The most important points being now secured against immediate attack, the General
proceeded to organize a system of seacoast defence different from that which had previously been adopted.
He withdrew the troops and material from those works which had been established on the islands and salient points which he could not defend, to a strong interior line, where the effect of the Federal
naval force would be neutralized.
After a careful reconnoissance of the coast, he designated such points as he considered it necessary to fortify.
The most important positions on this extensive line were Georgetown
being central, could communicate with either Charleston
in two or three hours by railroad; so in case of an attack, they could support each other.
The positions between Coosawhatchie
, and those between Charleston
, could be reinforced from the positions contiguous to them.
There was thus a defensive relation throughout the entire line.
At this time there was a great want of guns suitable for seacoast defence.
Those in use had been on the coast for more than thirty years, and were of too light a calibre to cope with the powerful ordnance that had been introduced into the Federal
It was, therefore, desirable to arm the batteries now constructed with heavy guns.
The Ordnance Department being prepared to cast guns of the heaviest calibre, requisitions were made for eight and ten-inch columbiads for the batteries bearing on the channels that would be entered by gunboats.
The heavy smooth bore guns were preferred to the rifle cannons for fixed batteries, as experiments had shown that the crushing effect of the solid round shot was more destructive than the small breach and deeper penetration of the rifle bolts.
The difference of range was not important, as beyond a certain distance the aim could not be accurate.
By the last of December many batteries had been completed, and other works were being rapidly constructed.
When the new year of 1862 opened, there was a greater feeling of security among the people of South Carolina
than had been felt for several months.
The information received from every quarter led to the belief that the Federal Government
was making preparations for a powerful attack upon either Charleston
In anticipation of this attack, every effort was made to strengthen these places.
, who commanded at Charleston
, and General Lawton
, the commander at Savannah
, ably seconded General Lee