War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0300 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., February 4, 1865.

Lieutenant Colonel U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States, City Point, Va.:

GENERAL: Major Gray, of my staff, returned last night from General Sherman's headquarters with the latest information. He left General Sherman at a place called "The Store," at the cross-roads near Duck Bridge, over Coosawhatchie River, thirty-one miles and a half from Pocotaligo Station, on the evening of February 2. He had with him at that point three divisions of the Fifteenth Corps, which corps had moved out from Pocotaligo on the 1st, marching to Hickory Hill, eighteen miles, on that day, and twelve miles to "The Store" on the second day. General Howard, with the Seventeenth Corps, was, on the evening of the 2nd, near Whippy Swamp, near the Salkehatchie River. He had also marched from near Pocotaligo on the 1st instant, taking the right hand road lying near the Salkehatchie River. General Slocum, with the main body of the Left Wing, which had marched up the south bank of the Savannah River, has been at Sister's Ferry several days constructing a pontoon bridge across the river. Two divisions of the Twentieth Corps, which had crossed the river opposite Savannah, marched up the north bank and were at Robertsville. The crossing of the river at Sister's Ferry has been found to be more difficult than was expected, on account of the long distance to be corduroyed on each side, and I learned at Savannah this morning that General Slocum will hardly be able to get his troops well over the river ready for a start before to-morrow (the 5th). this will delay General Sherman a little. Major Gray reports the roads fair and all the wagons of the Right Wing up. There were no stragglers, and the troops found in the country forage enough for the animals, and cattle and hogs for the army. The inhabitants generally, with their slaves and movables, had moved higher up the country. The troops burned all buildings and fences on the route. There was nothing but cavalry encountered thus far. General Sherman intended breaking the railroad near Midway, to the west of Branchville, and thought after that he might find opposition in crossing the Edisto River. It is possible that the troops in his front may receive re-enforcements from Hood. General Sherman wished me to press upon General Schofield the necessity of his advance, which I have done.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

(Copy to Major General H. W. Halleck, Washington, D. C.)

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., February 4, 1865.

Bvt. Major General RUFUS SAXTON,

Inspector of Settlements and Plantations, Dept. of the South:

GENERAL: I left Savannah at 11. 30 this a. m., at which time I had not received the official statement of the requests made by you in our conversation of yesterday morning, which I then asked you to present to me in writin. I have now to again request that you will indicate to me in writing what action you desire me to take in order to enable you to discharge your duties under General Sherman's Special Field Orders, No. 15, current series, and am,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, No. 30. Hilton Head, S. C., February 4, 1865.

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II. Brigadier General Henry Prince, U. S. Volunteers, having reported to these headquarters, in compliance with Special Field Orders, No. 23, from headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, dated January 29, 1865, is hereby ordered to take charge of all officers and men arriving at this port for General Sherman's army, and place them in camp between Beaufort and Pocotaligo, S. C. The quartermaster's department will furnish the necessary transportation.

By command of Major General J. G. Foster:

THORNDIKE D. HODGES,

Captain, 35th U. S. Colored Troops, and Actg. Asst. Adjt. General