of guns for location on the western line was made by the speaker, as Chief of Artillery
, on the 20th of November. Major-General Lafayette McLaws
was then in command of the district of Georgia; Major John McCrady
was acting as chief engineer, and Captain L. Jacquelin Smith
as ordnance officer.
When Lieutenant-General Hardee
arrived and assumed command, Colonel J. J. Clarke
discharged the duties of chief engineer, and Lieutenant-Colonel J. R. Waddy
was announced as chief ordnance officer.
So much for the preparation which had been made by the Confederates
for the protection of the eastern and southern approaches to Savannah
Prior to the development of General Sherman
's plans, the likelihood of an attack from the interior seemed so remote that little attention had been bestowed upon any defense in that quarter.
So soon, however, as it became apparent that the Federal
army was seeking communication with the coast by way of Savannah
every available resource was utilized in occluding the western approaches to the city.
An advanced line was selected by the Confederate engineers, which contemplated the retention of such portion of the Charleston and Savannah railroad as lay within the limits of Georgia
, and the protection of its bridge across the Savannah river
Extending southwardly, and having Monteith swamp in its front, its left was guarded by the Great Ogeechee swamp
Detached field works were quickly prepared at important points, and some light artillery and infantry hastened into position.
The principal roads leading to Savannah
, and the main avenues of approach were blocked by felling timber across them, and it was hoped that these obstructions would induce the Federal
general to turn aside and seek some objective on the coast other than Savannah
The paucity of the Confederate forces, the overwhelming strength of the enemy, the length and insecurity of the line, later and more careful surveys proving localities to be practicable which were deemed impassable, the Federal
ability by means of well appointed pioneer corps in a short time to remove all hindrances to an advance, and the facility with which detached earthworks, constituting the principal defenses, could be flanked, induced the evacuation of this line shortly after a serious demonstration was made against it by the enemy.
The interior line, and that persistently held by the Confederates
during the siege, commenced at Williamson
's plantation on the Savannah river
Thence, having the rice fields in its front and trending southwardly along the crest of the high ground, it crossed the