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dangers, cheerfully devoted to the maintenance of a cause, than which none holier ever nerved the arm of a soldier or inspired the breast of a patriot, the object of this narrative will have been entirely accomplished.
The loss of Confederate records, and of private journals kept during the recent war, is severely felt in writing a history even as partial as this. Details soon pass from the recollection, and facts which, with all their surroundings, we supposed at the time were graven with the point of a diamond upon the tablets of memory, are, after the lapse of a comparatively short period, often recalled with difficulty and uncertainty.
Although traditions live, and the philosophy of events survives long after the dramatis personce sleep in almost forgotten graves, specific facts, treasured up only in the memory, soon become confused, and ere long lose their authenticity. As so many of the details and statistics of the Confederate war, from the very nature of things, exist only in the personal recollections of the brave actors in that crisis of a nation's fate, and as each circumstance of this eventful epoch is fraught with the deepest interest, it is incumbent upon all who can, while the images of the past are still distinct, to contribute in a substantial form to the records of this heroic period. Sketches and narratives — trivial in themselves considered possess intrinsic importance, and form golden threads from which the fabric of a true Confederate history may one day be woven.
In the following account I have endeavored to confine myself to a narrative of the services of the Battery." If occasionally – as in the case of the isolation, bombardment, and reduction of Fort Pulaski, or of the illustrious defenses of Fort McAllister, and of Battery Wagner - I have perhaps overstepped the limits which mark its individual history, I trust I will be pardoned; for the mind loves to dwell upon these gallant memories, and the record of the patriotism displayed, the valor exhibited, and the sufferings there endured, is sacred to the Confederate heart.
It is an interesting fact, that at various times during the continuance of the war, the Chatham Artillery furnished from its membership to the Confederate and State service more than fifty commissioned officers,
For the first time in eighty years this venerable and time honored Company, through the force of circumstances, ceases to exist as an active military organization ; but the spirit of patriotism, of friendship, of generosity, of valor, and of devotion to law, order and liberty which always characterized it, still remains unchanged and unchangeable in the hearts of its surviving members; and we hope the day is not far distant, when the true men of this Battery will enjoy the privilege of reviving the good old Company within the hospitable walls of Armory Hall, and of again marching by the side of our Washington guns within the confines of the beautiful and beloved city of Oglethorpe.
THE CHATHAM ARTILLERY in the military service of the State of
Georgia - History of the occupation of Fort Pulaski.
After calm deliberation, appreciating the nature and the consequences of the act, aware of the already avowed purposes of the Federal government toward a seceding state, and firmly relying upon the patriotism and devotion of a large majority of the people of Georgia, his Excellency Joseph E. Brown, adopting a bold and decided policy worthy the noble state with whose interests and honor he was then specifically charged, late in the evening of the second of January eighteen hundred and sixty-one, issued the following orders to Colonel Alexander R. Lawton then commanding the 1st Regiment Georgia Volunteers :
HEAD QUARTERS, GEORGIA MILITIA,
Savannah, January 2, 1861. Colonel A. R. Lawton,
Commanding 1st Regt. Georgia Vols., Savannah. Sir: In view of the fact that the government at Washington has, as we are informed upon high authority, decided on the policy of coercing a seceding state back into the Union, and it is believed now has a movement on foot to reinforce Fort Sumter, at Charleston, and to occupy with Federal troops the Southern forts, including Fort Pulaski in this state, which, if done, would give the Federal government in any contest great advantages over the people in this state; to the end, therefore, that this stronghold which commands also the entrance into Georgia, may not be occupied by any hostile force until the convention of the state of Georgia, which is to meet on the 16th instant, has decided on the policy which Georgia will adopt in this emergency, you are ordered to take possession of Fort Pulaski as by public order herewith, and to hold it against all persons, to be abandoned only under orders from me, or under compulsion by an overpowering hostile force.
Immediately upon occupying the fort you will take measures to put it in a thorough state of defense as far as its means and ours will permit; and for this purpose you will advise with Captain Claghorn, Chatham Artillery, who has been charged with all matters relating to ordnance and ordnance stores, and their supply
You will further arrange with Captain Claghorn a series of day and night signals for communicating with the city of Savannah, for the purpose of calling for reinforcements, or for other necessary purposes.
And you will arrange with Mr. John Cunningham, military purveyor for the time being, for the employment of one or more steam-boats, or other means of transportation by land or by water that may be necessary,
and for other supplies (except for ordnance stores, for which you will call upon Capt. Claghorn) as may be required.
If circumstances should require it, the telegraph will be placed under surveillance.
I think from our conversations you fully understand my views, and, relying upon your patriotism, energy and sound discretion in the execution of this important and delicate trust,
I am, sir, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
JOSEPH E. BROWN. Governor and Commander in Chief.