Dec 21 1864 Savannah

[note inserted at the top of letter:] Savannah is ours official
Front of Savannah
Dec 21st 64
Dear Uncle
Not being busy to day I thought I would write you a few lines to let you know that I am yet top of the Georgia soil and just as able to eat full rations as any other man. As you were long before this probably aware Sherman has changed his base of operations & of supplies. We cut the last tie that bound us to the north at Kingston Ga. & from there set out for our then unknown destination. The towns below Kingston on the rail road were destroyed. We lay at
Atlanta one day and when we left it was an “ocean of flame the 14th & 20th Corps followed along the Augusta R.R. while the 15th & 17th Corps took the Macon R.R. Everything in the shape of property was destroyed. The RRds were torn and burned so as to render them useless until they are entirely rebuilt. Then about 50 miles from Atlanta the 14th Corps turned directly south so as to strike Milledgeville where we lay two days & destroyed the public buildings. The town has a nice situation but it is not very much of a place The fact of its being the capital is all that ever gave it a name. From there we
went across to Louisville & then took a south east course to Savannah. We had a splendid time taking every thing into consideration. The weather was fine for the time of year The marching was ease. There was but little fighting & forage of every kind was plenty We just lived fat on what the country furnished. There is no end to the swamps in this part of the country. It is almost impossible to get this army near enough Savannah to take it. Swamps is all that hinder them from running right over rebels fortifications & all. It won’t be very many days untill we are in the city. We drew hard tack last night direct from N.Y.
.L.P.M. [?] There are rumors afloat that Savannah is ours. But how true it is I don’t know. Some claim it has been evacuated. Others that it has surrendered. We will find out to night I expect it has been remarkably quiet along the lines to day. Then old Abe was triumphantly elected. Bully for Abe. I am well & all right. In less than eight months if I meet with no misfortune you may look too see me around Girard. Give my best respects to all who may be interested. Write as often as convenient. Direct as usual only to Savannah in place of Atlanta.
Yours truly
Frank Pettibone