Confederate officers in charge of the coast defenses.
On the 6th of February General Lee
wrote to Secretary Benjamin
that ‘the replacing the troops in the Confederate
service in this State is a matter of serious consideration.
The period of service of several companies serving the batteries for the defense of the city of Savannah
is about to expire.
One that was mustered out of the service a few days since at Fort Pulaski
declines to re-enter the service, and it is supposed that others will be equally averse.
The loss of these companies at this time will be a serious injury to the defense of the city, as artillerists cannot be made on the eve of battle.’
The fear of invasion had become so great that the people of Georgia
were at the time unwilling to send troops out of the State
asked that he be assigned another general officer to take charge of troops guarding the approaches of Savannah
from the Ogeechee
expressed confidence in Lee
and heartily cooperated with him. He declared that the attack on Savannah
must be repelled at any cost, and intimated that he would rather see the city burned than surrendered.
He directed General Jackson
to call out such of the militia force of Savannah
as he could arm for imperative service, in addition to the State
troops already in the field.
Considerable apprehension for the safety of Augusta
in the contingency of the capture of Savannah
was felt, and General Lee
authorized the obstruction of the river below Augusta
, and the erection of a battery to protect the works.
On February 17th Col. Charles H. Olmstead
, of the First volunteer regiment of Georgia
, commanding at Fort Pulaski
, was notified by General Lee
that the position taken in his rear by the enemy would require him to protect himself in that direction.
‘As far as possible,’ said Lee
, ‘your safety will be anxiously cared for, and for the present your communication with the city will have to be by light boats over the marsh and through ’