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[57] for Brunswick, and that the Bartow artillery had been ordered to Savannah. Lawton replied: ‘I can do nothing for want of arms, unless I hold those now landing from steamer Bermuda. I sent to-day a special agent to Richmond on this subject. Georgia is stripped of arms. Men in abundance, if a few days are allowed.’ To this the governor added an urgent request for Stovall's battalion, then at Lynchburg, and five other armed companies of Georgia troops. This request was not acceded to by the secretary, but it was ordered that 1,000 small-arms and one 12-pounder rifled gun should be turned over to Lawton. At this time the latter had an aggregate present of about 3,000 men, at sixteen posts, the most important of which were Tybee island, Brunswick, Camp Lawton, Savannah, Fort Pulaski, Sapello island and Fort Screven. On October 26th the military department of Georgia was created, and General Lawton was put in command, with headquarters at Savannah, and three days later he was notified that the enemy's fleet had sailed for the South. His force having considerably increased, Colonel Mercer was commissioned brigadier-general.

It soon became apparent that the first object of the Federal fleet was Port Royal, S. C., and simultaneously the defenders of the coast were cheered by the intelligence that Gen. Robert E. Lee had been appointed to command of the military department including the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida. General Lawton's defensive force now consisted of about 2,000 men under General Mercer, at and near Brunswick, and about 3,500 north of the Altamaha and generally near Savannah. About 500 of his command were cavalry, very well mounted and armed, and the remainder included three batteries of artillery. About 2,000 of the infantry were well drilled and disciplined. There were also available about 3,000 men, ‘armed in a fashion, under the State organization,’ within a few hours' call,

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