supported by the patriotism of freemen, they have always stood ready, and have cheerfully obeyed every order, incurred every risk.
On the 13th Of December Fort McAllister fell before the assault of General Sherman's veterans. The transport fleet was ordered at once to the mouths of the Ogeechee and of the Savannah. The city of Savannah was carried within a few days, and a wrecking party, them employed upon the coast of Florida, with all the ingenious equipment which modern science has contrived for submarine operations, was towed by a steamer to the Savannah River and set to work to remove the formidable obstacles to its navigation. These for four years seemed to have employed all the ingenuity and mechanical skill of the people, who had torn up the pavements of their commercial streets to supply material to obstruct the channels of their harbor.
In a few days a passage was cleared, and steamers and vessels on the transport fleet discharged their cargoes at the long-disused and dilapidated wharves of Savannah, and sailed for the North richly freighted with captured cotton.
On the 22nd January General Sherman again moved northward. A division on the Railroad Construction Corps had been ordered from the Tennessee to the Savannah to meet him. It had crossed the Alleghanies in midwinter and was promptly at the rendezvous with men and officers and all tools, materials, and machinery for rebuilding the railroads of the coast.
It was decided not to operate directly against Charleston, the great stronghold of the rebellion, which had for four years defied our ships and the forces we could spare for siege. The wiser and more daring plan of marching inland, cutting off its means of supply, capturing the capital, and devastating the agricultural portion of the State, was pursued.
Charleston soon fell and the Construction Corps was moved to Morehead City, there to open up the railroad from the harbor of Beaufort, N. C., toward Kinston, at which point General Sherman, when I parted from him in January-his army reclad, reshod, supplied, and ready to resume its march-told me to look out for him next.
His chief quartermaster, General Easton, who had accompanied the army in its march from Chattanooga to Savannah, remained on the coast, taking charge of the fleet loaded with supplies. The fleet and supplies were transferred to the harbor of Beaufort. Fort Fisher fell in January and the Cape Fear River was opened to our transports. The troops which had captured, with the aid of the navy, the defenses at the mouth of this river, re-enforced by the Twenty-third Army Corps, which in January was transferred from the Tennessee to the Atlantic, captured Wilmington and advanced toward Goldsborough. The two railroad, each ninety-five miles in length, from Wilmington and from Morehead City to Goldsborough, were repaired by the Construction Corps. They were stocked with cars and engines, and when the Right Wing of General Sherman's army entered Goldsborough on the 22nd of March it met supplies of provisions brought by the railroads from the transport fleet on the cost, and found Goldsborough occupied by a corps which on the 15th of January had been encamped on the banks of the Tennessee.
Again was the army supplied with full equipment of clothing, shoes, and of all the various articles of necessity for itself and its trains, worn out it long march from Savannah, and by the 10th of April, the appointed day, fully equipped, it moved against the enemy at Raleigh.