Central railroad, followed the western slope of Daly
's farm, passed through Lawton
's plantation, confronted the Silk-Hope rice fields, and, pursuing the left shore of Salt-Creek
marshes and the Little Ogeechee, rested near the Atlantic and Gulf railway bridge across that river.
This line was well located, and was rendered formidable by the succession of marish lands and well-nigh impassable swamps in its front.
To increase these physical obstructions and add to the impracticability of these low grounds, the river dam at Williamson
's plantation was cut so as to allow the water at high tide to flow freely into and submerge the rice fields.
This supply, when fully obtained, was securely held.
The water from the Savannah and Ogeechee canal
, from Gould
's swamp, and from the reserves on Shaw's and Lawton's plantations were made to contribute to the overflow.
The rice fields on Owens
' plantation were flooded from the Silk-Hope back-water, and Salt creek
was dammed at the bridge on the Savannah
road to retain the water in case the enemy should cut the banks.
All means were utilized which could contribute to swell the inundation, and thus the entire front of the Confederate
line from the Savannah river
to Salt creek
was submerged to a depth varying from three to six feet. Below the bridge on the Savannah
road the marshes of Salt creek
and of Little Ogeechee river
afforded substantial protection.
So much for the natural advantages of the line.
The artificial defenses consisted of detached works, armed with siege and field pieces, located at prominent points commanding the established avenues of approach to the city, crowning causeways and private crossings over these lowlands and offering resistance where the swamps were practicable.
The principal batteries were established in the following positions:
In advance of the extreme right of the Confederate
line and across the flooded rice-field on Williamson
's plantation was a heavy earthwork, the left of which rested upon Williamson
's canal just beyond the graveyard, which was converted into a redan, and the right upon the Savannah river
this side of the negro quarters.
This was the most elaborate fortification on the line.
Its armament consisted of ten guns, mostly of light calibre, and it was garrisoned by two hundred infantry of the Georgia
's artillery company, and the Georgia Cadets
, Major Capers
, all under command of Colonel Hill
, of the Georgia State
This work was open in its rear toward the Savannah river
The lunette, which constituted its prominent feature, was approached by a covered way, and in it was located