181 HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.
SAVANNAH, BEAUFORT, POCOTALIGO, COLUMBIA AND MARCH TO TAYLORSVILLE AND GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA.
In the preceding chapter we gave a mere outline of the march through Georgia to Savannah, where we encamped a few days. The march was an entire success. The regiment lost but few men. Joel Runyan, killed at Sandersville; Robert Hanson, taken prisoner, and has not been heard of since; Cyrus Trace, prisoner, was exchanged; private Townsend died near Savannah; Joseph Gleason and William F. Huffman died in Savannah.
Savannah is the largest, and was, previous to the rebellion, the most flourishing commercial city in the State. It is to the east what New Orleans is to the west. The city is built on a sandy plain, about forty feet above low water mark. A considerable extent of rice swamp lands lie in its rear, the exhalations from which render the city unhealthy at certain seasons of the year. The streets are wide, unpaved and sandy, but laid out with great regularity, and well shaded with trees. There are twenty-four public squares, each of considerable extent, and all closely shaded with Pride of India trees. Grassy promenades run through the middle of two of the streets, Broad and Bay, having ample thoroughfares on each side.
Nearly all the buildings are built of brick, and all of very neat design and finish, and give evidence of great wealth. The city contains a new custom house, built in 1860. It is one hundred and ten feet in length, fifty-two feet in width, costing the government $173,000.
There is also a State arsenal, theater, court house, a city exchange, artillery armory, jail and other public buildings, all of costly and imposing appearance. There are fourteen Protestant and three Catholic Churches, a Jewish Synagogue, and a public library, containing seven thousand volumes. The public squares are ornamented with many interesting monuments. One erected to the memory of General Green, and one imposing structure in honor of Pulaski, who fell in an attack upon Savannah in October, 1779, then held by the British.
The whole space between Savannah and the ocean is cut up and intersected by rivers, creeks, cuts, swamps and openings.
The city is the most beautiful we have seen in the South. The most wealthy and enterprising, and a present population of 25,000 inhabitants, who manifest less malignancy toward the Yankee than we have seen elsewhere. We saw only one evidence of disrespect, which was in the burial of the prisoners of our army.
We find quite a number buried outside their fortifications by the wayside. General G. F. Wiles, commanding the Second Brigade, had a strong stockade placed around the graveyard, which was about one acre in extent. Thus a friendly hand, too late for relief, came finally to do honor to their last resting place, by placing around them an enclosure that would guard their sacred dust from the feet of inhuman and barbarous rebels. Surely their friends will feel lasting gratitude to General Wiles for this kind regard of those who have died from unfriendly neglect and barbarous enmity.
The city of Savannah was entered by our troops on the morning of the 21st of December. General Hardee, in command of the rebel forces, anticipating the general assault which General Sherman had
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