, Ellen, Seminole
, Flag, Pembina
, Isaac Smith
, Potomska, armed cutter Henrietta, and armed transport McClellan
, the latter having on board the battalion of marines under the command of Major Reynolds
The army transports followed, the Empire City
, Marion, Star of the. South, Belvidere
, and George's Creek
, carrying a brigade under the command of Brigadier-General H. G. Wright
A black man who had been picked up in a small boat informed the flag-officer
that the Confederates
had hastily abandoned all of the defences of Fernandina
, and were at that moment retreating from Amelia Island
, carrying with them such munitions as their precipitate flight would allow.
The enemy had seen this formidable force enter St. Andrew's and, aware that it would proceed by way of Cumberland Sound
, knew he had not a moment to lose.
He had spent four weary days and nights in the effort to get his heavy rifles out of the strong and isolated sand batteries that guarded the sea approach to Fernandina
, endeavoring to save as much of his heavy ordnance as possible.
He had been aware, too, for some time, that in failing to guard the approach to St. Andrew's he might as well have left St. Simon's
and Jekyl Islands
unfortified, and had even then begun the removal of the heavy guns from them, but the attacking force had no further knowledge than the black man gave as to the situation.
To the enemy it seemed, doubtless, a mean proceeding to enter by a back door when so much careful preparation had been made to receive a force at the sea entrance of the port, but at the last moment he had abandoned everything, and practically it made no difference to him where the vessels entered.
at once detached a force of light-draught