Cornelius Platter Diary Entry
This morning after breakfast we were informed that the “Rebs” had taken up their departure last night not believing it I went down to the front and seen for myself that the enemy had indeed left. We were immediately ordered to cross. 81st and 66th crossed in a pontoon boat at the same point where Lt [Lieutenant] Pittman and party effected a crossing. We supposed at first that the enemy had only fallen back to a stronger line of works. – so after crossing we advanced cautiously – but soon discovered that they had bid the city of Savannah adieu. — We soon struck the Gulf RR and proceeded directly towards the City – down the RR track – Major Henry & I had left our horses on the other side of the “Little Ogeechee – so we took it “afoot” and reached the “suburbs” of S about 3 PM and went into camp southeast of the city among the “dutch gardens”
Which are full of all kinds of vegetables. As soon as our horses arrived Maj [Major] H and I rode into the city — With the exception of Huntsville it is the prettiest city I have seen in the ‘Southern Confederacy” – The “Wharfs and docks” are magnificent but on account of the obstructions in the River below [illegible] Jackson our fleet cannot come up. The town was quite full of Soldiers – quite a number of stores were plundered by soldiers assisted by negros and “poor white folks” who seemed delighted at having a chance to pillage – As a general thing the Citizens kept ‘in doors”. Saw the Rebel [illegible] Savannah and a gun boat laying on the opposite side of the river — The enemy finished crossing this morning about daylight and are supposed to be making for Charleston. I think Sherman has rather been “out generaled” by Hardee. or since he couldn’t have gotten away so easily – Who is to blame for allowing him to escape — time alone can tell. but it is the general [unclear: informs] us that Gen [General] Foster is the “guilty man” — We found a great many Guns Cotton & c [et cetera] which the enemy had to leave. Cold and windy this evening — Procured some nice riding bridles today Retired early.
From the Cornelius Platter Collection housed at the University of Georgia’s Special Collections Hargrett Library