Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 39.djvu/132
120 Southern Historical Society Papers.
inland side, it sloped off into a marsh, which ran around us and Blakley. Our works were arranged to resist an attack from the interior, and, beginning at the southern and lip end of the "tongue," ran in a semi-circle around the inside rim of the high land, resting at each end on the bay. Or rather, they would have done so on the north as well as south, only the marsh in- terfered, and we had no time to complete them. This was our weak point, and yet in a sense our strong point. We had no defences in that marsh, yet a dense jungle supplied the defect, so dense that our leaders confided in it greatly and placed only a picket line there. These "works" of ours consisted of three "forts" (of earth), one at each end and one in the center, con- nected by rifle-pits. The one in the center was assigned to our battery. The whole extent of our line from end to end was about a mile and a half.
WHAT SEEMED TO BE A TRAP.
We felt ourselves to be in a trap as soon as we took in the situation. If Farragut's fleet should pass Forts Gaines and ]\Iorgan at the mouth of the bay, all he would have to do would be to sail serenely up in our rear and shell us at his leisure and cut us off from Mobile, while a land force could invest us and starve us into surrender. So prominent was the thought in our minds that I remember my messmate "Tony" B — and I ("Tony" is now a staid merchant and man of family in Louisiana), sat on the parapet one afternoon soon after getting there and planned a way of escape for ourselves. Casting our eye to- wards the bay we noticed a chain of little, low, marshy islends, hardly above the water, which fringed our shore at a distance of six to eight hundred yards from the land, and stretched northward up towards Blakley. "If the place be taken by as- sault," we thought, "we might make for one of these and by swimming from one to the other, finally get to Blakely." Little did we dream that the whole command was eventually to escape from under the very clutches of the enemy by means of one of those very islands.