possess a boat or a gun. In March he was appointed commander in the Confederate States
navy and assigned to the command of whatever navy he could find or create in the waters of South Carolina
He succeeded during the summer in producing the semblance of a flotilla, a ‘mosquito fleet,’ as it was called, by arming a river steamer and a few tugs with such guns as could be procured.
This flotilla he was directed by the Confederate government to distribute along the coast from Port Royal
south, for the special purpose of aiding vessels coming from England
with war supplies.
Early in September, 1861, Brig.-Gen. A. R. Lawton
, who had been in command of the district of Savannah since April 17th, informed the secretary of war
that there was a pressing necessity for additional troops on the coast at the earliest possible moment.
‘I have received and mustered into service,’ he said, ‘enough to replace the two regiments suddenly ordered to Virginia
' and Williams
' regiments), and these are but enough to man the batteries on the coast, leaving us no protection on the mainland in case of trouble.
Nearly all the companies I have at this moment are entirely raw and undisciplined.
The large calls upon the State of Georgia
have taken away nearly every trained company and all the arms, except such as may be found in private hands.
I am now endeavoring to organize all such as can furnish their own arms and muster them into service.
In this way only can I secure a force that will give any protection to this coast.’
He asked the approval of this course and that Duncan L. Clinch
might be commissioned colonel and authorized to raise a regiment.
The growing alarm, on account of the aggressive naval operations of the North
, caused Governor Brown
to add his appeal, and General Lawton
was authorized to organize such military force as he deemed necessary.
On September 25th Secretary Benjamin
it was believed the enemy's naval expedition was intended