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[78] gulf about two miles from Barrancas. A mile and a half east of McRee and a little further south of Barrancas, on the western extremity of the sandy island of Santa Rosa, which thence stretches forty miles eastward, stood Fort Pickens, which, aside from Fortress Monroe and Key West, was the only fortified post held by the United States within Confederate territory. On the mainland between the navy yard and McRee, a number of batteries were placed, and preparations were on way for an attack which should bring Pickens also under the Southern flag. Between the hostile guns lay the bay of Pensacola, and on the river seven miles northward lay that city, well out of the range of fire. The Federal garrison was reinforced by several companies, and Col. Harvey Brown was put in command. Supply ships could approach without incurring the fire of the Confederate batteries, and warships were sent to blockade the port and assist in the defense of the fort. There were no offensive operations throughout the summer. The Second brigade of troops was put under command of W. H. T. Walker, promoted to brigadier-general, and he had in charge two Alabama regiments, Villepigue's Georgia battalion and two independent companies, in all about 2,300 men, with Fort Barrancas and three-fourths of all the batteries. But General Walker soon tired of inaction and was transferred to Virginia. The troops were dispirited by the delay in attack and many were sick.

Finally on October 9th the long projected descent on Santa Rosa island was made. For the attack, to be made at night, about 1,000 men were selected, divided into three bodies, designated for the time as battalions, and placed under the command of Gen. Richard H. Anderson. The First battalion was led by Col. James R. Chalmers of Mississippi, and the Second by Col. J. Patton Anderson. The Third, 260 strong, under Col. John K. Jackson, of Georgia, was made up of volunteers from the Fifth Georgia regiment and the Georgia battalion.

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