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[222] water over a large bridge built on piles. Just as the gun-boat Ottawa was entering this lake she saw a train of cars passing along its border with the garrison of Fernandina and its supplies on board. She started in pursuit, and chased the train while it was crossing the pile-bridge. She threw several shells after this train, but was unable to overtake it and cut off its retreat. A steamer loaded with war materials and thirteen guns was all that fell into the hands of the Federals.

This easy success led to others. The signal for evacuating Fort Clinch was imitated along the whole coast of Georgia between the bays of Ossabaw and St. Mary. All the white population, seized with panic terror, which the Confederate leaders took good care to foster, followed the retreat of the troops, and abandoned the plantations and villages along the coast to retire into the interior, or to seek shelter in the woods. As soon as he found himself master of Fernandina, Dupont divided his fleet, in order to display the Federal flag simultaneously at all the important points he could reach. One gun-boat took possession of the little town of St. Mary's, and proceeded about fifty miles up the river of the same name, the estuary of which forms the bay already mentioned. Some of his crew were wounded by the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, ambushed along the beach. Captain Godon was ordered to explore the arms of the sea which separate the main land from the chain of islands adjoining the coast to northward, with three gun-boats. On the 9th of March, he had reached St. Simon's Bay. Two large earthworks situated at the contiguous extremities of the islands of Jykill and St. Simon commanded the entrance of this bay on the side toward the sea. Godon found them abandoned; the little town of Brunswick, itself situated at the extremity of the bay, was almost deserted, but two days after, a Federal launch, which had gone in search of provisions, was attacked by parties of the enemy concealed in the neighboring woods, and thus lost several men. From Brunswick the Federal flotilla continued its course, and, passing between the island of St. Simon and the main land, entered the vast estuary of the Altamaha. Godon ascended this beautiful river as far as the small town of Darien, where he found but few inhabitants; but one of his ships having broken her engine, and the others being of too

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