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[445] property of all good citizens, and the landing party then returned to their vessels.

Nothing was removed from any of the houses, the men under Lieut. Balch Commanding, carefully abstaining from injuring or taking away the private effects of the inhabitants. I enclose a copy of Commander Godon's interesting report.

Very respectfully, etc.,


Flag-ship Wabash, off St. John's, Fla., March 21, 1862.
sir: Since my last despatch of the nineteenth inst., I have received another interesting report from Commander Godon, giving the details of a reconnoissance by the inland passage from Brunswick to Darien, a copy of which I enclose.

Com. Godon, with the Pocahontas, Lieutenant Commanding Balch, and the Potomska, Acting Lieutenant Commanding Watmough, with the launch and howitzer of the Mohican, in charge of Lieut. Miller, proceeded to open the interior communication between St. Simon's Sound and the Altamaha River. He soon encountered an obstruction, consisting of a double row of heavy piles, with their tops just above water at low tide. In a few hours a sufficient number were removed, and the Pocahontas and Potomska passed through, but had advanced only five miles further, when another obstruction of the same kind was met with. After an unavoidable delay, owing to the rising of the tide, this also was removed, and both vessels entered the Altamaha, and as they turned into the river, two rebel steamers were seen moving off from the wharf at Darien, with full head of steam, rendering pursuit useless, particularly as the brasses of the Potomska's shaft-bearing had broken, in a measure disabling that vessel.

Com. Godon learned from some contrabands, who came off from shore, that Darien, like Brunswick, was deserted, a company of horsemen only remaining in the town, with the intention of firing the place should the steamers approach.

Owing to. the crippled condition of the Potomska, Com. Godon did not deem it advisable to push his reconnoissance further, and accordingly returned through the passage he had cleared to the anchorage at Brunswick. He visited a number of plantations on St. Simon's Island, but, with one exception, all were deserted, though some time previously one thousand five hundred troops were quartered there.

Commander Godon speaks in warm terms of Lieutenant Commanding Balch, and Acting Lieutenant Commanding Watmough, as well as the officers and crews of all the vessels under his command, in which I heartily concur, desiring, however, to add my commendation of the zeal and ability of Corn. Godon himself, in carrying out my views in reference to our occupation of this important section of the coast of Georgia.

Very respectfully, etc.,

S. F. Du Pont,
Flag-Officer Com'g Southern Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of Navy.


Commander Godon's reports.

U. S. S. Mohican, off Brunswick, Ga., March 10, 1862.
sir: I have the honor to report that in obedience to your order of March fifth, I left Fernandina on the morning of the eighth, accompanied by the Pocahontas, Lieutenant Commanding Balch, and the Potomska, Acting Lieut. Commanding Watmough, and crossed Fernandina bar, with just water enough to comfortably float this ship; made the best of my way to St. Simon's bar, and reached it at dead low-water, passing it, and getting into Simon's Channel, through which I carried about seventeen feet, to within two miles of the forts, which we could plainly see commanding St. Simon's entrance. Here, at sundown, I anchored for the night. After dark I shifted the anchorage of the ship, to alter the range of any guns that might be left in the batteries. At day-light I made preparations to pass the batteries, and at sunrise weighed anchor and stood in. I soon discovered that the batteries were evidently abandoned, and anchored my little force inside, and beyond range of the guns, and made signal to land from the vessels.

Lieut. Commanding Balch, of the Pocahontas, with three boats, took possession of the fort on St. Simon's Island, consisting of strong earth-works of considerable extent, and having had eleven guns mounted. Some solid ten-inch shot, found in the fort, would indicate the calibre of some of the guns there. I enclose a detailed report of the taking of that battery by Lieut. Commanding Balch.

Lieut. Miller, of this ship, at the same time occupied the fort on Jekyl Island, which was, it seems, a much stronger position. It was a sand-work, with five casemates finished, covered with railroad iron, and very well built, and two unfinished casemates, the iron rail ready to be put up. These two forts commanded the channel for a long distance, and their fire crossed the entrance, which is a mile, or a little more, wide. Once the batteries were passed, they could offer but little difficulty, as in five minutes the guns of all the vessels could have enfiladed them, and could even fire directly in the rear. But they would have given a number of vessels severe trouble in getting beyond them. I enclose the report of Lieut. Miller, of the fort on Jekyl Island.

As soon as the boats returned, I went on the Potomska, and proceeded in her up the river to Brunswick. So soon as we opened the town to view, a heavy fire commenced, and at the same moment I perceived the railroad cars moving at full speed in the woods. I at once determined to bring up the ships and myself off the town, in the hopes of preventing, by my presence, the place from being burned, and at once returned to the Potomska, as I had the pilot with me. Both the Mohican and Pocahontas were under way before I reached them, and we proceeded to Brunswick, off which place I anchored as the sun went down.

The cars had returned, but again started at our approach. The Pocahontas anchored opposite


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