Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 39.djvu/143
Defence of Spanish Fort. 131
the last moment, which proved so happy in execution that night of April 8, 1865. These measures were well known to General Gibson and others of his officers and men, by whom they had been prepared and by whom they were executed with complete success. Before the place was invested the bridge across the marsh was constructed. It was four feet wide, was three or four feet above the marsh and one mile long. It terminated on the Appalacup river, opposite Battery Tracey, where were assem- bled a large number of batteaux. to be used in ferrying the garrison across the river. From Tracey, reaching out to its rear for near two miles, another bridge had been constructed, to Chocolate Bayou, on deep water range to Mobile and far be- yond range of the enemy's guns. Over this bridge three days later the garrison of Tracey and Huger were withdrawn without a single casualty.
During the siege of Spanish Fort the additional precaution had been taken to send engineer officers with several men of the Ninth Texas to reconnoitre and stake out another route across the marsh direct to Blakeley, five miles above. This com- pleted the means of escape and while Mr. Stevenson's command and others marched out across the foot bridge a large part of the garrison was conducted by the engineers and guides directly across the marsh and safely to Blakeley. This marsh was quite practicable for infantry by that time. The flood had subsided and the ground had dried so that had the enemy known it he might have thrown troops and even placed high batteries on it, so as to annoy us with a flank fire around our left and cut oflf the escape of the garrison.
A VISIT TO SPANISH FORT.
On Saturday, April 8th, I took Colonel Lockett, Chief Engi- neer, with me into Spanish Fort that we might determine what progress the enemy had made with his mining operations and how much longer it would be safe to keep the garrison in the