Batteries and forts of the Department of the South, June 1864

On June 8, 1864, First Lieutenant Charles Suter, of the Chief Engineer’s office, submitted a detailed report on the fortifications, and their armaments, throughout the Department of the South.  That lengthy report offers another point of reference with regard to the garrisoning and posturing in the department. So consider this sort of a “resource” post to refer back to in regard to the named forts and batteries.

Summarizing Suter’s report by district, the works listed were:

Northern District.

Morris Island (which I’ve discussed in detail before but some slight changes since April of that year):

FedBatteriesMorrisIsApr1864

  • Fort Putnam – three 100-pdr Parrotts, one 10-inch columbiad, four 30-pdr Parrotts, and two field pieces.
  • Battery Chatfield – one 300-pdr Parrott, two 100-pdr Parrotts, and four 10-inch seacoast mortars.
  • Battery Seymour – eight 10-inch seacoast mortars.
  • Water Battery – two 10-inch columbiads.
  • Battery Barton – two 13-inch seacoast mortars.
  • Fort Strong (old Battery Wagner) – one 200-pdr Parrott, five 100-pdr Parrotts, two 30-pdr Parrotts, six 32-pdr smoothbores, four 12-pdr smoothbores, and two 10-inch seacoast mortars
  • Fort Shaw – two 8-inch seacoast howitzers, five 8-inch siege howitzers, two field pieces, and two 10-inch siege mortars.
  • Battery Purviance – two 42-pdrs and two 30-pdr Parrotts.
  • Black Island battery – two rifled field pieces.

Folly Island (which I haven’t given due attention):

  • Fort Greene – two 30-pdr Parrotts, two 12-pdr gusn, two carronades, and two mortars.
  • Pawnee Landing – one battery with two 30-pdr Parrotts and a second with two 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • White House in center of island – one battery of two 30-pdr Parrotts and a second battery under construction to hold fourteen guns and four mortars.
  • Fort Delafield – two 42-pdr James rifles and three 32-pdr James rifles.
  • Fort Mahan – three 32-pdr James rifles.
  • Long Island battery – a fort with two 20-pdr Parrotts and a large infantry stockade.
  • Cole’s Island – two redoubts, but no artillery in place.
  • Kiawah Island – two redoubts, but with artillery removed.

Middle District

Discussed in an earlier post, though Suter offered more detail as to the armament than the April report.

HiltonHeadDistrictApril64

Hilton Head:

  • Fort Welles – seventeen guns, built to defend against land attack.
  • Fort Mitchel – at the time being dismantled (which was a concern for the Navy).
  • Line of entrenchments across the island.

Saint Helena Island:  Fort Seward with thirteen guns on the west side.  (Suter does not mention the signal station on the east end).

Port Royal Island (all centered around Beaufort):

  • Fort Duane – one 8-inch gun, one 32-pdr gun, four 18-pdr guns, two 24-pdr howitzers, and one 12-pdr howitzer.
  • Battery Burnside – two 8-inch guns, one 30-pdr Parrott, and one 24-pdr gun.
  • Battery Seymour (the second in the district) – two carronades.
  • Battery Saxton – three 8-inch siege howitzers.
  • Battery Brayton – one 10-pdr Parrott and one 24-pdr howitzer.
  • Battery Taylor – two 30-pdr Parrotts, one 10-pdr Parrott, and one 24-pdr gun.

Cockspur Island:

  • Fort Pulaski – Suter did not detail the armament, but much reduced from the year before.
  • Water Battery – two 10-inch columbiads and two 100-pdr Parrotts – used to block the Savannah River from any Confederate sortie.

District of Florida:

These reflected the reduced importance of Florida.

Fernandina: Fort Clinch and a small battery on the main island.  The Federals also maintained a blockhouse at Saint John’s Bluff.

Yellow Bluff: Two small works, one of which mounted a carronade.

Picolata: Block house with two 6-pdr guns.

Jacksonville:  The city was “surrounded by a line of inclosed works” and was the best defended in Florida:

  • Battery Hamilton – open work for field guns.
  • Redoubt Reed – three guns.
  • Redoubt Fribley – four guns.
  • Battery McCrea – platforms for field guns.
  • Battery Myrick – covering the railroad with platforms for guns as needed.
  • Redoubt Hatch – four guns.
  • Redoubt Sammon – three guns.
  • Fort Seymour (yes… three named works for Truman Seymour) – four guns.

Saint Augustine:  Fort Marion, the old Spanish colonial Castillo de San Marcos, stood as the only significant defense.

(Suter’s report is in OR, Series I, Volume 35, Part II, Serial 66, pages 117-119.)