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[446] the town, but outside of Buzzard Roost Island, the Potomska still higher up, and her guns commanded the railroad beyond the town. The following morning I sent the Potomska into the branch opposite the town. Neither this ship nor the Pocahontas can well get in, as at high-water but twelve feet of water was found in the bulk-head, and between the wharf and Buzzard Roost Island the river is but about four .hundred feet wide.

With the Potomska, Lieut. Balch took charge of a landing-party, consisting of twenty-five marines, from this ship and the Pocahontas, and the two twelve--pounder guns, with forty riflemen from the different vessels, landed and hoisted the flag. The place was deserted, and most of the furniture of the houses removed. Still there was much private property about, some in scows on the wharf, ready to be removed. After a careful examination of such buildings as might be supposed to contain public property, and a careful survey was had, I visited the town, and then directed the command to retire into the ship, having posted a notice, urging the inhabitants to return, and promising protection to all property for all good citizens. 1 enclose Lieut. Balch's report of his landing, etc. Nothing in the place was touched by the landing-party, and such houses as were not open, were not even entered. I sincerely hope that some good citizens at least may be found willing to resume their homes under my public notice, and I shall not allow the place to be visited, except on duty.

The fire we noticed, was the work of the retiring soldiers, and proved to be the railroad depot and wharf. The lenses belonging to the lighthouses, were not found. The channel-buoys are in the river, but out of place, and the light-house destroyed.

The town is closely surrounded by woods, is generally well built, and extends over a considerable space. Several contrabands have come on board. Soldiers are said to be in the woods, not very distant, and most of the inhabitants are said to be fourteen or sixteen miles back, encamped. I have sent the Pocahontas and Potomska up the river, as far as they could go, to reconnoitre. There is a schooner of considerable size on the stocks, unfinished. Fires have been burning about us, but I believe it is the brush being consumed; nor have I noticed, as far as the people are concerned, that they are willing to follow the advice of Messrs. Toombs and Cobb, by placing the torch in the hands of the children, to consume their property. All that is done in that way, seems to be done by the order of military commanders, who, having no local interest in the neighborhood of their command, have the heroism to consume the property in which they have no immediate interest.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. W. Godon, Commander and Senior Officer. To Flag-Officer S. F. Du Pont, Commanding South-Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

United States steamer Mohican, St. Simon's Island, March 16, 1862.
sir: I have the honor to report that on the thirteenth inst. I started in the Potomska, accompanied by the Pocahontas, with the launch and howitzer of this ship in charge of Lieut. Miller in tow, and proceeded through the inland passage toward the Altamaha River.

I had heard that there were one or two rebel steamers at Darien, and I hoped that I might get possession of them. About five miles from the anchorage at this place, and where I had left the Mohican, between the batteries we found, as I had learned from contrabands, that the river was staked entirely across. We reached the spot at low-water, and found a double row of heavy piles, with their heads just above water. I at once got to work with both vessels, and in a few hours hauled enough out of each row to allow a passage for both vessels — say forty feet--and here for the first time I learned that about five miles beyond another obstruction of the same kind had been placed. We reached the second difficulty at midnight, placed our hawser, as the tide was rising, but unfortunately the hawser disengaged itself from the pile, and in the night, with the rising tide, we could not find them to go on with the fork, and my hope of passing through during the night was lost. My object was to get into the river so as to make a dash up to Darien by early daylight. We, however, worked hard that day, and by twelve o'clock got through this last obstruction. Between the two obstructions midways, a battery had been built of mud, with the seeming object of firing at the vessels employed in removing the piles, but which could not be observed from those vessels. As we passed the second obstruction and turned the river, we saw the steamers moving off from the wharf at Darien, with full head of steam, going up the Altamaha River.

At sundown I anchored both vessels at Doboy Island, passing, to reach that spot, which is on the Altamaha River, through Mud River at high-water, with just twelve feet. We remained that day at Doboy, the wind blowing quite a gale from south-west to west. As I had lost all hope of the capture of the steamers, and observing several large fires in the neighborhood of Darien, I determined to proceed no further at this time, more particularly as I found that the brasses of the Potomska's shaft-bearing had broken, and I feared she might become disabled. I had indeed accomplished my object, which was to open the inland passage to Darien, and if the Potomska had not been in what I fear a crippled condition, I should have placed her at Doboy, which commands the river outlet, or at Sapelow Island, which commands the entire entrance to the Altamaha and the inland passage to Savannah. Darien has been deserted as was Brunswick; this we learned from some contrabands who came off to us; a company of horsemen only remaining in town, with the intention of firing the place should we approach it. . . . . I have been

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