The fall of Blakely and Spanish Fort caused the rebel army under Taylor, Garder, and Maury to evacuate Mobile, and retreat to the north.
Plan Numbers 9* gives the formidable rebel defenses of the city of Mobile, surrounding it with three lines of detached forts and connecting intrenchments, with the flanks resting on Mobile River. The skillful labors of the rebel engineers about this city were very extensive and the system exceedingly strong.
The determination of the commanding general to turn these works, by first reducing Blakely and Spanish Fort, proved successful, and the character of the works as shown on the plan forcibly illustrates the saving of lives and treasure in not first attempting to reduce these powerful defenses.
Plan Numbers 10+ gives the position of the entire and connected system of rebel defenses that succumbed to the sill and talent of Canby.
While these important operations were in progress in Tennessee and Alabama, Sherman, with the grand army of the West, and Lieutenant-General Grant, with the combined Armies of the Potomac and the James, together with the garrison of Washington City, were simultaneously leading the national forces to strike a final blow to rebel power, and enforce the restoration of national authority from the Atlantic to the Pacific. (See plan Numbers 3. ++)
Sherman's army reached the sea-coast, by first capturing Fort McAlister, on the 13th of December, 1864, by Hazen. The strong rebel intrenchments at Savannah were then invested, and the rebel General Hardee driven from them across the Savannah River. The department has as yet received no plans of Fort McAllister or of the defenses of Savannah. The labors of the engineers of Sherman's army (see Poe's narrative) were again bestowed principally in reconnoitering the enemy's positions, and maneuvering the canvas pontoon and the last water-course crossed in pursuit of rebels. The success of these bridge trains is given in the extracts from Generals Poe's and Reese's reports. The city of Charleston fell into our power on sequence of Sherman" movements in its rear, and cutting off its supplies from the interior, while it was already blockaded by our fleet and invested by land by our army.
Schofield, after the reduction of the entire defenses of Smithville, moved upon Raleigh, and united his forces with those of Sherman. The engineer operations on this line were in reconnoitering and maneuvering the pontoon-bridge trains for the passage of the rivers, under Lieutenant Stickney (brevet major, U. S. Army), of the Corps of Engineers. (See Stickney's narrative.) After obstinately contested combats at Averasborough and Bentonville, the rebel power under Johnston was finally overcome and subdued by the capture of his entire command on the 23rd [26th] of April, 1865; after which, by easy marches, the grand army of the West repaired to Washington City. (See plans Nos. 1, 11, and 12.$)
The momentous campaign of the armies under the command of the lieutenant-general, with the purpose of capturing Richmond, and
*Plate CV, Map 1, of the Atlas.
+Plate LXXI, Map 13, of the Atlas.
++Plate LXXVI, Map 2, of the Atlas.
$Plates LXXXIX, Map 1; C, 1 and C, 2, of the Atlas.