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plies in South Carolina will do the enemy more harm than the capture of either or both of those cities. They can be left for a backhanded blow. I have no doubt that you can supply your army in the country from Savannah to Raleigh; but if you should have much fighting you may want ammunition. If so, you must make for the coast and notify us through Savannah or New Berne to meet you. We, however, shall probably first hear of your movements through the rebel newspapers, as before.
Wilmington, in my opinion, would be a much greater prize than Charleston. If you can lay waste the interior of South Carolina and destroy the railroads Charleston must be abandoned by all except a small garrison. I hope you may be able to start early and move rapidly, for quick and rapid blows will now be most effective.
Thomas has done well against Hood, but he is too slow for an effective pursuit. Moreover, he will not live on the enemy. He himself is entirely opposed to a winter campaign, and is already speaking of recruiting his army for spring operations. I have, therefore, urged General Grant to send Schofield and A. J. Smith to re-enforce Canby at Mobile and move up the Alabama River to Selma and Montgomery, destroy. ing all the enemy's manufactories and supplies on that line. Thomas, with the remainder of his forces, can easily defend Kentucky and Tennessee against any new raid that Jeff. Davis may plan in that direction.
It is useless talking about putting any of our armies into winter quarters. It is not necessary, and the financial condition of the country will not permit it. Those troops not required for defense must move into the enemy's country and live on it. There is no alternative; it
be don Wishing you a happy New Year and successful campaign, I am, Yours, truly,
H. W. HALLECK, Major-General and Chief of Staff,
HDORS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, Ga., January 1, 1865, Brig. Gen. L. C. EASTON,
Quartermaster, Savannah, Ga.: GENERAL: The general-in-chief directs that hereafter transportation to Hilton Head and Beaufort be furnished without further orders to all colored men who desire to enlist in the regiments organizing at those points; care being taken, however, that none are so transported except at their own request. I have the honor to be, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY HITCHCOCK, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Savannah, Ga., January 1, 1865. Brig. Gen. L. C. EASTON,
Chief Quartermaster, Military Division of the Mississippi : GENERAL: I regret exceedingly to trouble you, but I wish you to know the exact state of things. It is reported to me by Major-General Osterhaus that his artillery horses are dying at the picket rope of actual starvation, and other officers report that public and private horses of the commard are without forage. Must this be allowed when forage is within six miles of us? Is there no possible expedient we can resort to in order to get a supply? Are there no inlets where we can land forage? Are there no flats nor small boats in which we can bring grain ashore? Be assured, general, that my officers and men, and myself, are at your service willing to work night and day. I am held responsible by my command for these things; my only alternative is to apply to you. I do not wish to oppose you, but to assist you in every way in my power. Respectfully,
0. 0. HOWARD,
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH CORPS,
Savannah, Ga., January 1, 1865. Brig. Gen. W.T, WARD,
Commanding Third Division : GENERAL: I am directed by the general commanding to say that the steamer Planter will be assigned for the transportation of your division to-morrow. He wishes the balance of your command pushed over in the boats to-morrow as rapidly as possible. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBT. P. DECHERT, Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDORS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the field, Savannah, January 2, 1865. Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. 0.. SIR: I have just received from Lieutenant-General Grant a copy of that part of your telegram* to him of 26th December, relating to cotton, a copy of which has been immediately furnished to General Easton, my chief quartermaster, who will be strictly governed by it. I had already been approached by all the consuls and half the people of Savannah on this cotton question, and my invariable answer has been that all the cotton in Savannah was prize of war and belonged to the United States, and nobody should recover a bale of it with my consent, and that as cotton had been one of the chief causes of this war it should help to pay its expenses; that all cotton became tainted with treason from the hour the first act of hostility was committed against the United States, some time in December, 1860, and that no bill of sale subsequent to that date could convey title. My orders were that an officer of the Quartermaster's Department, U. S. Armỹ, might furnish the holder, agent, or attorney a mere certificate of the fact of seizure, with description of the bales, marks, &c., the cotton then to be turned over to the agent of the Treasury Department to be shipped to New York for sale. But since the receipt of your dispatch I have ordered General Easton to make the shipment himself to the quartermaster at New York, where you can dispose of it at pleasure. I do not think the Treasury Department ought to bother itself with the prizes or captures of war.
*See Vol. XLIV, p. 809.
Mr. Barclay, former consul at New York, representing Mr. Molineus, formerly consul here but absent since a long time, called on me in person with reference to cotton claimed by English subjects. He seemed ainazed when I told him I should pay no respect to consular certificates, and that in no event would I treat an English subject with more favor than one of our own deluded citizens, and that for my part I was unwilling to fight for cotton for the benefit of Englishmen openly engaged in smuggling arms and instruments of war to kill us; that on the contrary it would afford me great satisfaction to conduct my army to Nassau and wipe out that nest of pirates. I explained to him, however, that I was not a diplomatic agent of the General Government of the United States, but that my opinion, so frankly expressed, was that of a soldier, which it would be well for him to heed. It appeared also that he owned a plantation on the line of investment of Savannah, which of course is destroyed, and for which he expected me to give him some certificate entitling him to indemnification, which I declined emphatically. I have adopted in Savannah rules concerning property, severe but just, founded upon the laws of nations and the practice of civilized governments; and am clearly of opinion that we should claim all the belligerent rights over conquered countries, that the people may realize the truth that war is no child's play. I embrace in this a copy of a letter dated December 31, 1864, in answer to one from Solomon Cohen, a rich lawyer, to General Blair, his personal friend, as follows.*
This letter was in answer to specific inquiries. It is clear and specific, and covers all the points, and should I leave before my orders are executed I will endeavor to impress upon my successor, General Foster, their wisdom and propriety. I hope the course I have taken in these matters will meet your approbation, and that the President will not refund to parties claiming cotton or other property without the strongest evidences of loyalty and friendship on the part of the claimant, or unless some other positive end is to be gained. I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, Ga., January 2, 1865. Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT,
City Point: GENERAL: I have received, by the hands of General Barnard, your note of 26th and letter of 27th December.f I herewith inclose to you a copy of a projet 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 with your 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 to that. Everything here is quiet, and if I can get the necessary supplies in my wagons I shall be ready to start at the time indicated in my projet,
See Vol. XLIV, p. 846.
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 will remember I expected. I have furnished General Easton a copy of the dispatch from the Secre. tary 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, without interfering with General Easton's vessels, to make a lodgment on the railroad at Pocotaligo. General Barnard will remain with me a few days, and I shall send this by a staff officer, wbo can return on one of the vessels of the supply fleet. I suppose that now that General Butler has got through you can spare them to us.
My report of recent operations is nearly ready and will be sent on 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,
Projet for January.
Extremely confidential. Right Wing move men and artillery by transports to head of Broad River and Beaufort; get Port Royal Ferry and mass the wing at or in the neighborhood of Pocotaligo.
Left Wing and cavalry work slowly across the causeway toward Hardeeville to open a road by which wagons can reach their corps about Broad River; also by a rapid movement of the Left secure Sister's Ferry and out as far as the Augusta road—Robertsville.
In the meantime all guns, shot, shells, cotton, &c., to be got 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 of January.
Second. 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 15th of January, and Slocum to be at Robertsville and Kilpatrick at or near Coosawhatchie about same date.
General Foster's troops to occupy Savannah, and gun-boats to protect the rivers as soon as Howard gets Pocotaligo.
SAVANNAH, January 2, 1865. Lieut. Gen. U.S. GRANT:
DEAR GENERAL: I found the California, which had brought Major Gray, at Fort Monroe, and sailed in her a few hours after my arrival (Tuesday evening, December 27). I had a tedious voyage, with a gale of wind dead ahead the whole way. Reached Hilton Head at 9 p. m. yesterday, and arrived hera last evening at 4 p. m. General Sherman sends dispatches to day, and a liberal execution of your orders would require, or at least justify, me to return by the same steamer; but General Sherman prefers that I should stay long enough to see things for myself and for us to have some talk, and I believe it would meet the spirit of your orders to do so. I shall therefore remain for the Arago, which leaves Hilton Head next Monday, the 9th. I have already had an opportunity to meet Generals Slocum, Howard, and numerous other officers of rank, and am very much pleased with the spirit and feeling which seems to pervade with all. Every day the magnitude of results of Sherman's great march, combined with Hood's dis. comfiture, impresses itself more and more upon me. I think we shall see daylight this coming spring.
At the time I left City Point I was about renewing my examinations of the Fort Clifton lines in view of an enterprise upon them. I feel, however, as if matters were approaching a certain result with such strides that it is inexpedient to run risks, and perhaps lose men on uncertainties. Still, circumstances migbt occur which would render such an enterprise expedient. If Major Michie gets his pile bridge done in a week or ten days we shall have some fifty more available boats for such an operation. I presume I shall reach City Point on the 12th. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. BARNARD,
ARI Brevet Major-General, &c.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Savannah, Ga., January 2, 1865. Maj. Gen. M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster: General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.: GENERAL: I wrote you on the 30th ultimo* in regard to sending to this place sixty days' grain for 35,000 animals; also requesting you to send me six very light-draught steamers and twenty Schuylkill barges. I am now instructed by General Sherman to say that he contemplates a very important move, and desires the sixty days' grain and subsistence for 70,000 men for sixty days sent forward as rapidly as possible, one-half the grain and one-half the subsistence (thirty days') to be sent into Wassaw Sound in steamers drawing not over twelve feet of water, and the other half to Hilton Head in such vessels as can be procured, but the lighter they are the better. There is but thirteen feet water from Wassaw Sound to this place, at the highest tide. It is important in selecting the vessels that as many as possible be fixed upon that have capacity and conveniences for carrying animals, and I request that they may be selected with that view. Time is a very important consideration, and I suggest that such sail vessels as it may be necessary to use in this work be towed by the steamers in order to save as much time as possible. Send all grain and no hay. Hurry forward all the clothing and other stores I have asked for as soon as possible. The sixty days' grain will be required at the commencement of the move. In addition to this we must have grain to last us until that time, say fifteen days. The light steamers and barges asked for in my letter of the 30th ultimo I still require. The animals of this army are in great jeopardy at present for the want of grain, as but little has as yet arrived, and the animals have been without for several days. Grain should be pushed forward with the utmost dispatch. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. C. EASTON, Brevet Brigadier General and Chief Quartermaster.
* See Vol. XLIV, p. 837.