Defending the Southern Coastline Against Spanish Attacks From Cuba
Finely executed manuscript map of the Sea Islands of Georgia and Sea Islands of South Carolina, created by Robert Deas Gignilliat during the Spanish-American war, 1898.
The map is meticulously constructed from charts made by the US Coast Survey, as a means of preparing for the defense of the American Coastline during the Spanish American War.
On Tybee Island the structure labeled "Tower" by the Coast Survey is updated to a more descriptive "Omatello" or "Matello Tower"- local pronunciation of Old Martello Tower. This additional information on Tybee Island matches with the work history of Gignilliat.
Robert Deas Gignilliat
A History of Savannah and South Georgia, Volume 2, p. 1020 (1913), notes as follows:
Robert Deas Gignilliat, born in McIntosh county, Georgia, February 25, 1873, has shown ability of a high order as a civil engineer, and more particularly in the line of concrete construction.
It fell to his lot to superintend the work on the fortifications at Fort Screven, Tybee Island, Georgia, which were in process of construction immediately preceding and during the war with Spain, and for months he worked night as well as day to put this important outpost in condition to make an effective defense of the city of Savannah, in case of attack by the Spanish fleet. The concrete construction at this fort has been pronounced unsurpassed by any work done during that period.
Preceding and following this public service, he was actively engaged in river and harbor work and railroad construction, holding important positions which he filled with zeal and efficiency.
[In 1917], he removed to Milledgeville, Georgia, where he opened and still maintains an office as an engineer, surveyor and contractor in concrete construction.