War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0734 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA.

Search Civil War Official Records


can be removed in a single night, as the present enemy would probably prevent their removal in the day-time.

Instead of the useless occupation of this island, I would respectfully recommend that the smaller guns be taken and placed in entrenchments to be thrown up near the mouths of Dog and Pascagoula Rivers and the heavier ones to strengthen Fort Pike, for the reasons before given. These points are important and there is an object in holding them, whereas Ship Island had no object or importance, and its occupation is more likely to prove highly disastrous than to be productive of good.

I found at the island only about 15 rounds to each gun, but powder and cartridge-bags sufficient to increase the number to each gun to about 120 rounds. Lieutenant Devereus, an active and skilful officer, was appointed ordnance officer, and details were made from the several companies to assist him in making cartridges, lining the magazine, keeping the guns in order, and to look after the implements and equipments. The men of the several companies were drilled at the heavy guns by the officers of the Louisiana Artillery who accompanies me, and among them were found a number of detachments sufficiently well drilled to man the guns; besides, the regular detachments there are in command of Lieutenants Semmes and Barnes, from West Point, and as they requested permission to drill their own companies at the heavy guns I of course granted it, these officers being fully competent to the task. These two companies alone can furnish all the necessary reliefs and gun detachments to man and fight the battery at any time. In view of this I have directed the officers of the Louisiana Artillery mentioned to repair to their several posts, and they consequently accompanied me to town this evening. They are of much less use at Ship Island than at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.

The sand-bag rivetting in front of the five 32-pounder guns was carried up to the top of the wall, with proper embrasures left, the masonry and wood work not being quite ready for the sand bags at other points. The planking over the guns I directed to be parapeted around with sand bags and them the interior space to be filled with loose sand.

Colonel Barrow had improved the discipline on the island for the few days he was there before my arrival, and I am satisfied that he would get along very well shortly and as satisfactorily as circumstances admit of. He ran a sand-bag traverse in rear of the five 32-pounders looking to the westward on the line a b of great importance. Similar traverses will have to be thrown in the rear of all the guns for their protection. Both of the shell guns are very much exposed to be dismounted by the enemy's fire, but specially the 8-inch gun, which is wholly unprotected. Trusting that the island will be speedily abandoned and the men and material moved elsewhere, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, C. S. Army.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.] ENGINEER'S OFFICE, New Orleans, September 11, 1861.

Major General DAVID E. TWIGGS,

Commanding Military Department Numbers 1, New Orleans, La.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reference to this office of the report of Colonel Duncan upon the defenses on Ship Island, and return it with the following remarks:

The report discusses the defenses from two points of view: First, the