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 in 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 instructed 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 subject attend 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
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