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[60] were for the time effective. Lieut. James H. Wilson, then topographical officer, later a famous cavalry leader, and in 1898 one of the two major-generals of cavalry appointed for the war with Spain (the other being the famous Confederate, ‘Little Joe’ Wheeler), took an expedition by boat from Hilton Head about Christmas, 1861, to saw off and pull out these piles on the north of the river, and had nearly cleared a passage when detected. Tattnall then came down to the mouth of the Wright river and drove off the working party.

The Federals also sought to use a channel leading up from the south, from Warsaw sound, through Wilmington river and St. Augustine creek to the Savannah just below Fort Jackson. An attack by this route had been foreseen and guarded against by the erection of a battery on a small island opposite Fort Jackson, which in honor of Dr. Cheves, who superintended its construction, was called Fort Cheves, and mounted some long 32-pounders from Norfolk navy yard. Fire rafts were also prepared. One of these, completed about Christmas, was cut loose by a traitor and floated down unlighted to Tybee beach, the Federal position. The main object of the expedition to Tybee island was to escort Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, chief engineer of the Federal corps at Hilton Head. His purpose was to prepare batteries for the reduction of Fort Pulaski, but this was carefully concealed from the Confederate authorities.

In November, the famous steamship Fingal had evaded the blockaders and entered the port of Savannah in safety, bringing 10,000 Enfield rifles, 1,000,000 ball cartridges, 2,000,000 percussion caps, 3,000 cavalry sabers, 1,000 short rifles and cutlass bayonets, 1,000 rounds of ammunition per rifle, 500 revolvers and ammunition, 2 large rifled cannon, 2 smaller rifles, 400 barrels of cannon powder, and a lot of medical stores and material for clothing. No single ship ever again brought into the Confederacy so large a cargo of military and naval supplies.

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