Forgotten Forts Series - Fort James Jackson

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
Fort James Jackson is a masonry fort located on the Savannah River just east of the city of Savannah, Georgia. The fort, originally nothing more than a masonry battery facing the river, was built in order to prevent enemy forces from approaching the city by way of the river. Construction of the fort began in 1808 under the supervision of Captain William McRee of the United States Army and later Captain Prentice Willard. The site of the fort was on top of an early earthern battery that dated back to the Revolutionary War. Plans for this orginal fort called for a semi-circular type battery with 3 faces that would mount 6 guns in the direction fo the Savannah River. The majority of the construction of the fort was finished by 1812 in time for the War of 1812. The fort was named for former Georgia governor James Jackson who had commanded forces in Georgia during the American Revolution.
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In the years following the War of 1812 Fort Jackson became a secondary post to the newly constructed Fort Pulaski at the mouth of the Savannah River. However, the post was still considered vital for the defense of Savannah and from 1845 to 1861 benefited from updates. During this time the fort was enlarged and the back part was added to make it a true fort. New barracks, hot shot furnaces, and a moat were added along with various other features.
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In January of 1861 the fort was seized by state troops without a fight. These state troops would garrison the fort through the early part of the American Civil War under the command of Captain J.W. Anderson. Following the surrender of Fort Pulaski in 1862 the fort would become one of the last lines of defense for Savannah along with other impromptu river batteries. With Sherman's forces approaching in December of 1864 the Confederate garrison realized it could not hold the fort and began burning it's buildings and stores while spiking the guns. On Decmember 20th the garrison abandoned the fort and on morning of the 21st Union troops occupied Fort Jackson raising their flag over its walls. The same morning the CSS Savannah briefly fired on the fort but quickly retired from the action. This would end Fort Jackson's Civil War service.
2009-savannah_cropped_3.jpg

Following the war the fort saw some improvements in the 1870s but because of the advancement in artillery this work was quickly halted. Because there was another Fort Jackson in Louisiana the fort had its name changed in 1884 to Fort Oglethorpe. By this time the fort was under caretaker status and would remain so until 1905 when it was finally abandoned. Thus ended Fort Jackson's military service.
800px-Fort_Jackson_(3)_-_41.jpg

The fort was turned over to the state in the late 1950s. The fort was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1970 and the Coastal Heritage Society soon took interest in the fort and in 1976 it opened to the public. Today the site is still open daily to the public and in 2000 it became a National Historic Landmark.

http://www.fortwiki.com/Fort_Jackson_(3)
http://www.chsgeorgia.org/Old-Fort-Jackson.html

Also be sure to check out all other "forgotten forts" in the Forgotten Forts Series Index (Link Below)
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-index.80901/
 

M E Wolf

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Location
Virginia
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 1 [S# 1] CHAPTER II.
THE SECESSION OF GEORGIA.
January 3-26, 1861.
SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS.
January 3, 1861.--Fort Pulaski seized by State troops.
January 19, 1861.--Ordinance of secession adopted.
January 24, 1861.--United States Arsenal at Augusta, Ga., seized by State troops.
January 26, 1861.--Oglethorpe Barracks, Savannah, and Fort Jackson, seized by State troops.

O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 1 [S# 1] CHAPTER II.
THE SECESSION OF GEORGIA.
No. 5.--Report of Capt. Wm. H. C. Whiting, U. S. Corps of Engineers, of the seizure of Oglethorpe Barracks and Fort Jackson.
U.S. ENGINEER OFFICE,
Savannah, January 28, 1861.
GENERAL: I arrived here this evening from Fort Clinch. I left that post in charge of Mr. James A. Walker as fort keeper. A copy of my instructions to him is forwarded herewith.

Previous to leaving Fernandina I received verbal assurance from member of the governor's council that the property at Fort Clinch would not be disturbed by the State, and that the work would be allowed to remain in the charge of the United States fort-keepers in statu quo. On my arrival here I found that the authorities of the State of Georgia had taken possession of all the works under my charge in the State, and had formally assumed the control of Oglethorpe Barracks. I forward herewith a copy of a letter addressed to me by Colonel A. R. Lawton, of the Georgia troops. Ordnance Sergeant Burr having refused to surrender, his storeroom was taken possession of, and on his reporting to me I gave him orders to make no further resistance. Both Ordnance Sergeant Walker, late at Fort Pulaski, and Ordnance Sergeant Burt are now at the barracks, where they are permitted to remain. My command having been forcibly interrupted, I can give them no further orders, and must leave the disposition of them to headquarters.
Very respectfully,
WM. H. C. WHITING,
Captain of Engineers.

General J. G. TOTTEN,
Chief of Engineers.
[Inclosure.]
SAVANNAH, January 28, 1861.
Captain WHITING,
U. S. Engineers:

SIR: I am instructed by the governor and commander-in-chief of the State of Georgia to take possession of Oglethorpe Barracks, in the name of the State of Georgia, and in your absence from this city possession has been taken. The occupants will not be disturbed at present, and you will please consider yourself at liberty to occupy, with your employes, such apartments as are necessary for your convenience while you are closing up your business here. The steamer Ida and appurtenances have also been taken possession of under the same authority. This, I believe, includes all the property held by you in the State of Georgia, as military engineer of the United States, but does not include any light-house property.

You have been already notified, informally, that Forts Pulaski and Jackson had been occupied by the troops of the State of Georgia under my command.
Very respectfully,
A. R. LAWTON,
Colonel, Commanding.


O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 1 [S# 1] CHAPTER II.
THE SECESSION OF GEORGIA.
No. 1.-- Reports of Capt. W. H. C. Whiting, U.S. Corps of Engineers, of the seizure of Fort Pulaski, Ga.
U.S. ENGINEER OFFICE,
Savannah, January 7, 1861.
GENERAL: I have to report that on the 3d instant, being at Fort Clinch, I received a telegram from my clerk informing me that troops of the State of Georgia were moving to occupy Fort Pulaski, by order of the governor. I replied by telegraph, directing Mr. Hirsch to inform the commandant of Engineers of the fact. I took the first opportunity to reach Savannah on the 6th, and arrived last night. This morning I proceeded to Fort Pulaski, which I found occupied by Georgia troops, commanded by Colonel Lawton. I was received with great civility, and informed by him that he held possession of all the Government property for the present, by order of the governor of the State, and intended to preserve it from loss or damage. He requested a return of the public property, both Ordnance and Engineer, which I have given as existing January 1. Those returns for the fourth quarter, 1860, will be forwarded with my quarterly papers, signed as usual up to the commencement of the present quarter. I can sign no more, however, for I cannot be responsible for property of the charge of which I have been forcibly deprived. I have directed Ordnance Sergeant Walker to report at Oglethorpe Barracks until further orders. The fort keeper I have discharged.

On Saturday, 3d instant, the regular mail-boat from Fernandina to this place, by which I intended to travel, was taken off the line by the governor of Florida and ordered, as I was informed, to Saint Augustine, with a force to seize the ordnance mounted in the water battery of Fort Marion for the purpose of arming Fort Clinch.

It is, perhaps, unnecessary for me to say to the Department that in the present condition of Fort Clinch the idea of arming it either for offense or defense is simply absurd. My presence, however, is necessary there, for I know that I have sufficient influence in the community to prevent anything like spoliation or plunder of the public property by lawless individuals. I shall, therefore, return there on Wednesday, the 9th instant. Previous to leaving that post, I received assurances from the principal citizens to the effect that they would promptly put down anything like an attempt on the part of unauthorized mobs to take a dime's worth of the large amount of valuable material and property at the fort. They manifest a desire that the work shall continue without molestation, and this I believe to be the desire also of the members of the State Convention. I have a force of sixty men at work pushing the masonry as rapidly as possible. On the authority of Department letter of 9th ultimo, I have continued the work with the funds in my hands. The payments for December, which will be immediately made, will exhaust all funds in my hands belonging to Fort Clinch, and perhaps exceed a little. I have, as will be seen by the monthly statement, enough of other funds to continue for the present; but unless a portion at least of my last estimates is sent to me, I shall be compelled to close my operations. I respectfully request instructions. It is necessary to inform you that the telegraph is in the hands of the State authorities, and no message of a military or political character is allowed to be sent or delivered except by permission of the governor. The telegram of Mr.
Colonel De Russy was refused until countersigned by Governor Brown.

As to the Savannah River improvement, no interference with the property belonging to the appropriation has been attempted, nor is any at present anticipated. I have, however, directed the discharge of all employes except a watchman. Fort Jackson remains as heretofore. The mail between Charleston and Fernandina having been discontinued, I request that communications be addressed to me via Savannah.
Very respectfully,
WM. H. C. WHITING,
Captain of Engineers.
General J. G. TOTTEN,
Chief Engineer, Washington.
---------
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME VI, Chapter XV [S# 6]
Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Coasts Of South Carolina, Georgia, And Middle And East Florida From August 21, 1861, To April 11, 1862.
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#3

SAVANNAH, GA., November 27, 1861.
Capt. T. A. WASHINGTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: As directed in Special Orders, No. 2, Headquarters, Coosawhatchie, November 17,1861, I proceeded to Fernandina and to the batteries along the coast to examine the condition of their armament, and have the honor to make the following report:
1st. The batteries on Amelia Island are not yet completed; some of the guns are to be changed, and others have yet to be mounted. These are, one 10.inch rifle gun; one 32-pounder rifle gun; three 8-inch columbiads; four army and four navy pattern 32-pounder guns; two 24-pounder guns; and of field guns, two 3-inch rifle guns; four 6-pounder bronze guns; one 6 pounder iron gun.

The guns in position (barbette)are well mounted, except an 8-inch columbiad, which has an unequal bearing on the platform. It is being remedied by letting the pintle bolster deeper into the pintle cross. In the columbiad carriages yellow pine is substituted for oak, and I directed an additional iron strap, to secure the braces, to be added to each brace. I may add that all the columbiad carriages on the coast are made of yellow pine, and are additionally strengthened in the same way.

The guns are all supplied with the necessary equipments; have all the implements for firing hot shot and for preparing and firing shells, and are provided with shot, shells, fuses, and ammunition for 70 rounds each.

I have directed a few articles to be sent to Colonel Dilworth. He asked for 45 sabers and 1,000 Enfield rifles.

2d. The battery on the south end of Cumberland has four 32-pounder naval guns en barbette. The carriages, platforms, and guns are in excellent order, but the battery is almost deficient in implements. There are no shells; 50 rounds of powder and shot for each gun. Orders have been given for its supply at once, and until furnished spare implements and shells have been sent from Amelia Island.

3d. The battery on Jekyl Island has one 42-pounder gun en barbette; four 32-pounder navy guns en barbette. They appear to work well, and have each about 60 rounds shot and shell; not a sufficient number of the latter. This battery is scantily furnished with implements. I have, arranged to send them, through Lieutenant Harden, acting ordnance officer at Brunswick, all that will be required.

4th. Saint Simon's batteries have one 10-inch columbiad; one 8-inch columbiad (in process of mounting); two 42-pounder guns; five 32-pounder guns. The guns and carriages work well, except the 10-inch columbiad, which bears too heavily on the pintle bolster. This was directed to be remedied by cutting away a small part of the chassis.

The battery is supplied with implements; each gun has about 75 rounds of shot and shell, with the ammunition. But as the guns are to be distributed in several batteries, I conceived it proper to order additional stores. (See requisition for depot at Brunswick.)

5th. Fort Pulaski has five 10-inch columbiads en barbette; six 8-inch columbiads en barbette; two 10-inch mortars en barbette; three 8.inch columbiads in casemate; two 42-pounder guns in casemate; twenty 32-pounder guns in casemate; one 24-pounder gun, blank casemate. The guns and carriages are in excellent condition; have an abundance of all kinds of implements, fuses, &c. Each gun has about 120 rounds of shot and shell. Some of the fuses are imperfect; these I am renewing with new ones from the Augusta Arsenal.

The fuses in a number of instances are imperfect in several batteries; as fast as they can be made others are supplied. The two mortars have but 70 shells between them. I have ordered an additional supply to the fort., and have recommended two 12-pounder field howitzers to be placed so as to flank the ditch.

6th. Fort Jackson [Ga.] has one 32-pounder navy gun (rifled); five 32-pounder navy guns; three 18-pounder guns. They are in good order, and are supplied, or being supplied, with the necessary implements, &c. Each gun has about 60 rounds.

7th. Battery on Green Island has one 10-inch rifled gun (caliber 6.4); one 10-inch columbiad; two 8-inch columbiads; two 42-pounder guns; four 32-pounder guns. The rifle gun has just been mounted. I fired from it, and with 9½ elevation attained a range of about 1¾ miles. The guns and carriages work extremely well; they have everything to make their fire effective. The battery is supplied with about 60 rounds to a gun; has a portable shot-furnace, which I think too small for this point.

8th. Thunderbolt battery has one 8-inch gun (columbiad); three 18-pounder guns. The battery is in good order, and has about 50 rounds to a gun.

The batteries in the neighborhood of Savannah are well served, and with the allowance of ammunition will do very effective service.

I have advised in every case the adoption of ricochet firing. This, if the guns are not fired too rapidly, will, in my opinion, enable all the batteries to make a good defense against shipping. To make the men more deliberate, particularly in the commencement of an action, the gunners should not be permitted to fire but a certain number of rounds in an hour, and the loading be by "detail."

There has been some trouble in firing shell from several of the batteries; the fuses in some instances were imperfect, and the fuse plugs improperly driven in others. I have made arrangements for a new supply of fuses as rapidly as they can be supplied at the Augusta Arsenal, and have given instructions so as to insure the proper loading of shells, &c.

Some of the regiments on the coast are armed with shot-guns and sporting rifles. They have little or no ammunition. I propose to put up for the shot. guns a blank cartridge, to fire a small linen bag containing twelve buck-shot.

I requested the State Ordnance Officer to give me the calibers of the rifles, to make fixed ammunition for them. I will furnish each regiment with a caliber gauge, and it will enable them to furnish me with the kind and quantity of cartridges required.

Fire and light balls, rockets, fuses, port-fires, fixed ammunition and cannon powder, implements and gun carriages, are required most at present. These I have been engaged on at the Augusta Arsenal, and I will repair thither and push the force employed there as much as possible in supplying the above deficiency. I find it necessary to be there to superintend the works in construction, as there is no one there of sufficient experience in artillery or ordnance duties to direct matters.

In an order from the Ordnance Officer, received in October, I was directed to obtain reports from all the batteries along the coast of Georgia and Florida as far as Apalachicola, with the view of furnishing those batteries with ordnance and ordnance stores. Some of these reports have been received, and I will prepare the arsenal to supply their wants.

In conclusion, I will state that the powder mills at the arsenal have been delayed in their work. On my return there I will work them at once night and day, and expect to turn out from 300 to 500 pounds of cannon per day. If possible, this amount shall be increased.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. G. GILL,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Ordnance Officer.
-----
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME VI, Chapter XV [S# 6]
Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Coasts Of South Carolina, Georgia, And Middle And East Florida From August 21, 1861, To April 11, 1862.
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#5
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, &c.,
Savannah, Ga., February 4, 1862.
Brig. Gen. J. C. PEMBERTON,
Commanding, &c., Pocotaligo, S.C.:
GENERAL: It has been reported to me by General Drayton that two of the enemy's gunboats, accompanied by two steamers, ascended New River yesterday, and burnt the houses of Mr. Box and Mr. Lawton. The obstruction near Red [Bluff?] was removed, and I have learned that one of the enemy's steamers has passed above it. The guns had been previously removed from the battery at that place. I have also heard that a party of the enemy visited Captain Sereven's Proctor plantation, on the Savannah River, and that three appeared there on Sunday, accompanied by negroes, who, after viewing Fort Jackson, &c., retired. The party of the enemy came by Wright's Cut, which leads through the marshes from Savannah River to Wright River.

It seems probable that the enemy is meditating an advance from New River to the banks of the Savannah, and General Drayton has been directed to take up a line removed beyond the reach [of] the gunboats on New River to intercept him; should the enemy land too large a force for him to cope with, he has been directed to notify you. In that event you are desired to send to his support such of your available force as may be necessary, and to march with it, should you deem it requisite, and to take command of the whole operation. With this view it is suggested that you repair to Hardeeville, visit the field of operation, and concert with him a plan of operations. Should you not be able to drive him back under cover of his boats, you will attack him in his flank and rear, so as to prevent his approach to the Savannah River.
I am, &c.,
R. E. LEE,
General, Commanding.
-----
continued......
 

M E Wolf

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Location
Virginia
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME VI, Chapter XV [S# 6]
Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Coasts Of South Carolina, Georgia, And Middle And East Florida From August 21, 1861, To April 11, 1862.
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#6
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, &c.,
March 3, 1862.
General A. R. LAWTON,
Commanding District of Georgia:
GENERAL: I shall be compelled to leave Savannah this evening on duty. Major Long, Captain Ives, and Captain Tatnall, members of my staff, will remain here for the present on the duties on which they are now engaged, the former in preparing and arming the new batteries

The vicinity of Fort Jackson; the second in superintending the batteries and obstructions on and near Saint Augustine Creek, and the latter in getting up certain boats for operations on the water. I need not press upon you the necessity of urging forward all these operations with the utmost expedition. It is my wish that as soon as the batteries are in fighting condition the work of protecting the guns from the enemy's missiles be vigorously pushed on, a commencement of which has been made at Thunderbolt and the battery at Fort Jackson under Captain Ives and Captain Echols. As it is a subject attended with difficulty, I beg you will give attention to it and adopt the plan that promises the best success.

The three-gun battery located on the right bank of the river to unite with the battery on Hutchinson Island should be commenced at once, and the bomb-proof arrangement be carried on with its construction. The raft must be put in position below Fort Jackson, and strengthened as far as time and opportunity allow. I have proposed a casemated battery of one or two guns, if they could be obtained, situated on the right bank of the Savannah, with embrasures and loop-holes for riflemen, looking across the river, to fire on boats reaching the raft. The battery will be located at the end of the raft, and have no opening down the river by which the raft or guns could be harmed by the shot of the enemy from that direction. If no better arrangement can be made, the 18-pounders from Fort Jackson, replaced by the 32-pounders, could be used for this battery. The batteries now under construction are so far advanced that a portion of the hands could be diverted to these last named batteries.

I beg now to refer to a matter that must claim your earnest and close attention--the probable route of the approach of the enemy. It looks now as if he would take the Savannah River. In that event, the batteries of Skidaway and Green Island would be out of the line of approach, and if the guns can be applied to the defense of the Savannah, should be so used. They can be removed from these batteries in any event, should you determine it best to withdraw to the main. Thunderbolt battery must then be re-enforced and some 32-pounders mounted at the battery at Beulah, reserving the heavy guns for the Savannah. You are aware that arrangements are made for obstructing the navigation of the river at Shell Bluff, 35 miles below Augusta. This matter has been intrusted to Lieutenant-Colonel Gill and Major Rains, C. S. Army, and any aid they may require and you can give I desire you to afford.

Examinations have also been made with a view of obstructing the river above Savannah. Captain Walker, of my staff, has been on this duty, and will continue for the present. He recommends a battery at Mulberry Grove, and that the main and minor channels be obstructed. I wish these subjects attended to. No precise instructions can now be given, but they are left to your judgment. An obstruction on the Ogeechee has been proposed, and the planters on the river have offered to furnish the necessary labor. You are referred to Captain Hartridge's letter on the subject, and requested to forward the matter as much as possible.

Every effort must be made to retard, if not prevent, the further progress of the enemy up the river. If he attempts to advance by batteries on the marshes or islands, he must be driven back, if possible. Bold scouts must be established on Elba, and the right and left banks of the river closely watched, so as to discover his first lodgment, when they can be broken up. With this view I invite your attention to the propriety of establishing a battery at Mackay's Point, to drive him from Elba. There are three 32-pounders that could be used for that purpose, if a battery there is deemed advisable. It could not be maintained against his gunboats should they enter the river in force, but might with the aid of boat attacks, prevent the establishment of batteries on Elba.

It is of the utmost importance that the work at every point should be pushed forward with the utmost vigor and the closest attention given to the whole subject of the defense of the city.
I am, &c.,
R. E. LEE,
General, Commanding.
-----
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME VI, Chapter XV [S# 6]
Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Coasts Of South Carolina, Georgia, And Middle And East Florida From August 21, 1861, To April 11, 1862.
UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#1

HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,
Hilton Head, S. C., November 15, 1861.
The ADJUTANT-GENERAL U.S. ARMY,
Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in consequence of the difficulty and great amount of labor in landing our stores, some delay must necessarily occur in continuing operations. This delay is as distasteful to us as it must be to the authorities at Washington. In the mean while a matter of the first importance is to erect proper defenses at Hilton Head as well as to strengthen the land side of the fort, to the end of securing this important point with the least number of men. This is being done, and a plan of the same will be furnished as soon as it can be prepared. In conducting operations here two modes suggest themselves: First, to hold Hilton Head and Phillip's Island with a strong force, and proceed with a sufficient force, in connection with the naval fleet under Commodore DuPont, and open another important harbor. This would be carrying out the original and actual object of the expedition. as I understand it, and for which object only our means have been provided.

Second, to occupy the points first mentioned as well as Beaufort as a base of operations, and act thence on a line of operations embracing Port Royal Island and the road to Pocotaligo, the nearest point of the Savannah and Charleston Railroad, into the southern counties of the State, threatening Savannah, &c., or to operate from the base of Hilton Head through the interior creeks and channels leading into the Savannah River below Savannah and near Fort Jackson, thus laying siege to Savannah and cutting off Fort Pulaski.

For these last operations the former would require more land transportation than we are provided with, and the latter would require an outfit of boats, that we are also insufficiently provided with. The former would also require a small cavalry force. The only course, therefore, at present is, notwithstanding the apparent opening for more brilliant operations, the first and original plan. The surrounding country evacuated by the whites, as described in my last, has upon it an abundance of valuable property, including ungathered crops and cotton mostly gathered. I have directed all the means of transportation, such as boats, scows, wagons, &c., to be collected for the use of the Army; but in regard to other private property, such as can be made of no injury to us in the operations of the enemy, I have directed not to be interfered with. This, however, is a difficult matter, and there exists too great a propensity to rob and pillage the houses and plantations left in charge only of the blacks. I hope to receive instructions on this point; that is, in a country entirely deserted by its white inhabitants, all of whom are known to be disloyal, how far I am to authorize the appropriation of private property.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T.W. SHERMAN,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
---------
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME VI, Chapter XV [S# 6]
Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Coasts Of South Carolina, Georgia, And Middle And East Florida From August 21, 1861, To April 11, 1862.
UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#2

HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,
Port Royal, S.C., February 5, 1862.
General M. C. MEIGS,
Washington, D. C. :
DEAR GENERAL: the light-draught steamers, which we understand left New York for this place a long time ago, have not arrived, neither the boats, wagons, &c., which Saxton has been so long expecting.
I fear now, as the season has so far advanced, we shall do little but simply garrison the coast. I am not my own master. My master thus far have been the exigencies created by want of means and facilities for operating in a way desirable to both ourselves and the country at large. Savannah should have been in our possession by this time, not in the way expected by the anxious public on our arrival here; for of all the visionary and impracticable ideas that could have been invented, nothing could have equaled that of marching on Savannah on landing here; but by a distinct process, in combination with the Navy, either in besieging it by Montgomery, or taking it by the horns' by boldly ascending the Savannah River under cover of the gunboats. For the former mode our siege material has never arrived. For the latter mode the opportunity has now unfortunately passed, and if we can, after such delay (which is no fault of the Army), succeed in cutting off Pulaskrs communications, we'll do well. My firm conviction is that if the gunboats could have been induced to enter the river as early as the 17th or 18th of last month, when Wall's Cut was then opened, and the enemy had no guns mounted at Savannah but those on Fort Jackson, Savannah would have fallen without a resistance of five hours duration, but it could not have been taken by the land force alone in that way.

As Savannah seems out of our grasp for the present, we shall go down to Fernandina as soon as the Navy is ready.
Very truly, yours,
T. W. SHERMAN.

---
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME VI, Chapter XV [S# 6]
Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Coasts Of South Carolina, Georgia, And Middle And East Florida From August 21, 1861, To April 11, 1862.
UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#3
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,
Port Royal, S.C., February 28, 1862.
Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN:
GENERAL: The deserters just in from Savannah say there are about 65,000 troops in and about the city, which is well fortified both on the land and river sides. They are moving heaven and earth for a secure defense. So far as I can ascertain some of the smaller forts on the coast are being stripped of artillery with which to protect Savannah. The abandonment of Brunswick is an evidence of it. I hope to soon get under way at Tybee, though the rough stormy weather makes it very slow in getting the ordnance landed. We must get entirely ready before we open. The Massachusetts regiment has arrived, and we hope more will follow soon. I rather think we shall have to take Savannah by way of Vernon River. If the Navy could not assist us last month, when no guns had been put up on the river except those at Fort Jackson, it certainly cannot now, when. the enemy have completed so many of them.

Our siege artillery is arriving. The news I have through Savannah papers (found with the prisoners) gives the most cheering and welcome accounts of your successes, and, general, I most sincerely congratulate you on your plans being carried out with such brilliant successes. My opinion is that you have about crushed this rebellion already. The Savannah and Charleston papers show a deeply saddened spirit among the people, though yet an apparently determined one; but I know the people of the South are unable to stand this state of things long. They are quick to fight when occasion offers, but as quick to fall when misfortune occurs.
Yours, very truly,
T.W. SHERMAN,
Brigadier-General.

----------------
Note: There is a 'ton' of information in the O.R.s about "Fort Jackson Savannah" --at least the Union identifies which one they're talking about. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

M. E. Wolf
 

M E Wolf

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Location
Virginia
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME VI, Chapter XV [S# 6]
MARCH 28, 1862.--Reconnaissance near the Mouth of Saint Augustine Creek, Ga.

Report of Maj. Oliver T. Beard, Forty-eighth New York Infantry.
BATTERY HAMILTON, GA., March 28, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that I this day made a reconnaissance of the land about the mouth of Saint Augustine Creek. The best view was obtained from the summit of the upper Coast Survey. station, on Elba Island. I send you a sketch of observations. The only rebel pickets about the mouth of Saint Augustine are stationed at the points indicated. In case of an attempt to cut them off their only chance of escape would be by swimming the bayou.

The rebels clearly visit Elba Island, coming low down. The following is an exact copy of a document found on the island: "The Glynn Guards have been in gunshot of you, you damned scoundrels, and examined your quarters. We invite you ashore; we have no navy." I give it for what it is worth. The rebels have no fort erected at the head of Wilmington Narrows. A large black square object is to be seen in the river opposite Fort Jackson. It looks like a floating battery. Anchored in the stream, below the fort, there is a steamer with two large schooners, one on either side. I think they are both armed, and intended to be towed into action in that shape, as the schooners would in a measure protect the machinery of the steamer.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
O. T. BEARD,
Major, Commanding.
Capt. J. H. LIEBENAU,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
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O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XIV [S# 20]
CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING SPECIALLY TO THE OPERATIONS ON THE COASTS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLORIDA FROM APRIL 12, 1862, TO JUNE 11, 1863.
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#1
HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA,
Savannah, April 14, 1862.
Brig. Gen. A. R. LAWTON,
Commanding District of Georgia:
GENERAL: The more consideration I give to the subject the more dissatisfied I am with the present condition of the mud batteries near Fort Jackson. I think it most important that additional strength be given them at once. I have already mentioned sand as one means; if it cannot be had in quantities sufficient, bales of cotton very closely pressed, or rice straw made as compact as possible, and in either case bound with iron hoops, might perhaps serve a good purpose. Straw and cotton bales thus arranged on the exterior of the present parapets and covered with the same earth of which the present parapets are composed would certainly give strength, the principal objection being that either of these substances might be set on fire by the enemy's shells and our view of the attacking vessels be obscured, whilst it would not interfere with their aim. I desire you to consult with persons practically acquainted with the relative advantages of the straw and cotton as resisting mediums, and if necessary to test it with shell, which may be done with small charges and short ranges.
Let me hear from you on this subject as soon as possible.
I am, &c.,
J. C. PEMBERTON,
Major-General, Commanding.
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O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XIV [S# 20]
CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING SPECIALLY TO THE OPERATIONS ON THE COASTS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLORIDA FROM APRIL 12, 1862, TO JUNE 11, 1863.
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#8
HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA,Charleston,
S.C., November 1, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. A., Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: As reported in my indorsement, dated October 19, 1862, on a communication of Captain McCrady's, having become satisfied that the defenses of Savannah demanded my immediate attention, I repaired to that point on the 19th and remained there until the 30th ult. Meantime having made a careful examination of the entire works constructed or under construction, the following report is now submitted— not as an unnecessary criticism of what has been done or planned, but for the information of the War Department, and I may add that I submit this paper rather as an ex-engineer officer than as the commanding general of the department.

The system adopted for the defense of Savannah may be divided into three lines.
1st. The defense of the Savannah River.
2d. The line of outworks covering the approaches to the city.

3d. An interior line of works around the place. The first line consists of the pile and crib work constructed at the northern extremity of Elba Island, about 4 miles below Savannah and from l 1/8 to 1¼ miles below Fort Jackson; of batteries Lee, Lawton, and the naval battery; Fort Boggs and Hutchinson Island Battery, about 1¼ miles below the city, and of Bay Battery, immediately at the lower extremity of the town. Fort Boggs, forming also a part of the interior line of defense against a land attack, has nine guns bearing on the river and five on the land approaches. The works of this line have a total of forty-seven guns and eight 10-inch mortars defending the river approach, but fifteen of which, however, are of heavy calibers; that is, 42-pounders and 8 and 10 inch columbiads; and of these it should be stated only thirteen guns and five mortars bear on the obstructions. In addition, the battery at Carston's Bluff, quite 2 miles from the obstructions, has two 8-inch columbiads bearingon them at that long range.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that the obstructions are too far removed from the works for their defense to be adequately protected by the small number of heavy guns bearing upon them, especially in view of the fact that the enemy's iron-clads of a certainty will be able at night or in a fog to work deliberately at their destruction.
The second line of works will now be considered, and which is made up as follows:


1st. Of a six-gun battery, of two 8-inch columbiads and four 32pounders, at Carston's Bluff, on the Saint Augustine River, through which 15 feet of water can be carried 4 miles from Savannah.

2d. Of a twelve-gun battery, of two 8-inch columbiads, two 42-pounders, seven 32-pounders, and one 24-pounder rifled gun, at Thunderbolt, on the Wassaw River, some 6 miles from the city.

3d. Of an eight-gun battery, of two 42-pounders, five 32-pounders, and one rifled 12-pounder, at Beaulieu, on Vernon River, some 12 miles distant from Savannah, and to which 17 feet of water can be carried.

4th. Of a seven-gun battery, of one 8-inch columbiad, one 42-pounder, and five 32-pounders, at Genesis Point, on the Great Ogeechee River, about 25 miles from the city, and to which place 20 feet of water can be carried. But besides the approaches thus defended` there are two other important landing places and routes of approach to Savannah which I find have been left nearly unfortified, to wit, the Isle of Hope Causeway, about 8 miles from the city, and Rosedew Island, or Coffee Bluff, 11 or 12 miles from the city, on the Little Ogeechee, which is guarded, without field works, by a light battery of six guns and one rifled 6 pounder piece. At the Isle of Hope Causeway a short line of rifle pits (with a position for a filed gun) have been thrown up. It must be evident that should any one of these outworks fall into the hands, of the enemy all the rest can be taken in reverse and must necessarily be evacuated at once, or else a battle must be fought, outside of our interior line of defenses to maintain the line of outworks, which is contrary to the clear interests of the defenders, who must be supposed to be much inferior in numbers to the assailants. The enemy being then in possession of the line of outworks would establish a number of' heavy batteries from Carston's Bluff toward Fort Boggs, from which he would completely command the first line of batteries on the river, namely, Fort Jackson and Batteries Lee and Lawton and the naval battery, the two first being taken directly in rear at a distance of from 1 1/8 to 1¼ miles.

Fort Jackson, I will remark, is a very weak old work; its masonry scarp being almost entirely exposed to the enemy's heavy guns on the river, and its flanks and rear loop-holed brick walls, some 2 feet thick and 25 feet high, are exposed almost to their foundations to the enemy's batteries from the line already indicated. It is my opinion that so defective a work could not resist more than a few hours' cannonade. It must follow therefore that the enemy would not be long in silencing the works on the river which command the obstructions, which last could then be removed at leisure, leaving the river open to the fleet to the immediate vicinity of the city, or until arriving under fire of the Hutchinson Island Battery of three 32-pounders, of the Bay Battery of one 8-inch columbiad, three 32- pounders, and two 10-inch mortars, and of Fort Boggs, on the bluff, three-quarters of a mile from the channel, armed with one 10-inch columbiad, seven 32-pounders, and one 10-inch mortar; that is, in all, fifteen guns and three mortars, which could not be expected to interpose a substantial obstruction or delay the enemy long in his passage to the city, in which event the garrison of the city would be exposed in the rear to the enemy's heavy naval armament and in front to an invading land force, and consequently the contest, if attempted, would scarcely be of long duration.

Thus it is clear the safety of Savannah is made to depend upon the fate of the line of outworks, which in military engineering are only intended as subsidiaries to delay the movements of the enemy until the necessary preparations are made in the main work to repel successfully the impending attack, just as pickets and advanced guards of an army are thrown out to arrest the movements of an enemy until the army, duly warned of the advance, can take up positions in line of battle. If the line of obstructions had been placed near the lower extremity of Hutchinson Island, immediately under the guns of the battery at that point and those of Fort Boggs and of two revolving iron-clad land batteries, one on the western and the other on the eastern bank, near Screven's Ferry Landing, the objections and hazard just exposed in connection with the existing line of obstructions and neighboring river batteries would have been entirely obviated, while by the construction of two strong field works on the river bluff in advance of Fort Boggs, to secure a plunging fire on and take the enemy's fleet in the rear should an attempt be made to remove the obstructions, the line of our works could at any time be evacuated without endangering the safety of the city, for in that case they would only be required to perform their legitimate duty— that of holding the enemy's land forces at [bay?] until our troops, composing the garrison of the city, could be collected, possibly re-enforced, and placed in position to resist the onset.

[extensive excerpt]
Although as a whole the system of defensive works adopted is most defective, in my opinion it is too near completion to resort to a new one at this late day, when at any moment our powerful enemy may be looked for. I have therefore sought, as far as practicable, for remedies, to which end I have directed the construction of an inclosed Work at Carston's Bluff, the addition of two guns bearing up the Saint Augustine River, and one 10-inch mortar, and the erection of a battery for three guns at Greenwich Point, on the Saint Augustine River, to gain a cross-fire with the two guns added at Carston's Bluff. A battery for four pieces (24-pounder howitzers) has likewise been ordered to command the Isle of Hope Causeway, and another, of five heavier guns, of which one shall be a rifled 24-pounder, has been directed to be thrown up on Rosedew Island, to command the Little Ogeechee. Additional traverses have been ordered in some of the river batteries, and one 10-inch mortar will be added to the armament of Fort Jackson, to bear on the obstructions. The defective magazines of these batteries will also be put in proper condition at once.

Finally, it is my duty to state that I regard it as absolutely indispensable for a stout defense of Savannah that there should be added to the armament of the most important works at least twenty guns of the following calibers: say, five 10-inch and live 8-inch columbiads, and five 42 and five 82 pounder rifled pieces.

The garrison and forces to maintain the works, now some 7,700 effective men of all arms, must be strengthened to at leant 10,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry, 1,200 heavy artillerists, and eight field batteries, the estimate of my immediate predecessor, which I accept as the minimum three required. Thus prepared, any attack of the enemy may be hopefully encountered, despite the defective system upon which, unfortunately, the defenses of Savannah have been planned and constructed.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
General, Commanding.
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