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[208] or 400 men, appeared before Darien, and landing a strong party of negroes burned the town, whose white inhabitants had all left it and were living at a place some distance in the rear, known as ‘the ridge.’ Capt. W. A. Lane of Company D, Twentieth Georgia battalion of cavalry (Maj. John M. Millen), not having force enough in hand to resist the landing, turned all his attention to the protection of the large number of families and valuable property at the ridge until reinforcements could arrive. The woods surrounding Darien were shelled during the burning of the town. The enemy consisted of negroes under white officers. They captured a pilot boat with sixty bales of cotton on board, and carried off some negroes, most of them free.

In addition to the land defenses and the floating battery Georgia, the ironclad Atlanta was still on duty in the Savannah river and adjacent passages. In January, Commodore Tattnall had proposed to attack the blockaders with the Atlanta, but on going down with the first high spring tide found that the engineer officers were unable to remove the obstructions for his passage. When the next high tide arrived he was stationed by General Mercer off Carston's bluff on account of the attacks on Fort McAllister. The government becoming impatient, the gallant old commodore was relieved, and Lieut. William A. Webb was ordered to take command of the Atlanta, with implied duty to do something with the least possible delay. Accordingly on June 17th he got the ironclad under headway before daylight and entered Warsaw sound. There he found two monitors, the Weehawken, Capt. John Rodgers, and the Nahant, Commander Downes, which had been sent for the express purpose of meeting the Atlanta. The monitors were two of the strongest of their class, fighting with a 15-inch and an 11-inch gun behind ten inches of armor on the turrets. Webb gallantly sought to meet his formidable antagonists at close quarters, and it was reported that it

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