War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0148 COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA. Chapter XV.

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3rd. The map represents a battery on Turtle Island, while in fact none was placed there.

A desire to secure historical accuracy in the records in this siege alone induces me to make the statements, which you are at liberty

to make such use of as you think proper.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General H. W. BENHAM,

Commanding North's Dist., Dept. of the South, Hilton Head, S. C.


Hilton Head, S. C., October 20, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report, compiled from my original report to the Chief Engineer, of operations against Fort Pulaski, Ga., Resulting in its capitulation to the United States forces under my immediate command on the 11th day of April, 1862:

The two accompanying maps* are deemed necessary to a full understanding of the report.

This success so fully demonstrated the power and effectiveness of rifled cannon for breaching at long distances-at distances, indeed, hitherto untried and considered altogether impracticable, thus opening a new era in the use of this most valuable and comparatively unknown arm of service-was obtained with such singularly strict adherence to the details of the project as originally submitted by me in the previous December, and has withal in its developed results such an important bearing upon the character of our harbor and frontier defenses, that I feel called upon to enter into some details.

The transfer to another field of labor of Brigadier General T. W. Sherman, lately in command of the forces on this coast, under whose auspices the project for the reduction of Fort Pulaski was pushed forward to within a few days of its final accomplishment, renders it proper that this report should refer to the preliminary operations directly connected with the siege.

In the capacity of chief engineer on General Sherman's staff I was present with he investing forces under General viele when the Savannah River was closed above the fort by the establishment of the battery on Venus Point, Jones Island, on the night of the 11th of February last. I took no part in the erection of the Bird Island battery, opposite Venus Point. These two batteries effectually closed the Savannah River.

In the double capacity of engineer and commander of the forces I was charged with the offensive operations on Tybee Island, where the batteries from the reduction of the work were to be established, and also with the completion of the investment by the blockade of the Wilmington Narrows and Lazaretto Creek passage.

The date for this report will therefore be taken in a measure from my private journal and from official correspondence and orders.

Fort Pulaski.- Fort Pulaski is situated on Cockspur Island, Georgia, latitude 32^ 2' north and longitude 3^ 51' west from Washington, at the head of Tybee Roads, commanding both channels of the Savannah River. The position is a very strong one. Cockspur Island is wholly a marsh, and is about one mile long and half a mile wide.


*To appear in Atlas.