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[230] some of which took effect. It was reported that the Hon. David Yulee, late a Senator of the United States, from the State of Florida, escaped from this train, and took to the bush. Corn. C. R. P. Rodgers, pushing ahead with the launches, captured the rebel steamer Darlington, containing military stores, army wagons, mules, forage, etc., and fortunately secured the draw-bridge, which was held during the night by the second launch of the Wabash.

There were passengers, women and children, in the Darlington, and the brutal captain suffered her to be fired upon, and refused to hoist a white flag, notwithstanding the entreaties of the women. No one was injured.

I send the captain of the steamer home, a prisoner. His name is Jacob Brock; he is a native of Vermont, but has been a resident of Florida for twenty-three years.

The same night, Corn. C. R. P. Rodgers ascended the St. Mary's with the Ottawa, and took possession of the town, driving out a picket of the enemy's cavalry.

Early in the morning the town of Fernandina was also occupied by a party of seamen and marines from Com. Drayton's command. In both places most of the inhabitants had fled, by order, it is said, of the rebel authorities.

A company of seamen and marines, under Lieut. Miller, was sent from the Mohican, to hold Fort Clinch.

It is reported to me by Lieut. Commanding Downes, of the Huron, that the whole structure of the railroad on the Fernandina side, including the swinging draw — bridge, is quite uninjured. The rebels have done some damage by fire to the trestle-work on the other side of the river; but I am not yet informed of its extent. Several locomotives, baggage-cars, tenders, freight-cars, and some other property, besides that found in the steamer Darlington, have been recovered.

The whole number of guns discovered, up to this time, is thirteen, embracing heavy thirty-two-pounders, eight-inch guns, and one eighty and one one-hundred-and-twenty-pounder rifled guns.

The towns of St. Mary's and Fernandina are uninjured. I visited the town, Fort Clinch, and the earthworks on the sea-face of the island. It is impossible to look at these preparations for a vigorous defence, without being surprised that they should have been voluntarily deserted.

The batteries on the north and north-east shores are as complete as art can make them. Six are well concealed, and protected by ranges of sand-hills in front, contain perfect shelter for the men, and are so small, and thoroughly covered by the natural growth, and by the varied contours of the land, that to strike them from the water, would be the mere result of chance. A battery of six guns, though larger, and therefore affording a better mark, is equally well sheltered and masked.

The batteries and the heavy guns mounted on Fort Clinch, command all the turnings of the main ship-channel, and rake an approaching enemy. Besides these, there was another battery of four guns on the south end of Cumberland Island, the fire of which would cross the channel inside of the bar. The difficulties arising from the indirectness of the channel, and from the shoalness of the bar, would have added to the defences by keeping the approaching vessels a long time exposed to fire, under great disadvantages; and when the ships of an enemy had passed all their defences, they would have to encounter a well-constructed and naturally masked battery at the town, which commands the access to the inner anchorage. We are told that General Lee pronounced the place perfectly defensible; we are not surprised at this, if true. We captured Port Royal, but Fernandina and Fort Clinch have been given to us.

We had in the expedition Mr. W. H. Dennis, an assistant in the Coast Survey, who possessed accurate local knowledge of a part of the ground we passed over, of which indeed he had made the topographical map, under the direction of the Superintendent. He was zealous and active, and it gives me pleasure to mention it.

The Empire City, on board of which was Gen. Wright, grounded on the bar. As soon as he arrived, (in another steamer,) immediate steps were taken to transfer to him the forts and all authority and possession on the land.

I desire to speak here of the harmonious councils and cordial cooperation, which have marked, throughout, my intercourse with this able officer. Our plans of action have been matured by mutual consultation, and have been carried into execution by mutual help.

I take great pleasure in reminding the Department that one principal and ultimate object of the naval expedition, which I have the honor to command, was, in its first conception, to take and keep under control the whole line of the sea-coast of Georgia, knowing (to use the language of the original paper) “that the naval power that controls the sea-coast of Georgia controls the State of Georgia.”

The report that the fortifications at St. Simon's, armed with heavy columbiads, had been abandoned, which first reached me at Port Royal, is confirmed. This being the case, the entire sea-coast of Georgia is now either actually in my possession, or under my control, and thus the views of the Government have been accomplished.

Very respectfully your most obedient servant,

S. F. Du Pont, Flag-Officer Commanding South Atlantic Block. Squad. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

Commander Drayton's report.

U. S. Steamer Pawnee, Fernandina, March 4, 1862.
sir: In obedience to your order of the second of March, I left at daylight on the next morning, accompanied by the following gunboats and other light-draft vessels, namely: the Ottawa, Lieut. Commanding Y. H. Stevens; Seneca, Lieut. Commanding D. Ammen; Huron, Lieut. Commanding G. Downes; Pembina, Lieut Commanding

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