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[232]

In conclusion, I have only to express the great obligations I am under to Commander Rodgers and Lieut. Commanding Stevens. Except for the former and his boats, we should scarcely have been able to capture the steamer; and had it not been for the constant watchfulness and good management of the latter, his vessel would not have been able to follow the Pawnee so far as she did without a pilot, and thus at last enable us to act on the afternoon of the third, instead of waiting for the next morning, which would otherwise have been necessary.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. Drayton, Commander Commanding the Pawnee. To Flag-Officer S. F. Du Pont, Commanding South Atlantic Squadron, U. S. S. Mohican, Fernandina Harbor.


Baltimore American narrative.

Fernandina, Florida, March 10, 1862.
Another bloodless victory has been won. Another point occupied and another chapter of Gen. McClellan's plan has been unfolded. Fernandina is now occupied by the Union forces. The Stars and Stripes are once more unfolded to the breeze in that ancient city. Finding that it would not be prudent to attack the city of Savannah with the small force which Gen. Sherman had under his command, he determined to attack Fernandina, Florida, and Brunswick, Georgia. In conjunction with Commodore Du Pont he arranged the expedition, which left Hilton Head on the afternoon of February twenty-seventh and the morning of February twenty-eighth, and arrived at Warsaw Sound at twelve o'clock M. At evening they left Warsaw Sound in the following order: Wabash, Susquehanna, Florida, Flag, Ottawa, Seneca, Huron, Pembina, Isaac Smith, Penguin, Pawnee, James Adger, Potumska, Pocahontas, pilot-boat Hope, Seminole, Ellen, Alabama, Henrietta, Mohican, sailing ship Onward. Transports — Empire City, containing General Wright and staff, and the Fourth New-Hampshire regiment; Star of the South, Ninth Maine and towing schooner Sarah Cullen, having stores on board; Marion, towing schooner J. G. Steele, with army stores; Belvidere, having on board Hamilton's battery and towing schooner R. J. Mercer with army stores; Boston, having on board Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania, and towing schooner Susan F. Abbott, with army stores; George's Creek, towing schooner Blackbird, with army stores.

The fleet entered St. Andrew's Sound Sunday morning at ten o'clock, March second, and lay all evening until eight o'clock Monday morning. A portion of the light gunboats then went around Cumberland Island, whilst the balance of the fleet went by sea. The Wabash and Susquehanna having previously gone ahead of the gunboats, and arrived off Fernandina on Sunday morning at ten o'clock. As soon as it was known at Brunswick, Georgia, that the gunboats had left Warsaw Sound and entered St. Andrew's, it was telegraphed immediately to Fernandina, Florida. The garrison in Fort Clinch decided to remain when they saw the frigates, and to give them battle, but as soon as they heard of gunboats being in the expedition, they evacuated the Fort at two A. M., Monday morning, March third.

On Tuesday morning, March fourth, at half-past 9 A. M., the transports weighed anchor and followed the Mohican, and arrived at the bar off Fernandina at eleven o'clock. At half-past 12 o'clock P. M., Gen. Wright and staff were transferred from the Empire City to the Belvidere, and at two o'clock were landed at the wharf. In the mean time the gunboats arrived by the way of Cumberland Sound, and the Ottawa being fired upon from a railroad-train, returned the fire, killing two men, M. Savage and John M. Thompson, both clerks in stores in Fernandina. The Ottawa continued to fire at the train, but the conductor having cut off some of the rear cars and put on extra steam, managed to escape. The steamboat Darlington was not quite so fortunate.

The Ottawa pursued her, firing at her eleven-inch shells, but her captain did not surrender until he ran aground, although the boat was crowded with men, women, and children, and although he was appealed to by the women on their bended knees, for God's sake, to surrender. The cries of the women, the shrieks of the children, and the bursting of the shells around the boat, did not melt the obdurate heart of the unmerciful wretch. For the sake of the almighty dollar, he was perfectly willing that every soul on board should perish. His excuse for not surrendering at first was that he would be charged with cowardice by the rebels, had he acted differently; but the true reason was he owned the boat and a part of the negro crew. The captain's name, which deserves to be handed down to posterity with execration for his inhumanity and treason, is Brock, from Connecticut. He has been residing here for thirty years, and has accumulated a large fortune. He owns about one hundred negroes, besides plantations, etc. The Engineer's name is John Curry, from the North. Henry G. Limgrene, a surgeon in the confederate regular army, and J. S. Driggs, Esq., a citizen in Jacksonville, Florida, from Long Island, New-York, were among the prisoners taken. Mr. Driggs is a Union man and was obliged to go on board the steamboat, the order being given for all citizens to leave the town. He has taken the oath of allegiance, and intends going North by the first steamer. Ex-Senator D. L. Yulee, one of the most prominent men in Florida, escaped by a small boat to the main-land. He was among the last to leave and came near being caught.

The Ottawa, after the capture of the Darlington, steamed up the St. Mary's River to Albertis' plantation, this side of King's Ferry, and fifty-two miles from Fernandina, for the purpose of reconnoissance. On returning, as they were approaching a bend in the river, (the water being shallow, they were obliged to keep close to the bank,) they were fired upon by the Twenty-ninth Mississippi. A perfect hail-storm of bullets fell upon the deck. All the guns were immediately brought to bear upon the bushes behind which


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