JANUARY 17TH, 1865: Delayed in departure from Savannah, General Sherman wrote Rear Admiral Dahlgren: "When we are known to be in rear of Charleston, about Branchville and Orangeburg, it will be well to watch if the enemy lets go of Charleston, in which case Foster will occupy it, otherwise the feint should be about Bull's Bay.
"We will need no cover about Port Royal; nothing but the usual guard ships. I think that you will concur with me that, in anticipation of the movement of my army to the rear of the coast, it will be unwise to subject your ships to the heavy artillery of the enemy or to his sunken torpedoes.
"I will instruct Foster, when he knows I have got near Branchville, to make a landing of a small force at Bull's Bay, to threaten, and it may be occupy, the road from Mount Pleasant to Georgetown. This will make the enemy believe I design to turn down against Charleston and give me a good offing for Wilmington.
"I will write you again fully on the eve of starting in person."
So, Sherman had no plans to attack Charleston from the rear.