nearest to the highest land on Wilmington Island
, their farther progress was at least temporarily prevented by a double row of heavy piles driven across the channel.
They anchored and despatched boats from the different vessels to examine numerous creeks and the upper part of the river.
At 5 P. M. five Confederate steamers, one bearing the flag of Commodore Tatnall
, came to anchor at the upper end of St. Augustine's Creek.
The telegraph wire was seen on the marsh between Savannah
and Fort Pulaski
, and was cut. General Wright
and others made careful examination as to the advantage of a military occupation of Wilmington Island
, to which General Sherman
had directed his attention.
At 11.15 A. M. of the following day (28th), five Confederate vessels attempted to pass down the Savannah River
to Fort Pulaski
, with scows in tow. A force of gunboats under Commander John Rodgers
, then in Wright River
, on the opposite side of the Savannah
, and the force under Captain Davis
opened fire on the enemy, which was returned with spirit.
The flag-ship and another steamer of the enemy were sufficiently affected by the fire to put about; the other steamers reached Pulaski
The object, without doubt, was to carry necessary stores to the fort should the vessels intercept further communication.
The distance apart of the two forces between which the Confederate steamers passed measures, on a good chart, three statute miles.
On their return from Pulaski
they chose low tide, and were thus protected from a ricochet fire, as the gunboats lying in the narrow creeks found the marshy banks quite near and high above them.
On the morning of the 29th, at 4 A. M., the Union vessels passed down and out, having accomplished fully the intended object, which was to frighten the enemy as to an impending attack on the city of Savannah
by a sufficient force, this being merely a reconnoissance,