I have just received the following letter, sent on the 22nd.
Savannah River, December 22, 1864-7 a. m.
I have the honor to report that I have just returned from General Sherman’s headquarters in Savannah. I send Major Gray, of my staff, as bearer of dispatches from General Sherman to you, and also a message to the President. The city of Savannah was occupied on the morning of the 21st. General Hardee, anticipating the contemplated assault, escaped with the main body of his infantry and light artillery on the afternoon and night of the 20th by crossing the river to the Union Causeway opposite the city. The rebel ironclads were blown up and the navy-yard burned. All the rest of the city is intact and contains 20,000 citizens quiet and well disposed. The captures include 800 prisoners, 150 guns, 13 locomotives in good order, 190 cars, a large supply of ammunition and material of war, 3 steamers, and 32,000 bales of cotton safely stored in warehouses. All these valuable fruits of an almost bloodless victory have been, like Atlanta, fairly won. I opened communication with the city with my steamers to-day, taking up what torpedoes we could see, and passing safely over others. Arrangements are made to clear the channel of all obstructions.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Major-General, Commanding Department of the South.
I wrote Sec. Stanton,
CITY POINT, VA., December 25, 1864-8 p. m.
SECRETARY OF WAR,
I have just received General Foster’s dispatch announcing the capture of Savannah, with artillery, munitions of war, railroad cars, and cotton. I wish Hardee’s 15,000 to 18,000 of a garrison could have been added to the other captures. It is a good thing the way it stands, and the country may well rejoice over it.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 163-4
O.R., I, xliv, 786, 809