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In Their Own Words

February 12, 1862

Confident Letter from Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski, located on an island near the mouth of the Savannah River, was almost surrounded by Union naval and ground forces. Nevertheless, its Confederate defenders felt the fort’s massive walls could not be penetrated by artillery shells. And, stocked with a year’s provisions, there was an air of confidence, as evidenced by this letter from Theodore Montfort to his wife:

“… You can see from the ramparts some sixty or seventy Yankee vessels. You can see their tents and hear their drums from an island over on the South Carolina side. We are almost surrounded by them and may, I think, very probably will be very soon cut off from Savannah and consequently from all communications with our families. We have, however, twelve months’ provisions in the fort and before they can perish us out the yellow fever will come to our assistance and run them off. As to taking the fort, they never can do it by fighting. We are perfectly protected. Neither shell [n]or balls can hurt us… . I am discharging my duty to my country and family. I am at this time deprived of the pleasure of being with you, which is a great loss. Yet to be with you while the country needs my services and while your own safety and protection makes it necessary for the enemy to be sent back, I should be unworthy to be your husband or a free man. Therefore, I am prepared to submit to any inconveniences, to make any sacrifice and face any danger that duty may require. Nothing less would be right, nothing more is required… . “

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 147-148.