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[226] water and mud; the entrance on the west side was protected by a small demi-lune. The fort was constructed of solid brick, rising to a height of eight yards above the level of the surrounding soil. The four exposed sides contained a row of casemated batteries, and were mounted with guns placed en barbette; at the base were built the barracks, and in the north-east angle of the yard was the powder magazine. Around the fort a wall had been built around a space of a few acres to protect it against spring-tides; the other part of the little island was frequently under water, and no landing could be effected except at two points, situated, one at the north and the other at the south.

Captain Gillmore, of the Federal engineers, who had been sent to make a survey of the place in the month of December, had proposed to erect batteries on Tybee Island to bombard the fort. It was the only point from which it could be attacked with any chance of success; but this success was very uncertain, for the river and the swamps which surround it rendered it impossible to approach it nearer than sixteen hundred yards of the wall, and this solid piece of masonry seemed to defy all the artillery of the besiegers at such a distance. If Fort Sumter had fallen nine months before under the fire of Beauregard's guns, it was because it was not prepared to sustain a siege; the Confederates had not damaged it seriously, and its small garrison was only obliged to capitulate in consequence of a want of provisions, and the burning of the wooden barracks within the fort. The defenders of Fort Pulaski had no reason to apprehend such casualties, and the project of effecting a breach from a distance of sixteen hundred yards was an entirely new thing at that period, when rifled guns of heavy calibre had not yet been tried against permanent fortifications. Consequently, the Confederates, full of confidence in their massive walls, suffered Colonel Rosa, with a Federal regiment, the Forty-sixth New York, to establish himself quietly on Tybee Island.

The newly-arrived troops set themselves bravely to work. The island is bounded north and east—that is to say, along the beach of the open sea—by a kind of low sand-bank; this miniature bank presents a dry and firm soil, but is only a few score metres wide, beyond which are encountered swamps, in which the

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