Diary of Orrin Brown, Savannah, Georgia
It is very cold again this morning. I am suffering a great deal again today with my eyes, we were drilled about an hour and a half today, the news came in today that our forces captured 10,000 rebbels and 66 pieces more of Artilery below the City of Savannah yesterday, if that be true we have made a good haul shure enough. The mail came in again today but none for me. I read 1 Chapt. in Testament.
Farther north up the Atlantic coast, Wilmington, North Carolina, on the Cape Fear river, remained the last major port in Confederate control. Gen. Grant sent controversial Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler on an amphibious assault against Ft. Fisher, which guarded the port. Butler concocted a plan to blow up the USS Louisiana in front of the fort’s seawall, in the hope it would give him an opening to take the fort. Following a comedy of errors, late in the night of 22-23 December, the boat was fired… about a mile off shore. The fort stood. None the less, after firing about 10,000 shells on the fort, Butler set about landing but was soon convinced the fort was too strong for an assault. He took his boats and returned to Virginia. Grant was not amused, relieving Butler of command. The Fort fell in January under an assault by Maj. Gen. Alfred H. Terry. Butler went on to be elected to the US House of Representatives and Governor of Massachusetts.