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Pulaski, Fort, capture of

At the close of 1861 the National authority was supreme along the Atlantic coast from Wassaw Sound, below the Savannah River, to the North Edisto, well up towards Charleston. Gen. T. W. Sherman directed his chief engineer, Gen. Q. A. Gillmore, to reconnoitre Fort Pulaski and report upon the feasibility of a bombardment of it. It had been seized by the Confederates early in the year. Gillmore reported that it might be done by planting batteries of rifled guns and mortars on Big Tybee Island. A New York regiment was sent to occupy that island, and explorations were made to find a channel by which gunboats might get in the rear of the fort. It was found, and land troops under General Viele went through it to reconnoitre. Another expedition went up to the Savannah River by way of Wassaw Sound, and the gunboats had a skirmish with Tatnall's Mosquito fleet (see Port Royal). Soon afterwards the Nationals erected batteries that effectually closed the Savannah River in the rear of Pulaski, and at the close of February, 1862, it was absolutely blockaded. General Gillmore planted siege guns on Big Tybee that commanded the fort; and on April 10, 1862, after General Hunter (who had succeeded General Sherman) had demanded its surrender, and it had been refused, thirty-six heavy rifled cannon and mortars were opened upon it, under the direction of Generals Gillmore and Viele. It was gallantly defended until the 12th, when, so battered as to be untenable, it was surrendered. This victory enabled the Nationals

Breach in Fort Pulaski.

[330] to close the port of Savannah against blockade-runners.

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Q. A. Gillmore (3)
Egbert L. Viele (2)
Josiah Tatnall (1)
Thomas West Sherman (1)
T. W. Sherman (1)
R. M. T. Hunter (1)
Quincy Adams Gillmore (1)
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