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[456] Savannah, but all other inlets practicable for sea-going vessels to the city and the firm land above. Having early fallen an easy prey to the devotees of Secession, it was held by a garrison of 385 men, Col. C. C. H. Olmstead, 1st Georgia; its 40 heavy guns barring access to the river by our vessels, and affording shelter and protection to blockade-runners and Rebel corsairs.

Very soon after our recovery1 of Port Royal and the adjacent sea-islands, Gen. T. W. Sherman directed2 Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore to reconnoiter this ugly impediment, and report on the feasibility of overcoming it. Gillmore obeyed; and reported3 that he fort might be reduced by batteries of mortars and rifled guns planted on Big Tybee island, south-east of it, across the narrower southern channel of tile Savannah, as also from Venus point, on Jones island, over two miles from Cockspur, in the opposite direction: and submitted his plan; which was sent to Washington, returned approved, and the requisite ordnance and other enginery ultimately forwarded or collected. Meantime, the 46th New York, Col. R. Rosa, was sent4 to occupy Big Tybee, and a detachment directed quietly to clear out the Rebel obstructions in “Wall's cut,” an artificial channel connecting New and Wright rivers, north of Cockspur, and completing an inland water passage from Savannah to Charleston. After some sharp fighting and four nights' hard work, this was achieved;5 and, after some farther delay, Venus point, on Jones island, north-west of the coveted fortress, was selected6 as a point whereon to place a battery, barring all daylight access to the beleaguered fort from above. To this point, mortars, weighing 8 1/2 tuns each, were brought through New and Wright rivers (each of them a sluggish tide-course between rush-covered islets of semi-liquid mud); being patiently tugged across Jones island on a movable causeway of planks laid on poles — those behind tile moving gun being taken up and placed in its front;7 and thus tile guns were toilsomely dragged across and placed in battery on strong timber platforms, constructed by night behind an artfully contrived screen of bushes and reeds to receive them. Just as tile batteries were completed, the Rebel steamboat Ida passed down from Savannah to Pulaski, and the recoil of our guns fired at her sent all but one of them off the platforms; which had thereupon to be enlarged and improved. Soon, another battery was established on Bird island, a little nearer Cockspur: and next, vessels having arrived8 in Tybee roads with heavy guns and munitions, the 7th Conn., 46th New York, and some detached companies, were employed in landing these on Big Tybee, constructing batteries and magazines, making roads of poles and plank, &c., &c. Nearly all this work had to be done by night, within range of Pulaski's guns — the outline presented to the enemy by the low bushes skirting the river being skillfully and gradually altered, night after night, so as to afford to the garrison no indication of the menacing work going on behind its friendly shelter.

The moving of each gun over the quaking, treacherous bog, from its

1 See Vol I., p. 605.

2 Nov 29, 1861.

3 Del. 1.

4 In Dec.

5 Jan. 14, 1862.

6 Jan. 28.

7 Feb. 10-11.

8 Feb. 21.

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