Today in History:

17 Series I Volume XLVII-I Serial 98 - Columbia Part I


Numbers 304. -Lieutenant General Joseph Wheeler, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Corps, of operations January 3-April 15.

Numbers 305. -Captain William L. Church, Ninth Georgia Cavalry, commanding Mounted Detachment, Army of Northern Virginia, of operations January 3-17.

Numbers 306. -Colonel John N. Whitford, Sixty-seventh North Carolina Infantry, commanding brigade, of operations April 5-17.

Numbers 307. -Captain John A. Simon, C. S. Army, of operations January 15.

Numbers 1. Reports of Major General William T. Sherman, U. S. Army, commanding Military Division of the Mississippi. HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Goldsborough, N. C., April 4, 1865.

GENERAL: I must now endeavor to group the events of the past three months connected with the armies under my command, in order that you may have as clear an understanding of the late campaign as the case admits of. The reports of the subordinate commanders will enable you to fill up the picture.

I have heretofore explained how, in the progress of our arms, I was enabled to leave in the West an army under Major General George H. Thomas, of sufficient strength to meet emergencies in that quarter, while in person I conducted another army, composed of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Twentieth Corps, and Kilpatrick's division of cavalry, to the Atlantic slope, aiming to approach the grand theater of war in Virginia by the time the season would admit of military operations in that latitude. The first lodgment on the coast was made at Savannah, strongly fortified and armed, and valuable to us as a good sea-port with its navigable stream inland. Near a month was consumed there in refitting the army, and in making the proper disposition of captured property, and other local matters; but by the 15th of January I was all ready to resume the march. Preliminary to this, General Howard, commanding the Right Wing, was ordered to embark his command at Thunderbolt, transport it to Beaufort, S. C., and thence by the 15th of January make a lodgment on the Charleston railroad, at or near Pocotaligo. This was accomplished punctually, at little cost, by the Seventeenth Corps, Major-General Blair, and a depot for supplies was established near the mouth of Pocotaligo Creek, with easy water communication back to Hilton Head.

The Left Wing, Major-General Slocum, and the cavalry, Major-General Kilpatrick, were ordered to rendezvous about the same time near Robertsville and Coosawhatchie, S. C., with a depot of supplies at Purysburg, or Sister's Ferry, on the Savannah River. General Slocum had a good pontoon bridge constructed opposite the city, and the "Union Causeway" leading through the low rice-fields opposite Savannah was repaired and corduroyed, but before the time appointed to start the heavy rains of January had swelled the river, broken the pontoon bridge, and overflowed the whole bottom, so that the causeway was four feet under water, and General Slocum was compelled to lock higher up for a passage over the Savannah River. He moved up to Sister's Ferry, but even there the river with its overflowed bottoms was near three miles wide, and he did not succeed in getting his whole wing across until during the first week of February.