vessels, under Commander Drayton
in the Pawnee
, from those that entered the Sound
in line the previous day ‘to push through the Sound
with the utmost speed to save public and private property from destruction.’
This force despatched, at daylight the flag-officer crossed the bar in the Mohican
and proceeded to the sea entrance of Fernandina
, but rough weather prevented the vessel from entering the harbor until the 4th.
In the meantime Commander C. R. P. Rodgers
with three armed launches of the Wabash
had gone on board of the Pawnee
, which vessel was diligently threading her way through the narrow and tortuous channels in the marshes of Cumberland Sound
, followed by the Ottawa
, Isaac Smith
, Potomska, Ellen, and armed cutter Henrietta.
, and Huron
were the only vessels that succeeded in crossing ‘the flats’ at the dividing point of the tides.
The vessels left behind had no pilots, but at high water they got over and groped their way as they best could, as also the transports Boston
, the first with the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania regiment, Colonel Guss
, the second with the marine battalion, Major Reynolds
proceeded with the vessels that had succeeded in crossing ‘the flats,’ until 3 P. M., and when only three miles from Fort Clinch
, the Pawnee
grounded with a falling tide.
He therefore went on board the Ottawa
, to which vessel Commander C. R. P. Rodgers
also proceeded with his three armed launches.
On arriving near Fort Clinch
it was found deserted, and an officer with an armed boat's crew was despatched to hoist the American
flag over it, in order to apprise the flag-officer
off the harbor of the condition of affairs.
The Ottawa continued on. At Old Fernandina a white flag was hoisted.
Passing on, at New Fernandina rifle-shots were fired at the