War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0236 Chapter XV. COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA.

wick and the forts at Saint Simon's have been evacuated since the 15th instant. The news was brought by a refugee from Savannah, and is corroborated by the Charleston papers of the 18th instant. Our threat upon Savannah has therefore already reduced the strongest hold of the enemy south of us, and the fall of the would undoubtedly produce the fall of all forts on the coast between here and Saint Augustine, as predicted in my letter of the 14th of December last. But as this expedition, planned upwards of amount ago, in order to economize and make the most a short period of time, in which nothing else could be done with the troops engaged in it, has been waiting at the expense of many transports lying idle some sacrice of life, I think it should proceed, particularly as the Navy are anxious to complete it. notwithstanding the period of time in which it was to be accomplished has long since run out. But as the enemy are discovered to be concentrating of their forces on Savannah, and guns too (as upwards of twenty pieces of heavy caliber are know to have recently brought from Brunswick and planted about Savannah), I consider the coast now but a cobweb, to be penetrated with ease, and an therefore on my return to Port Royal, to continue the charge of affairs in that quarter, leaving the expedition with Brigadier-General Wright. This division of force at this particular juncture may be regarded as a fault, but the reason for it can be seen from what i have stated, and, besides, Fernandina and Brickswick are points of some importance.

The Savannah River is closed as tight as a bottle between Savannah and Pulaski, and we are pushing preparations at Tybee for bombardment as rapidly as the weather will allow.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Port Royal, S. C., February 28, 1862.

Major General 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 are rives sides. They are moving heaven and earth for a secure defense. So far as I can ascertain some of the smaller 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 Vernin River. It the Navy could not assist us land month, when no guns had been put up on the river except those ot 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 success, and, general, I most sincerely congratulate you on your plants 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