Posted on Nov 16, 2012 in 1864, Featured | 0 comments

December, 1864 – March to the Sea

 

Siege gun at Ft. McAlister, near Savannah, Georgia

Beginning location: Near Sandersville, Georgia

A continuation of Sherman’s March to the Sea. [Blogger’s note:  I encourage you to read this article. It gives a good overview, especially the events surrounding the fall of Savannah and the famous letters exchanged between Gen. Sherman and President Abraham Lincoln. ]

 

Dec. 1

Marched at 9. Passed through a very poor barren swampy country. Camped within 2 miles of the Ogeechee River. Our line of march today was parallel with the rivier. Marched 12 miles.

Dec. 2

Took up our line of march at 8 am. Marched through a barren swampy sandy country. We acted as train guards today. Marched on the side of the road through fields and through the woods. Weather clear and warm. Marched 8 miles, crossed a creek and camped in a pine forest.

Dec. 3

Today we remained in camp for the first time since we left Atlanta, except our brigade crossed the Ogeechee and destroyed the rail road.  Drew 3 days 1/2 rations.

Dec. 4

Sabbath. Reveille at 5, took up our line of march at 6. Marched 18 miles mostly through well cultivated country, well watered and plenty of forage.

Dec. 5

50 miles from Savannah. Today we were train guards which brought us into camp 8 at night as we marched 18 miles through a very poor country today. We burned a grist mill and sawmill as the rebs burned the bridge across the creek to stop us.

Dec. 6

Today we took up our line of march at 1/2 past 12. March south of east to within 1 mile of the Ogeechee River where we camp in a pine forest. Marched 10 miles. Poor health. Skirmishing by 3rd Brigade at the River. 9th Iowa passed over.

Dec. 7

Rested in camp today to let the Corps and train cross the river. Acting as rear guard and guard against a surprise.

Dec. 8

Marched at 1/2 past 7 over very poor swampy roads. Crossed Black and Birch creek. Marched 18 miles and camp in a pine forest within hearing of the siege guns at Savanna from our gunboats and Fort Pulaski.  Weather very warm. Health good.

Dec. 9

March 5 miles to the county seat of Briant County named Eden. Surrounded on all sides by cypress swamp, almost impassable for man or beast. Day quite cool with north wind and a little rain. [Blogger’s note:  The exact location of Eden is not known.  The county seat was later listed as Clyde, which may be the same location as Eden.  It is assumed that the location Eden/Clyde is within the boundaries of modern day Ft. Stewart]

Dec. 10

This morning we marched at 1/2 past 4 in the direction of the Ogeechee River. Crossed on the ruins of the bridge the rebs tried to destroy at the mouth of the Ogeechee canal that runs to Savannah. March up the bank of the canal till within 5 miles of Savannah. Camped on a large plantation and fortified. Marched 18 miles.

Dec. 11

Sabbath. Mooved out at 1 pm. Marched 1 mile, countermarched back to camp, halted 1 hour until after dark, march south and passed a rebel battery of 6 guns unmolested.Went into camp after marching 5 miles, night very cold, ground and water froze 1/4 of an inch thick.

Dec. 12

Morning cold and frosty. Heavy cannonading in front this morning. Remained cold all day, remained in camp.

Dec. 13

Gen. William Babcock Hazen, US Army

Very cold last night. Ground froze. Morning clear and cold. Ordered to be ready to march at a minute’s notice. Ft. McAlister taken by the 2nd Division under Gen. Hazen in connection with the gunboats and Gen. Killpatrick’s Cavalry.

Dec. 14

Morning cloudy and more moderate than yesterday. Reg’t went to the front to support Co. B 1st Michigan Battery. Weather very warm.

Dec. 15, 16, 17, 18

Remain in camp. Weather continues very warm and sultry. This evening (18th) gone to the front again to relieve the 31st and 32nd Missouri.

Dec. 19, 20

Remained in camp. Nothing new took place.

Dec. 21

This morning it was found that the rebs had left their works in our front and at 9 o’clock we were ordered to pack up and march for Savannah, which place we come to and rested inside the reb works at 15 minutes before 12.

Dec. 22

Ordered to go into winter quarters which was done with a will as we were all tired, ragged and dirty after our long march through Georgia.

Dec. 23

Put up our shebang and prepared for a short rest in camp. Our camp lay on the south side of Savannah and near the city.

Dec. 24

One year ago today we were at Stephenson, Ala. Today Sherman reviewed the 15th A.C. which looks as though we would get but little rest, as we always march soon after grand review.

Dec. 25

Sabbath. Christmas day, cool with rain in the evening. No news of importance from the 26th to 31st. remain in camp fixing up winter quarters and making ourselves as comfortable as soldiers can under similar circumstances.

Dec. 31

Muster for pay at 11 am. 4 months pay due as another year passed with all of its toils and cares, sorrows and dangers of a soldier’s life though God has mercifully preserved my life, thanks to his holy name.

 

Ending location:  Savannah, Georgia.

 

Approximate travels during December, 1864

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