Today in History:

970 Series I Volume XLIV- Serial 92 - Savannah

Page 970 Chapter LVI. OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA.

issue immediately after the evacuation of Savannah. They are designed to carry out his views as to the best disposition of troops under your command for the defense of Charleston and the State of South Carolina generally, Savannah being in the possession of the enemy.

Major General G. W. Smith's command (about 2,000 men) being sent to Augusta, will leave of the troops coming from Savannah about 6,500 which, added to those under the immediate command of Major General Sam. Jones, on the line of the Savannah and Charleston Railroad (say about 5,500, exclusive of those in add around Charleston), makes about 12,000 troops. Of these he thinks there should be about 2,500 to guard the left bank of the Combahee, with about 1,000 in reserve at a central point between the Combahee and Ashepoo; about 3,500 in the Fourth Sub-district, with about 1,000 of them in reserve at or near Adams' Run and Green Pond, and about 5,000 in the Second and Third Sub-District, in addition to those already there. The cavalry guarding the left (on coast) flank and the front and right flanks may, of course, be used to support the troops to which they are nearest. The orders indicated in the accompanying memorandum will make a distribution approximating as nearly to those numbers as circumstances will permit. In carrying them out it will be necessary that you should send promptly the troops carried to Hardeeville by Brigadier-General Taliaferro to rejoin their respective brigades, and the detached companies of battalions of South Carolina reserves and militia to report to Brigadier-General Chesnut, at Grahamville, and the companies of the Third South Carolina Cavalry, under Colonel Colcock, to unite with those now in front of Grahamville, and near Coosawhatchie and Pocotaligo and Kirk's squadron, together with the section of horse artillery attached to the Third South Carolina Cavalry. Endeavor to bring and keep together, as far as practicable, the troops of the same organization.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Charleston, December 24, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded to the War Department for its information.

Several lines of defense have been selected from the Savannah River toward Charleston, already more or less fortified. The necessary reconnaissances and defensive works to complete the system have been ordered, and should the enemy give us time it is hoped that his advance on Charleston from that direction will be much retarded, if not altogether prevented. Those defensive lines are-first, the Combahee to Barnwell Court-House; second, the Ashepoo; third, the Edisto; fourth, the Edisto and Ashley. It is not considered advisable to adopt the flanking position recommended by the President in his telegram of the 20th instant, as it could not be carry into effect, with our small force, without abandoning entirely the sea-coast line. This would enable the enemy to approach Charleston from John's Island, or even James Island, with a sea base almost immediately in his rear.



Page 970 Chapter LVI. OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA.