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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

January 02, 1865

Sherman Wrote Grant from Savannah

From Savannah, General William T. Sherman wrote a letter to General Ulysses S. Grant, outlining his plans for invading South Carolina, while leaving some troops behind to continue the occupation of Savannah.

Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, in the Field, Savannah, January 2, 1865. Lieutenant-General U.S. Grant, City Point. GENERAL: I have received, by the hands of General Barnard, your note of 26th and letter of 27th December. I herewith inclose to you a copy of a project which I have this morning, in strict confidence, discussed with my immediate commanders. I shall need, however, larger supplies of stores, especially grain. I will inclose to you, with this, letters from General Easton, quartermaster, and Colonel Beckwith, commissary of subsistence, setting forth what will be required, and trust you will forward them to Washington with you sanction, so that the necessary steps may be taken at once to enable me to carry out this plan on time. I wrote you very fully on the 24th, and have nothing to add. Every thing here is quiet, and if I can get the necessary supplies in our wagons, shall be ready to start at the time indicated in my project (January 15th). But, until those supplies are in hand, I can do nothing; after they are, I shall be ready to move with great rapidity. I have heard of the affair at Cape Fear. It has turned out as you willl remember I expected. I have furnished General Easton a copy of the dispatch from the Secretary of War. He will retain possession of all cotton here, and ship it as fast as vessels can be had to New York. I shall immediately send the Seventeenth Corps over to Port Royal, by boats, to be furnished by Admiral Dahlgren and General Foster (withoutinterfering with General Easton’s vessels), to make a lodgment on the railroad at Pocotaligo. General Bernard will remain with me a few days, and I send this by a staffl-officer, who can return on one of the vessels of the supply-fleet. I suppose that, now that General Butler has got through with them, you can spare them to us. My report of recent operations is nearly ready, and will be sent you in a day or two, as soon as some further subordinate reports come in. I am, with great respect, very truly, your friend, W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General. PROJECT FOR JANUARY 1. Right wing to move men and artillery by transport to head of Broad River and Beaufort; reestablish Port Royal Ferry, and mass the wing at or in the neighborhood of Pocotaligo. Left wing and cavalry to work slowly across the causeway toward Hardeville, to open a road by which wagons can reach their corps about Broad River; also, by a rapid movement of the left, to secure Sister’s Ferry, and Augusta road out to Robertsville. In the mean time, all guns, shot, shell, cotton, etc., to be moved to a safe place, easy to guard, and provisions and wagons got ready for another swath, aiming to have our army in hand about the head of Broad River, say Pocotaligo, Robertsville, and Coosawhatchie, by the 15th January. 2. The whole army to move with loaded wagons by the roads leading in the direction of Columbia, which afford the best chance of forage and provisions. Howard to be at Pocotaligo by the 15th January, and Slocum to be at Robertsville and Kilpatrich at or near Coosawhatchie about the same date. General Foster’s troops to occupy Savannah, and gunboats to protect the rivers as soon as Howard gets Pocotaligo. W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General.