The party concealed their work at daybreak (11th) and withdrew. The platforms were made by raising the surface 5 or 6 inches with sand, carried over in bags. On this sand foundation thick planks at right angles to the line of the battery were laid, nearly, but not quite, in contact with each other. At right angles to these, deck-planks were laid, giving a platform 9 by 17 feet. The floor of the magazine was 20 inches above the natural surface, and rested on sand bags.
February 11. - Continued getting battery and road materials to Jones Island during the day. Early in the evening I went to Jones Island with fresh men, to finish the labor of getting the guns over. Lieutenants Wilson and Porter and Major Beard took charge of the fatigue parties as before. The work was done in the following manner: The pieces, mounted on their carriages and limbered up, were moved forward on shifting runways of planks about 15 feet long, 1 foot wide, and 3 inches thick, laid end to end. Lieutenant Wilson, with a party of 35 men, took charge of the two pieces in advance, one 8-inch siege howitzer and a 30-pounder Parrott, and Major Beard and Lieutenant Portere, with a somewhat larger force, of the four pieces in the rear, two 20 and two 30 pounder Parrotts. Each party had one pair of planks in excess of the number required for the guns and limbers to rest upon when closed together. This extra pair of planks being placed in front, in prolongation of those already under the carriages, the pieces were then drawn forward with drag-ropes one after the other the length of a plank, thus freeing the two planks in the rear, which in their turn were carried to the front. This labor is of the most fatiguing kind. In most places the men sank to their knees in the mud, in some places much deeper. This mud being of the most slippery and slimy kind and perfectly free from grit and sand, the planks soon became entirely smeared over with it. Many delays and much exhausting labor were occasioned by the gun-carriages slipping off the planks. When this occurred the wheels would suddenly sink to the hubs, and powerful levers had to be devised to raise them up again. I authorized the men to encase their feet in sand bags to keep the mud out of their shoes. Many did this, tying the strings just below the knees. The magazines and platforms were ready for service at daybreak. Lieutenant Wilson got his two pieces into position at 2.30 a. m. and Major Beard and Lieutenant Porter their four pieces at 8.30 a. m. on the 12th. At 3 a. m. Lieutenant Wilson started back to General Viele, on Daufuskie, to report the success.
February 12. - After giving directions for the fresh relief to be put to work in throwing up a dike around the battery to keep out the spring tides, which were beginning to flow, I returned to Daufuskie Island. The high tide to-day came within 8 inches of the surface at Venus Point.
February 13, 14, 15. - Various causes, particularly the weather, delayed the establishment of the battery on Long Island. On the morning of the 13th the rebel steamer Ida passed down by Venus Point under full steam. Nine shots were fired at her, striking her astern, all but one. Elevation good, but not enough allowance made for speed of vessel. I was not in the battery at the time. All the pieces, except one 30-pounder, recoiled off the platforms. These were at once enlarged to 18 by 17 1/2 feet. On the afternoon of the 14th three rebel gunboats came down the river and opened fire on the battery, taking a position about 1 mile distant. Battery fired about 30 shots. One of the vessels was struck. The boats then withdrew.
February 16. - The steamer Ida, which ran the battery on the 13th, left Fort Pulaski and returned to Savannah, via Lazaretto Creek, Wilmington Narrows, Turner's Creek, and Saint Augustine Creek.
February 17. - I returned to Hilton Head, by General Sherman's order, leaving Lieutenant O'Rorkee with General Viele, with written instructions concerning the engineering operations to be carried on.
The foregoing extracts from my journal are all that bear directly upon the operations on the Savannah above Fort Pulaski. I did not return there on duty. I soon received official information, however, that a second battery, consisting of one 8-inch siege howitzer, one 30-pounder Parrott, one 20-pounder Parrott, and three 12-pounder James rifles, was established on Bird Island, just above Long Island. This was done on the night of February 20, the flats, with the guns, ammunition, & c., on them, being towed up Mud River and across the Savannah by row-boats. Lieutenant O'Rorke, of the Engineers, was present as engineer officer, and Lieutenant Porter as ordnance officer. Captain John Hamilton, General Sherman's chief of artillery, was also present.
On the 19th of February I was ordered by Brigadier General T. W. Sherman to Big Tybee Island, to place it "in a thorough state of defense against approach from Wilmington Narrows and Lazaretto Creek, to prevent all