No white persons were in Beaufort
, nor indeed upon the island, and the negroes were enjoying, in the stereotyped language of the Irish orator, ‘the proudest and the happiest day of their existence.’
The South Carolinians
had agreed among themselves, or rather the more violent and dictatorial had proclaimed, that any communication with the National
forces should be considered an act of treason; that every inhabitant must remove himself and family beyond the limits of our occupation.
This entailed widespread misery on all concerned, but fortunately it fell principally upon those who had been active in bringing about the rebellion.
The wretchedness resulting was not the less distressing because it was self-imposed, inasmuch as, if non-combatants had remained, they would not have been molested or interfered with in any manner.
The object, probably, of this insane action was to prevent any weakening of the feeling of intense bitterness which was apparent from everything written or uttered at that time.
Commander John Rodgers
in the Flag
, with the Seneca
, was directed to proceed to the Savannah River
and ‘push his reconnoissance so as to form an approximate estimate of the force on Tybee Island
, and of the possibility of gaining an entrance.’
A day or so before he had made a partial examination from beyond the bar, and arrived at the supposition that the earthworks guarding the entrance had been abandoned.
Arriving at noon of November 24th, he found the bar quite rough and the ranges for crossing it destroyed.
He therefore went on board of the vessel having the least draught, crossed the bar, and shelled the earthworks without receiving a reply.
A closer examination showed that they had been abandoned and dismantled, as was found to be the case at all of the points along the coast