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[233] the rebels were concealed. The guns being heavily charged with grape, were fired, and the effect was truly appalling. The shrieks of the wounded, and the groans of the dying, could be distinctly heard, while the sailors at the mast-head could see the men falling. The loss of the enemy must have been very heavy, as they were in large squads together. Only five sailors on the Ottawa were wounded and a number of others had their clothes torn by bullets.

On Sunday, March second, prior to the evacuation, the sailing ship Onward, which was blockading the coast, approached towards the harbor of Fernandina. She set up a Jack and French colors. Lieut.-Colonel Holland, an Irishman by birth, with a boat's crew of six men, moved from the wharf at Fort Clinch, and approached within short musket-range of the ship Onward, when she lowered her French colors, and raised the Stars and Stripes. Lieut.-Colonel Holland seeing this, raised a flag of truce which had been lying in the boat, but the ruse did not succeed. He and his men were taken prisoners of war. His design was to pilot the ship in, your correspondent fully believes. A ship was expected about this time with arms and ammunition. He and his men have since been released by order of Gen. Wright, and sent into the enemy's lines under a flag of truce, an act of leniency which your correspondent does not think the circumstances will justify. Had Lieut.-Col. Holland raised his flag of truce the moment he left the wharf, and kept it up until he reached the ship and then have been detained a prisoner of war, the circumstances would have been different. Possibly Gen. Wright's design may be to conciliate the enemy as much as possible.

On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning the troops were landed, and on entering the Fort and town they found both deserted. The latter has about two hundred persons, men, women, and children, both white and black, who were left behind by the rebels.

On Tuesday evening, Capt. Goodrich, of the Quartermaster's Department, with one hundred men, went out on a reconnoitring expedition. About a mile from the depot he found a locomotive and two cars. With Yankee ingenuity he had the engine fired up, and ran her as far as the bridge, about five miles from Fernandina, and which was burnt by the rebels. He then returned to the depot. Four more locomotives, a lot of cars, car-wheels, rosin, spirits of turpentine, and a lot of cotton were captured, the cotton was taken by the schooner McClellan to Hilton Head.

The schooner Surtt, laden with coffee and medicines, etc., was taken, together with her crew, by the gunboat Bienville. A Nova Scotian schooner from Halifax, which had run the blockade several times, was captured a short distance up Pell's River. She had on board a few bales of cotton, and a few barrels of rosin. She ran the blockade a short time since with two hundred barrels salt, fifty barrels pork, fifty barrels potatoes, and a general assortment of dry-goods and groceries, and was to return with a cargo of cotton, rosin and turpentine. A small lighter was also captured.

New-Fernandina is built on Amelia Island, about a mile and a half from Old Fernandina. It has been built within the last five years. Its great increase has been owing to the fact of its being the terminus of the Florida Railroad. It contains about one thousand five hundred white inhabitants, and about three hundred negroes. It has a Baptist, an Episcopal, a Catholic, a Methodist, and a Presbyterian church. The climate is healthy and not very warm for this latitude, as there is a fine breeze constantly flowing from the ocean.

The defences of Fernandina consist of Fort Clinch, which is of pentagonal shape, built of brick and concrete. It has detached towers and bastions, and detached scarps, which are loopholed for musketry. The work is flanked by musketry, not completed; the water-front is nearly finished, and the land-front is not quite up to the top of the loopholes for musketry. The water-front has two thirty-two-pounders in the bastion. On the north side it has one rifled gun and two thirty-two-pounders on the curtain beyond. There was on the beach one rifled gun — a one-hundred-and-twenty-eight-pounder — on a sling-cart, and three thirty-two pounders on the wharf. All the guns were spiked. The Fort had originally twenty-seven guns, but when the rebels evacuated it they carried away eighteen guns to Savannah. There were four thirty-two-pounders and one rifled gun in a masked battery near the wharf at Fernandina. The gun-carriages were burned and the guns spiked. There was also a battery on Cumberland Island, but the guns were removed.

The rebel forces consisted of the Fourth Florida, Colonel Hopkins; one company Third regiment, Colonel Dilworth; one company cavalry — the Marion dragoons--Capt. Owens; one battalion of artillery, six companies, Col. McBlair, garrisoning Fort Clinch and batteries, and one company light artillery, Capt. Martin. Colonel Dilworth commanded the Fort. The Twenty-fourth Mississippi, Colonel Dodd, were stationed on the railroad, about nine miles from Fernandina; the whole under command of Gen. Trappier. The entire force did not number two thousand men, a great number of whom were not effective. They were dying from eight to ten daily. The diseases were principally the measles, the pneumonia, and the small-pox, and superinduced by the troops being badly clothed, badly fed, and badly paid. Bad whisky and exposure to heavy dews at night carried off a great many. The troops were very disorderly, and when the confederates entered the town, a great many citizens left with their families. Those that remained were obliged to endure unnumbered insults, and submit to their provisions being taken from them without a murmur. They could well say: “Deliver me from my friends, I pray you.”

When the Federal troops landed, they expected to be treated more harshly than before, but to

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D. P. Holland (3)
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