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Brigadier-General Ellison Capers, Confederate Military History, a library of Confederate States Military History: Volume 5, South Carolina (ed. Clement Anselm Evans), Chapter 2: (search)
the whole fleet suffered and was delayed until the 7th, before Admiral DuPont was ready to move in to the attack of the forts defending this great harbor. Port Royal harbor was defended by two forts, Walker and Beauregard, the former on Hilton Head island, and the latter on Bay point opposite. The distance across the harbor, from fort to fort, is nearly 3 miles, the harbor ample and deep, and the water on the bar allowing the largest vessels to enter without risk. A fleet of 100 sail couldinstead of General Sherman, the last of March, and reported to his government, about 17,000 troops scattered along the coast from St. Augustine, Fla., to North Edisto inlet. Of these troops, 12,230 were on the South Carolina coast—4,500 on Hilton Head island; 3,600 at Beaufort; 1,400 on Edisto, and the rest at other points. The force on Edisto was advanced to the northern part of the island, with a strong guard on Little Edisto, which touches the mainland and is cut off from the large island b