Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 19, 1861 (Monday): Guns for Fernandina

Fort Clinch (Florida State Parks)
Richmond, August 19, 1861.

Colonel W. S. DILWORTH,
Fernandina, Fla.:

SIR: The attention of this Department has been already directed to the importance of the defense of the harbor of Fernandina, and in reply to your letter of the 12th instant I have the honor to inform you that artillery such as you desire has been already directed to be forwarded to you, in compliance with previous requisitions addressed to this Department, and it is hoped it may arrive in time to meet your most pressing exigencies.
In reply to your further propositions I have the honor to say that an artillery company, if organized and furnished with a battery, will be accepted, and assigned to your command if its services are desired by you; and that a cavalry company also, armed and furnishing its own horses, will be accepted, if required, and assigned to your command.


Secretary of War.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 1, Part 1, Page 473

Fort Clinch protected the deep water port of Fernandina, north of Jacksonville at Amelia Island, Florida.  Fernandina was also the eastern terminus of the only cross-state railroad in Florida.  The fort itself is a substantial work, constructed in 1847.  It was one of the forts built along U.S. coasts in  a massive government building project known as the Third System Fortifications.


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