had been removed from St. Simon's
and Jekyl Islands
, and solicited instructions as follows: ‘Before finally evacuating this position, I beg to bring to the consideration of the General
the question of burning the town of Brunswick
, for the moral effect it would produce upon the enemy.’. . .
No orders appear.
The General may not have appreciated the ‘moral effect’ of burning the property of their own people, which, if left undisturbed, could have been of little advantage to their enemy, even though he had thought fit to occupy the place.
The abandonment of the St. Simon's
and Jekyl Islands batteries had awakened the fears of General Trapier
, who informed General Lee
that the defence of Fernandina
depended upon them, to which General Lee
on February 24th replied as follows: ‘The withdrawal of the troops from St. Simon's
and Jekyl Islands
can only affect the inland communication between Brunswick
and Cumberland Sound
, rendering it less secure and certain.
The batteries commanding the principal entrance into Cumberland Sound
can be as easily turned through St. Andrew's Sound
as St. Simon
's, which is nearer and as accessible as the latter.
I had hoped that guns could be obtained in time to defend those rear approaches, but as I now see no possibility of doing so, and as the means are incompetent in your opinion for its defence, you are authorized to retire both from Cumberland
and Amelia Islands
to the main land.’
The question here presents itself with singular force: Had the National
troops held Norfolk Navy Yard only long enough to destroy the three thousand cannon stored there, what would have been the ability of the Confederacy
to establish defences against a respectable naval force?
On February 10th General Lee
wrote from Savannah
to Governor Brown
as follows: ‘I have the honor ’