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n a larger force than was at my disposal. On the day following my occupation of these works, (October fourth,) I proceeded to dismount the guns, and to move them and the ammunition on board the transport Neptune, which work was completed on the seventh, when I forwarded them to Hilton Head, and caused the magazines to be blown up, and otherwise destroyed the entire works on the bluff. On first occupying the bluff, Capt. Steedman, with his gunboats, proceeded immediately to Jacksonville, for tn sent to Hilton Head for provisions, had so injured herself in returning across the bar as to be temporarily unfit for service, I sent the Seventh regiment Connecticut volunteers to Hilton Head by the steamer Boston, on the afternoon of the seventh instant, with the request that she might be returned to assist in the transportation to Hilton Head of the remaining portion of my command. On the return of the successful expedition after the rebel steamers, on the ninth, I proceeded with that por
d to dismount the guns, and to move them and the ammunition on board the transport Neptune, which work was completed on the seventh, when I forwarded them to Hilton Head, and caused the magazines to be blown up, and otherwise destroyed the entire works on the bluff. On first occupying the bluff, Capt. Steedman, with his gunboats, proceeded immediately to Jacksonville, for the purpose of destroying all boats and otherwise intercepting the passage of the rebel troops across the river. On the fifth, leaving the work of removing the guns from St. John's Bluff to Colonel T. H. Good, Forty-seventh regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, my second in command, I proceeded up the river as far as Jacksonville, in the Ben Deford, with 785 infantry. I observed a large quantity of corn and other crops on the banks of the river, which it was at first my intention either to remove or destroy. This purpose I afterward abandoned as impracticable, not having either forces or transportation sufficient t
ow Bluff, which they appear to have lately evacuated. Jacksonville I found to be nearly deserted, there being but a small portion of its inhabitants left, chiefly old men, women and children. On our first arrival some few rebel cavalry were hovering around the town, but they immediately retired on my establishing a picket line. From the town and its neighborhood I bring with me several refugees and about two hundred and seventy-six contrabands, including men, women and children. On the sixth, hearing that some rebel steamers were secreted in the creek up the river, I sent the Darlington, with one hundred men of the Forty-seventh regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, in charge of Captain Yard, with two twenty-four pound light howitzers and a crew of twenty-five men, under the command of Lieutenant Williams, United States Navy, and a convoy of gunboats, to cut them off. This party returned on the morning of the ninth with the rebel steamer Governor Milton, which they captured in a cre
of the ground, together with their superior knowledge of a country almost impracticable to a stranger, that they effected their escape. On the afternoon of the third, the command of artillery and infantry were in position, at the head of Mount Pleasant Creek, distance about two miles from the enemy's works on St. John's Bluff. I ascertained at Jacksonville that the enemy commenced evacuating the bluff immediately after the surprise of their picket near Mount Pleasant Creek on the third instant. It affords me pleasure to state that the most perfect harmony and good feeling existed between the two branches of the service, in every respect, doubtless othe protection of the gunboats, with a view of intercepting the enemy's retreat, and the remainder stopped at Mayport Mills. It was not until the afternoon of the third, in spite of most determined hurrying, and in the midst of a continued rain, that the troops, horses, and artillery, were got safely ashore, including two twelve-p
untry between this point and St. John's Bluff, presented great difficulties in the transportation of troops, being intersected with impassable swamps and unfordable creeks, and presenting the alternative of a march — without land transportation — of nearly forty miles, to turn the head of the creek, or to reland up the river, at a strongly guarded position of the enemy. On further investigation of the locality, a landing was effected for the infantry, about two o'clock on the morning of the second, at a place known as Buck Horn Creek, between Pablo and Mount Pleasant Creeks, but owing to the swampy nature of the ground it was found impracticable to land the cavalry and artillery at that point. Here the gunboats rendered most valuable assistance by transporting the troops in their boats, and in sending their light howitzers to cover their landing. Col. T. H. Good, with the entire infantry and the marine howitzers, was ordered to proceed immediately to the head of Mount Pleasant Creek
October 5th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 7
obligation to Capt. A. P. Rockwell, First Connecticut light battery, who acted as additional Aidde-Camp, and to the officers of the signal corps, Lieutenants G. H. Hill and F. E. Town, who performed their duties with great satisfaction to me and to the expedition. I have the honor to be, Colonel, most respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. M. Brannan, Brigadier-General Commanding. Captain Godon's official report. United States steamer Vermont, Port Royal harbor, S. C., October 5, 1862. sir: The Department is doubtless aware that an attack by the rebels had been made some time since on the gunboats employed on the inside blockade of St. John's River. A battery had been erected on the St. John's Bluffs, and heavy guns planted, which kept those small vessels in the immediate vicinity of Mayport Mills. Commander Steedman, with a large force, had been ordered by Admiral Du Pont to look to this. Having approached the fort and felt its troops, he urged that troops
September 30th (search for this): chapter 7
retain possession of St. John's River as far as Jacksonville. I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Wm. Godon, Captain Commanding South-Atlantic Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington City. Account by a participant. steamer Ben Deford, St. John's River, Fla., Saturday, October 4--P. M. The military portion of the expedition, under command of Brig.-Gen. J. M. Brannan, embarked at Hilton Head, on the afternoon of September thirtieth, on the steamers Ben Deford, Cosmopolitan, and Boston, accompanied by a smaller steamer, the Neptune, which transported scows and boats for landing purposes. Before leaving the wharf the troops listened to a few pithy words from Gen. Mitchel, in which he reminded them that this was the first movement of his planning in this department, and that they were complimented in being chosen to carry it out. He expected them to accomplish all that they under-took, and, no matter how insignifi
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