Friday, August 26, 2011

Confederates Take Control of Ship Island-- Part 1

From the July 2nd Sun Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport, Ms.).

Ship Island, now East and West Ship Island since Hurricane Camille split the place in two in 1969, is located in the Gulf of Mexico off Gulfport, Mississippi. The construction of a fort on it had commenced in 1859, but by 1861, it wasn't nearly completed. It is considered an important defensive position for the Mississippi coast as well as New Orleans to the west and Mobile to the east.

By June 1861, the Gulf Blockading Squadron was getting more active and Confederate Brigadier General David Twiggs decided that a garrison was needed for Ship island because of its strategic significance.

The as of yet unnamed fort on it was incomplete and it was no vacation spot with few trees, high temperatures and humidity. All structures on the island had already been burned by command of Confederate Brigadier General William Hardee, so occupying troops would have to live in tents.

General Twiggs had the soldiers to occupy it, but not the heavy cannons to defend it. There were some guns of heavy calibre at the New Orleans Navy Yard and some were ordered to the island.

Ship Those Guns to the Island. --Old B-Runner

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