This being accomplished, the expedition proceeded to the north end of Dawfuskie Island, at which point a camp and depot were established for operations in the Savannah. Reconnoissances for suitable locations for the batteries were there made, under the superintendence of Capt. and Acting Brig.-Gen. Gilmore, during which the telegraphic communication between Fort Pulaski and Savannah was cut, and the wires, both land and submarine, removed for about the distance of one mile. Venus Point, on Jones's Island, on the north side of the Savannah, and the upper end of Long Island, in the Savannah River, were recommended as the most feasible positions to be occupied. These islands, as well as all others in the river, are merely deposits of soft mud, on sand shoals, always covered at high-tide, and overgrown with dank grasses. The occupation of points so unfavorable for the erection of batteries, was rendered still more difficult by the presence in the Savannah of a fleet of rebel gunboats, constantly passing and always on the alert. To have floated the ordnance in the flatboats in which it had been placed, into the Savannah River, would have exposed it to capture by the gunboats; to move it over the swamps seemed almost impossible, while at the same time it would constantly be exposed to view from the river. The alternative was adopted of moving the armament of one battery by hand, at night, on shifting tram-ways, across Jones's Island; and this was accomplished on the night of the eleventh of February. A drenching storm added to the difficulties — the men often sinking to their waists in the marsh, and the guns sometimes slipping from the tram-ways. By morning the guns were in position on the river, and the next day resisted, with unfinished platforms, and without cover, an attack from the rebel gunboats, disabling and driving them off. Three days after, another battery was erected on Bird Island, in the Savannah, under cover of the battery on Jones's Island. Bird Island was selected in preference to the upper end of Long Island, as affording a more uninterrupted command of the south channel of the river. Since the erection of the batteries, the works have been completed on both islands — the one on Jones's Island being called Fort Vulcan, and that on Bird Island, battery Hamilton; and although the material of which they are composed, (mud, highly saturated with water,) is of the most unfavorable description, they are both creditable specimens of field-works, and evidence the great labor and perseverance of the troops, under the most trying circumstances — the fatigue-parties always standing in water twenty-four hours. The positions selected for batteries to aid in the reduction of the Fort, were the lower end of Long Island and the south side of Turtle Island. As these two points were directly under the fire of the Fort, it was deemed advisable to delay the erection of the batteries until those on Tybee Island were ready to open. Hence, it was not until the night before the bombardment commenced, that they were thrown up. The intrenchments were completed; but before the guns were all in position, the Fort surrendered unconditionally. The mortar-batteries on Long Island did good execution. In reporting the results accomplished, I have to refer to the services rendered by the staff of Gen. Sherman, without which the work could not have been performed. These officers were Capt. and Acting Brig.-Gen. Gilmore, Chief Engineer; Capt. John Hamilton, Chief of Artillery; Lieut. J. H. Wilson, Topographical Engineer; Lieut. Porter, Ordnance Corps, and Lieutenant O'Rourke, Engineer Corps. Hesitating at no amount of exposure or fatigue, they succeeded, by their individual examples, in inspiring the men with that energy and zeal which alone could have led them to accomplish the arduous labor required. I am also greatly indebted to the services of Capt. Sears, of the Volunteer Engineers, and to Captain J. H. Liebenau, Assistant Adjutant-General. The accompanying sketch exhibits the positions of the batteries. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Report of Commodore Du Pont.
Flag-ship Wabash, Port Royal harbor, S. C., April 13, 1862.sir: The despatches from the Commanding General of this Department to the Honorable Secretary of War, will convey the gratifying intelligence of the fall of Fort Pulaski. It was a purely military operation, the result of laborious and scientific preparation, and of consummate skill and bravery in the execution. It would not have pertained to me to address you, in reference to this brilliant and successful achievement, had not Major-General Hunter, with a generous spirit long to be remembered, permitted the navy to be represented on this interesting occasion, by allowing a detachment of seamen and officers from this ship to serve one of the breaching-batteries. I have thanked the General personally for this kindness, and I desire, at the same time, to express my acknowledgments to Brig.-Gen. Benham and Acting Brig.-Gen. Gilmore for the acts of consideration shown by them to my officers and men. I enclose the report of Commander C. R. P. Rodgers, who had the honor to command the battery Sigel, on the second and important day. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,