War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0054 Chapter LIX. OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,

Beaufort, S. C., January 15, 1865-5. 15 p.m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: The enemy abandoned the strong works in our front during the night. General Blair's corps occupies a strong position across the railroad, covering all the approaches eastward to Pocotaligo.

O. O. HOWARD,

Major-General.

(Same to General Slocum.)

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,

Beaufort, S. C., January 15, 1865.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:

GENERAL: The enemy continued a heavy Artillery fire last night until it was quite dark. This morning at daybreak we found he had abandoned the works in our front and gone. I was very much obliged, for the position was a very strong one to carry and thoroughly fortified. The main fort had twenty-four embrasures and the marsh was impassable. Again I had tried to avoid fighting on Sunday, but last night did not see how it could well be avoided. Three pieces of Artillery were found newly buried at Garden's Corners. All information goes to show that the enemy has gone to Salkehatchie. General Blair is strongly posted on high ground across the railroad and covering all approaches to Pocotaligo. He has as many as eight days' rations and considerable forage with him and en route. I directed him to reconnoiter toward Salkehatchie and toward Robertsville, in order to communicate with Slocum, and also to open communication with General Foster's troops, and feel the way back along the Union Causeway. By combining different escorts of headquarters he will be able to do this without using infantry. Not much is left in the country in that vicinity. We have a few stacks of rice and a good mill. The boats of General Foster's bridge have reached the Port Royal Ferry, but not the other material. As soon as communication is open along Union Causeway I will have our remaining animals at least sent that way. I inclose you some late rebel papers.

Respectfully,

O. O. HOWARD,

Major-General.

P. S. -I neglected to state that the enemy destroyed three bridges and partially destroyed a fourth in front of General Blair yesterday, but he quickly repaired them by using abandoned buildings.

O. O. HOWARD,

Major-General.

[Indorsement.]

General SLOCUM:

From Howard. Push Ward's division up to Hardeeville and meet any of Howard's people coming from the direction of Coosawhatchie; also let another division of the Twentieth cross on to Ward's rear.

SHERMAN,

Major-General.