and one hundred and twenty-five men, carrying our stores and luggage from the camp and stowing it on board the transport, from which it had only been removed two days before. The men worked like heroes, and by one o'clock the work was done, and we marched back to camp and “turned in” on the open ground. We had only three hours sleep, for we broke camp at four o'clock Monday morning, and took up our march to the wharf. It is a “big job” simply to march and stow away one thousand men on board a vessel. After several delays at last all was ready, and we swung off at nine o'clock, the men cheering and singing their “John Brown.” At noon we reached Hilton Head, where the Colonel reported for orders. He got them, and to this effect: to proceed immediately to St. Simon's Island, and join Montgomery. By six P. M. we were off again, bound south-west, and on Tuesday morning at six o'clock, dropped anchor off the southern end of St. Simon's Island, in sight of the plantation of T. Butler King. Here several of us went ashore, the Colonel to ride across the Island to Montgomery's camp for further orders. I, with the Adjutant and Doctor, took the opportunity to look about the plantation. The house was occupied by a negro sergeant with a squad of men, but utterly deserted by its former owners. But it was a splendid place! It would make your eyes open to see things grow here, and to see what grows! Tamarinds and oranges were all about me, to say nothing of figs. And then the whole catalogue of tropical plants and flowers, such as we only see at home in hot houses, are here so abundantly and luxuriantly spread before you, that you are lost in wonder and delight. But the live oaks are the most magnificent spectacle of all; they are large and symmetrical, and almost invariably, too, festooned with a peculiar, dark, parasitic vine which adds a strange weirdness to their sturdy grandeur. The Colonel returned with orders to land at a place further up, called Old Frederica. The De Molay could not proceed, and we had to await a transport of lighter draught, which Montgomery was to send to us. It came alongside at noon, and proved to be the Sentinel, but looked like a New-York canal-boat built up a story. The Colonel, with eight companies, went on board and proceeded immediately to camp. Headquarters are established in a large two-story dwelling house close to the wharf; the line officers and men are in tents. Two companies (two hundred men) were set at work on the cargo, and I never saw men work so in my life. We all supposed we were going on an expedition the next day, and they had no idea of being left. We opened both hatchways, and put a hundred men at work on each. Consider, we were anchored in the stream, and the boat we were to transfer the cargo to, was off and would not be back for several hours. Of course we could hurry matters only by hoisting out the cargo and stowing it on deck. We fell to about three o'clock. At six the transport was alongside, and at ten we had every thing transferred to her decks! It was quick work, but the men worked as if for their very lives. Waited on the tide till two o'clock in the morning, (Wednesday,) when we got under way, and reached camp at five o'clock. Took a fresh relay of two hundred men and ran the cargo ashore. We “confiscated” and seized upon an old barn close to headquarters, put twenty-five men to work on it, cleaned it out and rushed the stores in there as fast as they came ashore. It was very large, and now that it is well filled, looks like a large wholesale store. We had the cargo all out by the middle of the forenoon. In the afternoon we began to distribute and pitch tents. In the thick of this came an order from Montgomery to embark immediately on the Sentinel and report at his camp! The long-roll was sounded — and — I can give you no idea of what followed. We had heard the roll often enough, but never before the long-roll — the long-roll that means fight The men rushed pell-mell to their quarters, seized their guns, filled their haversacks, and fell in by companies. Two companies were detailed to stay behind and guard the camp, and they formed a sad contrast to the others, I assure you. The rest were all aboard the transport in an hour from the time we received the order. We proceeded down the river about five miles to Montgomery's camp. Here we joined the other vessels of the expedition, which made up as follows, all told: Flag-ship John Adams, (an old friend, to wit, East-Boston ferry-boat,) with part of the Second South-Carolina, numbering eight hundred, on board; the Harriet A. Weed, with the rest of the Second, (formerly a North River boat, I should say;) the Sentinel, with the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts volunteers; and the gunboat Paul Jones, carrying eight guns, two eleven-inch, three pivot, and three side. The John Adams also had four or five guns, including one large Parrott. It was truly quite a formidable expedition. All the vessels got under way, and proceeded down the river about sunset. The prominent idea of the expedition was to “run off” slaves, and also get what rebel stores we could. The plan was this: to sail with all speed up the Altamaha River to Fort Barrington, there disembark, send the boats below to Darien, and then march the regiment thither, sweeping all the slaves on before us. Thus we would sweep a district of some twenty or thirty miles in length. Could we have carried this out, no doubt we should have been richly repaid, but we met with so many delays that it became impracticable. We had gone but a little ways down the river when our boat ran aground, and the tide being on the ebb, there she staid till morning. This was unfortunate, for it necessitated making the whole trip by daylight, in place of by night. We grounded several times in going up the Altamaha, and altogether consumed so much time that the rebels had leisure to spread the news all over Georgia. They made their preparations accordingly, deserting all the plantations near the river, and, judging from the smoke, burning many a rice-mill and store-house further in the interior. We shelled the woods on both
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