Preparing for the Carolinas

The period between the fall of Savannah and the opening of march into South Carolina saw limited movements by the opposing armies.  But much logistical preparation, planning, and positioning took place.  In addition, leaders on both sides weighed important policy decisions that factored in the months which followed. This section looks at events occurring between the capture of Savannah and the start of the march into South Carolina – December 21, 1864 to January 13, 1865.

Christmas Day in Savannah

Policies and Politics:

Occupation Policy – Sherman’s instructions concerning occupation of Savannah

Civilian response to Federal occupation – Liberty and Tatnall Counties

Confederate families from Savannah allowed to pass the lines into Charleston…. later noted with “respectful treatment” in Charleston papers

Special Field Orders No. 15 and “Forty Acres and a Mule.”

Federal operations, movements, and preparations

Plans for the defense of Savannah as a Federal base

Efforts to open the Savannah port to support Federal operations

Federal precautions against Charleston Squadron

South Atlantic Blockading Squadron dispositions – start of January 1865

Logistics and Sherman’s original plan for the advance into South Carolina

Admiral Porter complains about the failure to take Wilmington

Ward’s reconnaissance across the Savannah River, December 31, 1864-January 4, 1865

Fifteenth Corps “trail blazing” orders

New USCT regiments for coastal garrisons

Charleston ruled out as a major objective in South Carolina campaign

Foster asks to send the Immortal 600 back north

John Logan returns to command of the Fifteenth Corps

Palmer relates, to Sherman, conditions in North Carolina

Strategic movements bring more troops to the Carolinas: Twenty-third Corps, Nineteenth Corps (2nd Division), and the Army of Tennessee.

Seventeenth Corps’ movement at Port Royal marked with abuses

Confederate preparations and dispositions:

Hardee’s plans to defend South Carolina – the Charleston-Savannah front

SC Governor McGrath pleads to Richmond for more support

South Carolina response to calls for arming slaves

Confederates – repairing Georgia’s railroads

Hardee considers options in defense of South Carolina in January

Confederate artillery dispositions in South Carolina.

South Carolinians fearful of Wheeler’s Cavalry

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