approach by water, and blockade the channel," thereby completing the investment, and also to "commence operations for the bombardment of Fort Pulaski."
The absolute blockade of Pulaski dates from the 22nd of February, at which time I stationed two companies of the Forty-sixth New York Volunteers, with a battery of two field pieces, on Decent Island, Lazaretto Creek. This force was subsequently placed on board and old hulk, anchored in Lazaretto Creek, about 2 1/4 miles from Fort Pulaski. One 30-pounder Parrott was then added to the battery. A small guard boat, mounting a Navy 6-pounder, was posted considerably in advance of the hulk, to intercept messengers attempting to reach Fort Pulaski by way of McQueen's Island Marsh. On the 31st of March the guard boat and 18 men were captured by a large scouting party of the enemy, who suddenly appeared on Wilmington Island. After this the services of the gunboat Norwich, Captain Duncan, were secured in Wilmington Narrows, to assist the blockade.
It was found impossible to perfectly isolate the work. In order to appreciate the difficulty and even impracticability of securing, with ordinary means, the complete blockade of a place like Fort Pulaski, it is necessary to understand something of the topography of the position.
The Savannah River, from its mouth on Tybee Roads to its confluence with Saint Augustine Creek, 8 miles above, is skirted on both sides by low marsh islands, submerged by spring tides, covered with a thick growth of reeds and tall grass, and cut up by numerous small, tortuous creeks and bayous. With light boats that can be hauled over the marsh by hand from creek to creek small parties familiar with the locality can with comparative security find their way over these marshes in the night, and avoid guards and pickets. It was known that messengers passed to and from the fort in this way quite frequently. Several of these were caught. One of them started from the fort and made his escape to Savannah, just after the white flag was raised, on the day of the surrender.
On the 21st of February the first vessel with ordnance and ordnance stores for the siege arrived in Tybee Roads. From that time until the 9th of April all the troops on Tybee Island, consisting of the Seventh Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, the Forty-sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, two companies of the Volunteer Engineers, and, for the most of the time, two companies of the Third Rhode Island Volunteer Artillery, were constantly engaged in landing and transporting ordnance, ordnance stores, and battery materials, making fascines and roads, constructing gun and mortar batteries, service and depot magazines, splinter and bomb proof shelters for the relief of cannoneers off duty, and drilling at the several pieces.
The armament comprised 36 pieces, distributed in eleven batteries, at various distances from the fort, as shown in the following table:
1. Battery Stanton, three heavy 13-inch mortars, at 3,400 yards.
2. Battery Grant, three heavy 13-inch mortars, at 3,200 yards.
3. Battery Lyon, three heavy 10-inch columbiads, at 3,100 yards.
4. Battery Lincoln, three heavy 8-inch columbiads, at 3,045 yards.
5. Battery Burnside, one heavy 13-inch mortar, at 2,750 yards.
6. Battery Sherman, three heavy 13-inch mortars, at 2,650 yards.
7. Battery Halleck, two heavy 13-inch mortars, at 2,400 yards.
8. Battery Scott, three 10-inch and one 8-inch columbiad, at 1,740 yards.
9. Battery Sigel, five 30-pounder Parrotts and one 48-pounder James (old 24-pounder), at 1,670 yards.
10. Battery McClellan, two 84-pounder James (old 42-pounder) and two 64-pounder James (old 32-pounder), at 1,650 yards.
11. Battery Totten, four 10-inch siege mortars, at 1,650 yards.