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[234] their great surprise, they have not been in the least molested. Provisions were very high, and very scarce at that. Flour was selling from eighteen to twenty-five dollars per barrel; tea, two dollars and fifty cents to three dollars per pound; coffee, seventy-five cents to one dollar per pound; common shoes, six to eight dollars per pair, and everything else in proportion. The inhabitants are rather in a bad fix. They have no Federal money, and their stock of provisions and merchandise is running short. There was a chance of getting some provisions from the interior, but that is now prevented by the rebels. If the Government at Washington will only allow vessels from the North to come here, the inhabitants will be relieved, otherwise they will either starve, or the army will have to feed them. It is to be hoped that the Government will act promptly in this matter.

The following extract of a letter was found in an old wallet in Fort Clinch, Fernandina, Fla.:

(Copy.)

Nashville, Tenn., February 26, 1862.
dear son: I had not much time to write to you, for we are retreating from Nashville. The d — d Yankees have driven us out of our old quarters, and they will soon drive us out of this place. They are about thirty thousand strong, and fight like devils. I am afraid they will take Stephens, for he only left here yesterday. I don't think the South can hold out much longer, for the people are starving to death, and so are the soldiers up this way. I think they will rebel against themselves. Won't it be awful for us now to give up to the d — d Yankees?


Cumberland Island, opposite Amelia Island, was once the property of General Nat. Greene, of Revolutionary fame, and is now in the hands of his descendants. It was donated by the State of Georgia to the General, for his distinguished services in the cause of human freedom. The plantation and houses are at present deserted, except by a few old negroes. The property is in good order; the walls and gardens are beautiful and well laid. To prevent plundering this Mecca of the South, Gen. Wright has issued the following order:

headquarters Third brigade, E. C., Fernandina, Fla., March 9, 1862.
New-Deugeness, once the property of General Greene, of Revolutionary memory, and now the residence of a descendant, is represented without protection, and liable to plunder by evil-disposed persons of all parties.

I have therefore ordered a guard, composed of one non-commissioned officer and six men, to be stationed at the place, not for its military occupation, but for its protection from marauders, with instructions not to permit any person to enter the premises without a written permission from the headquarters of the senior officer of the naval forces; and that such person shall not be permitted to enter the buildings unless accompanied by a member of the guard, whose duty it shall be to see that nothing is injured or removed.

I have further directed that a white flag be displayed from the premises, to indicate that the place is not occupied for military purposes, and that the guard there stationed is entitled to the immunities which are accorded to the flag by all civilized nations.

H. G. Wright, Brig.-Gen. Commanding.

The following additional order was also issued:

Douglas House, March 6, 1862.
This property, belonging originally to Gen. Nathaniel Greene, a Revolutionary hero and a native of Rhode Island, is now,the property of his grandson, Mr. Nightingale. It is hereby ordered and enjoined upon all who may visit this place to hold everything about the place sacred, and in no case disturb or take away any article without a special order from Flag-Officer Du Pont or Gen. Wright.

[Signed]

John Rodgers, Charles Stedman, Commanders United States Navy. [Approved] S. F. Du Pont, H. G. Wright.

The following order was published for the benefit of the inhabitants of Fernandina:

Order:

The inhabitants of Fernandina, wishing to communicate with their friends beyond the lines, can do so by means of unsealed letters left at this office to-day, March twelfth, 1862.


An order was also issued ordering all persons on Amelia Island, not connected with the rebel army or navy, to immediately present themselves at the office of the Provost-Marshal, in order that their names might be registered and their property protected. Any person failing to comply with the above, will be treated as an enemy of the Government of the United States.

From the inhabitants we learn that the rebels intend to desert all their seaport towns, and then retire into the interior, where they will make a grand fight. It is reported that fifty thousand men can be thrown either into Savannah or Charleston at four hours notice. Brunswick is evacuated. At the high bluff on the St. John's River, about twelve miles from Jacksonville, there was a heavy battery planted, and some five thousand men stationed.

By the contrabands we learn that Jacksonville is evacuated, and that our fleet passed the high bluff without firing a shot. St. John's River is twenty-five miles from Fernandina. It is on the mainland. The fleet was composed of the following vessels, namely:

Ottawa,Co. A,80menFourthN.-Hamp'e
Ottawa,Co. B,70menFourthN.-Hamp'e
Ottawa,Co. C,80menFourthN.-Hamp'e
Ottawa,Band,33menFourthN.-Hamp'e
Seneca,Co. D,69menFourthN.-Hamp'e
Huron,Co. I,76menFourthN.-Hamp'e
Pembina,Co. H,79menFourthN.-Hamp'e
Isaac Smith,Co. K,76menFourthN.-Hamp'e
Ellen,Co. G,80menFourthN.-Hamp'e
     
  643menFourthN.-Hamp'e


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