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[67]

In consequence of the withdrawal of the small force of infantry which, under Colonel Fizer, had been disputing the advance of General Osterhaus' column on the right bank of the Great Ogeechee river, and by the retreat of the Confederate cavalry under Colonel Hood in the direction of Liberty county, Fort McAllister was, on the morning of the 11th of December, left in an absolutely isolated condition without any reasonable expectation of support or relief.

That the garrison was not recalled in time within the lines of Savannah and the post seasonably evacuated, can be explained only on the supposition that the Confederate commander hoped and believed by a bold retention of this outpost, and as strong a display of resistance as practicable, General Sherman, even at that late day, might be induced to avoid Savannah and seek some other and more facile point on the coast for communicating with the Federal fleet.

In addition to these exterior defenses a line of formidable earthworks, within easy range of each other, in many places connected by curtains, and armed with siege and field guns, was thrown up for the immediate protection of Savannah. Commencing at Fort Boggs on the Savannah river and thence extending south and west in a semicircular form, enveloping the city at distances varying from one to two and a quarter miles, it terminated at the Springfield plantation swamp. The principal fortifications in this line were Fort Boggs, mounting fourteen guns, some of them quite heavy and commanding Savannah riverFort Brown, near the Catholic cemetery, armed with eleven guns—and Fort Mercer, having a battery of nine guns. Between Springfield plantation swamp—where the right of the line rested just beyond Laurel Grove cemetery—and Fort Mercer, were eighteen lunettes, mounting in the aggregate twenty guns. Connecting Fort Mercer with Fort Brown was a cremaillere line with nine salients, mounting in the aggregate eight guns. Between Fort Brown and Fort Boggs were seven lunettes armed with eight guns. These works were well supplied with magazines. It will be noted that the armament of these city lines consisted of seventy pieces of artillery of various calibres, among which, 32, 24, 18, 12 and 6 pounder guns predominated. A considerable supply of ammunition was kept on hand in the magazines. Such was the condition of this city line in the month of October, 1864. When, however, it became necessary to arm the western line for the protection of the city against the Federal army, many guns were withdrawn from this line and placed in battery on the western defenses. In fact, the principal supply of guns and ammunition was hence derived. The first assignment

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