up from Augusta to Macon.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major and Provost-Marshal, Twentieth Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., January 9, 1865. (Received 15th.)
Chief of Staff, Armies of the United States:
GENERAL: The latest report from deserters, refugees, flags of truce, and the rumors of the citizens of Savannah (whence I have just returned, having gone for General Sherman's mail), are to the effect that several counties of Georgia have, by meetings, declared their desire to join the Union, and forwarded copies of their proceedings to General Sherman; that one regiment of old troops, stationed at Grahamville, has thrown down its arms and returned to Georgia; that the governor of Georgia, Governor Brown, has testified his disposition to return to the Union, and that he is willing to submit the question to the vote of the people; and that the Georgia Reserve at Augusta have disbanded and gone home. There is no doubt about the holding of the Union meetings in several counties. In one of them, Thomas County, a fight took place and the Unionists whipped. The other reports are credible, but not fully confirmed. There is evidently a great struggle going on in the public sentiment of the Georgians, and the question seems to be how much they dare risk in declaring their sentiments in favor of reconstruction.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
J. G. FOSTER,