James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
to each. Droves of cattle, enough to insure fresh meat for more than a month, were part of the commissariat. The ambulances were 600 in number; the artillery had been reduced to 65 guns. Pontoon trains were carried along, as the invading host had many rivers to cross. The right wing was composed of the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps, the left, of the Fourteenth and Twentieth; each corps marched on a separate road. The division of the wagon trains gave each corps about 800 wagons, which occupied on the march five miles or more of road. The artillery and wagons with their advance and rear guards had the right of way, the men taking improvised paths at their side. The troops began their daily march at dawn and pitched their camp soon after noon, having covered ordinarily ten to fifteen miles. Milledgeville, the capital of the State, was reached by the left wing in seven days. This march through the heart of Georgia so alarmed the Confederates lest either Macon or Augusta or both might be attacked that they divided their forces; and, when it finally became clear that Savannah was the point aimed at, they found it impossible for various reasons to concentrate a large number of troops for defence. By December 10, the enemy was driven within his lines at Savannah, the march of 300 miles was over and the siege began.
The special field order of November 9 said, The army will forage liberally on the country during the march.1 As the State was sparsely settled and the plan of making requisitions on the civil authorities therefore impracticable, this was the only possible mode of supplying the troops. The arrangements for the foraging were made and carried
Note 1. O. R., XXXIX, Pt. 3, 713. We give express charge, that in our marches through the country, there be nothing compelled from the villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of the French upbraided or abused in disdainful language. Henry V, Act III, sc. VI. [back]