In like manner I propose to invite the people to bring into Savannah for exchange such things as cotton, cattle, sheep, hogs, &c., which had not fallen into our hands before Savannah surrendered. I think, also, that cotton may be brought into Savannah, Fernandina, and Jacksonville in some considerable quantities; but it is very important that we keep away the sharks and rascals that hang round an army like birds of prey, and, therefore. I shall insist that in no event shall private citizens be allowed to purchase anywhere in this neighborhood. It is impossible for you in Washington to know the rascalities they perpetrate to get hold of cotton cheap, utterly regardless of honesty or the military interests of our country. As to shipments to Savannah and elsewhere of innocent goods, I am perfectly willing to leave this to the discretion of the collectors of Northern ports, with the simple military check which post commanders can readily apply under my orders. When it is well understood that every trader in our lines engages to do military service, we will be rid of the worst class of characters. Also, so far as I am concerned, I have no objection to the collector in New York or elsewhere clearing for Port Royal any cargo of goods not contraband, when post commanders can regulate the amounts to be brought to other points indicated in my orders. I expect, in a day or two, to take my departure hence, after which General Foster will have supreme control.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HILTON HEAD, January 19, 1865-11. 30 a.m.
The following dispatch has just been received from the senior naval officer here:
Wilmington is in our possession. Will send the news in detail as soon as I can get it from the gun-boat that has just arrived.
Major and Aide-de-Camp.
Order a salute of thirty-four guns.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, Ga., January 19, 1865.
Aide-de-Camp, Hilton Head:
In reporting us in possession of Wilmington did you refer to the news brought by the gun-boat Monticello? My dispatches by her merely refer to the taking of Fort Fisher.
W. T. SHERMAN,