National Geographic : 1915 Sep
Photo by I-I. C. Mann A GLIMPSE OF THE SAND BEACH IN WINTER of this knowledge of defense, it is plain to be seen that a good quarter of a mile of beach has been added by the defender since the old light was erected. The War Department, having realized the great value of Cape Henry's position from strategic reasons, is preparing plans for fortifications which will extend for several miles along the beach at this point. So it is that a human ally has been enlisted on the side of the land army to fight with it side by side, and every resource of man will be brought into play in order to outwit the salt le gions of the deep, who hereafter can only hurl themselves first upon the sand reef outposts and then fruitlessly expend their remaining strength upon the stone ripraps of the human ally. ATTACKING TIIE ISLANDS OF CHESAPEAKE BAY Even inland waters take their toll from the lands which border them and the islands which are surrounded by them. In the Chesapeake Bay one finds many instances of the constant attack and siege by the water enemy, and how these pro cesses go on all the time may be strik ingly shown by many of the old records. When the United States survey of the Chesapeake Bay was made in 1848, the area now known as James Island was a peninsula, a narrow isthmus connecting the island with the mainland. In only 50 years this entire isthmus has been cut away, and a distance of a quarter of a mile now separates the island from the mainland. At the time of the 1900 sur vey of the Chesapeake waters the west shore of James Island had receded 500 yards beyond the head of the inlet of 1848. The inlet had been filled in and the sand-bar separating it from the bay had shifted eastward. In area the island had decreased from 975 acres in 1848 to 555 acres in 1901. During the succeed ing nine years it was cut down to 490 acres. So one can see that in 62 years 485 acres, or nearly half of the island, disappeared.