any enemy that would be likely to approach. In order that our opponents might reach any of the points where they could injure us much, they would be compelled to thrust themselves some miles beyond us, leaving whatever garrison there might be in Savannah on their flank and in rear. They could not interrupt navigation without establishing themselves in included works upon the bank of Saint Augustine Creek (we hold Fort Jackson), and very short time would suffice for the capture of any enemy having temerity enough to do this. with all our great resources of water transportation I regard it impossible for our enemy to make a successful lodgment on Saint Augustine Creek.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
O. M. POE,
Captain of Engineers, Brevet Colonel, U. S. Army,
Chief Engineer Military Division of the Mississippi.
A map is in course of preparation and under my direction, which will clearly show the topography of Savannah and vicinity, the works of attack and defense, the new lines constructed during our occupation of the city, and the lines of 1814. As soon as completed it will be forwarded to the Engineer Department. *
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, Ga., January 21, 1865.
General INNIS N. PALMER,
Commanding District of North Carolina, New Berne:
DEAR GENERAL: I have this moment received your letter of the 17th, inclosing the very full and complete returns which give me all the date, save only the gauge of your railroad, of which we are in doubt. One of my charts represent the gauge as four feet ten inches and the other at five feet. I shall send up my principal railroad man, Colonel W. W. Wright, to look at it and accumulated at Morehead City and New Berne iron and cars ready for use when the time comes. We can supply all these, if of the five-feet gauge, out of captured stock. I don't want you to risk New Berne or Morehead City, and to take Kinston now would attract attention and lengthen your line too much to be held with any degree of security. Therefore don't attempt to hold more than you now have until you know I am near at hand, and you can discover the effect of my approach.
I shall aim to reach Goldsborough, the effect of which will be threefold: First. With my army at Goldsborough the enemy could not remain at Wilmington. Second. I would have two railroads to the coast for supplies, viz, to Morehead City and Wilmington. Third. Goldsborough is the point from which to strike Raleigh.
If my army can fight it way across South Carolina and reach Goldsborough these results will be certain.
I have already secured Pocotaligo and am moving my army into position on a line from Sister's Ferry, on the Savannah, across to Pocotaligo, whence I will move around Charleston and across the country to Fayetteville and Goldsborough or Wilmington according to the supplies I find. General Foster will hold Savannah, &c., and will have a small force in hand to take advantage of any let-go the enemy may venture to make. I would have been off before this, but I am delayed by the rains, which have flooded the whole country. Don't attract
*See Plate LXX, Map 2 of the Atlas.