December 21, 1864

Cornelius Platter Diary Entry
(Union Soldier)

Wednesday Dec 21st 1864 

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
http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/hargrett/platter/006.php