SERVICE WITH THE THIRD
the 21st it was found that the enemy had evacuated Savannah, and our troops moved in and took possession.
We now received orders to recross the river to the Georgia side and march to Savannah. We had nothing but flatboats to cross in, and a strong wind was against us, so that we made slow progress while our Regiment covered the crossing. When all the rest had passed over, and we were about half embarked, the enemy swarmed down upon us by the thousand. They had us surrounded on three sides, with a river behind; and our chances for seeing Savannah were not brilliant. Nevertheless, we faced about and prepared to fight them. Our friends of the Second Massachusetts came, without orders, back to our assistance, and placed themselves where they could cover our flanks. We were sheltered behind a dyke, and the enemy could not get at us save by charging across an open rice field; this they did not have the nerve to do, so that when darkness settled down we got off safely to the island. I think there was not a man in our command, but