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In Their Own Words

December 20, 1864

Sherman Recalled Getting Stuck

General Sherman was aware of the pontoon bridges General William J. Hardee had built across the Savannah River (see Dec. 19 entry). To alleviate his concern that Hardee might use other pontoons to secretly move out and isolate a portion of his widely scattered army, he called on Admiral Dahlgren to escort him around the city by boat to view the fortifications. Upon this trip they had a small misadventure, as Sherman recalled in his memoirs:

“During the night of the 20th we started back, the wind blowing strong, Admiral Dahlgren ordered the pilot of the Harvest Moon to run into Tybee and to work his way through to Wassaw Sound and the Ogeechee River by the Romney Marshes. We were caught by a low tide and stuck in the mud. After laboring some time, the admiral ordered out his barge; in it we pulled through this intricate and shallow channel … .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Marching Through Georgia: William T. Sherman’s Personal Narrative of His March Through Georgia (New York: Arno Press, 1978), p.177.