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[225] to Savannah by water had been closed by means of stockades and the hulls of ships sunk in the river. Tatnall's gunboats were stationed above these obstacles, and since the 22d of February there had been no communication with the garrison of Pulaski, except by means of light boats, which came down in the night with provisions, at the risk of being sunk while passing before the Federal batteries situated above the fort. That of Venus Point, of which we have already spoken, erected with the greatest trouble in the centre of a perfect swamp, had received its armament on the 11th of February. In order to command the pass still more thoroughly, General Viele, who with his brigade had charge of the works on the left bank of the river, succeeded in building a small work upon a spot called Bird's Island, and placed a few guns in it.

It was, however, on Tybee Island, south-east of Pulaski, that the great works required for the bombardment of the fort were being prosecuted. In order to present a correct idea of this siege, and its importance in a point of view illustrative of the improvements in artillery, we must describe in a few words the position of the work it was intended to attack.

The estuary of the Savannah River is bounded on the south by Tybee Island and, an on the north by Long Island, Venus Island and Dawfuskie Island; to the southward the coast projects farther than to the northward, and forms the low and sandy promontory of Tybee, against which the sea breaks almost incessantly, and upon which stands the lighthouse which before the war lighted the entrance of the river. On a line with the northern extremity of the coast, in the middle of the current of the Savannah, there are several sand-banks, formed no doubt by the meeting and collision of the fresh waters with the waves of the Atlantic, upon which time has deposited a thick layer of oozy mud. The largest of these islets, and the nearest to the right bank, called Cockspur Island, had been selected by the American engineers as the site of Fort Pulaski. The foundations of this fort had been laid upon piles sunk, through the mud, to a great depth into the sand. Its form was a rectilinear pentagon, its vertex turned to the east in the direction of the open sea; it was surrounded on four sides by a ditch more than twenty yards in width, full of

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