December 21, 1864: Sherman takes Savannah

Sherman in Savannah
Sherman’s army in Savannah

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Hardee evacuated Savannah over the night of December 20-21, and Sherman’s troops, discovering the city undefended, occupied it on the morning of the 21st. The mayor appeals to Sherman to protect the people and property.


Official Records 92:771
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, December 21, 1864-9 a. m.
[General W. T. SHERMAN:]

DEAR GENERAL: I have sent you two dispatches via Fort McAllister in hopes of reaching you. General Slocum reports enemy gone from his front and he has got eight guns-this report at 4 a. m. He is also gone from this front and General Howard reports Leggett near the city, and no enemy. General Woods also got six guns. General Slocum is moving and General Howard the same and I have no doubt both are in Savannah now. I will ride with General Howard, at his request, and leave our camp until the matter is more definite and you make orders.

I am, General, &c.,

L. M. DAYTON,
Aide-de-Camp.

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Official Records 92:772

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, GA., December 21, 1864.
Admiral DAHLGREN,
Commanding South Atlantic Squadron:

SIR: Savannah is ours, with upwards of sixty heavy guns and a large quantity of public property, cars, cotton, etc. In the absence of General Sherman, General Howard requests you to clear away the torpedoes and other obstructions in the Savannah River channel.

I am, sir, with respect,
L. M. DAYTON,
Aide-de-Camp.

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KING’S BRIDGE, December 21, 1864.
Captain DAYTON:
Aide-de-Camp:

DEAR CAPTAIN: News has reached here by an orderly that Savannah was evacuated last night. It is highly important that we should know whether this news be correct or not. Please, therefore, give me the earliest information in regard to it.

Yours, in haste,

A. BECKWITH,
Colonel and Chief Commissary of Subsistence.

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SAVANNAH, December 21, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding U. S. Military Forces near Savannah:

SIR: The city of Savannah was last night evacuated by the Confederate military and is now entirely defenseless. As chief magistrate of the city I respectfully request your protection of the lives and private property of the citizens and of our women and children.

Trusting that this appeal to your generosity and humanity may favorably influence your action, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

R. D. ARNOLD,
Mayor of Savannah.

This entry was posted in Georgia, Henry W. Slocum, Oliver O. Howard, Savannah, Sherman's March, William J. Hardee, William Tecumseh Sherman. Bookmark the permalink.

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