Today in History:

83 Series I Volume VI- Serial 6 - Fort Pulaski - New Orleans


26th, with the transports carrying my command, in company with the gunboats, to Warsaw Soung, Ga., where we arrived and anchored about 2 o'clock the same day. The naval portion of the expedition, commanded by Captain Charles H. Davis, U. S. Navy, was composed of the gunboats Ottawa, Captain T. H. Stevens; the Seneca, Captain Ammen; the Isaac H. Smith, Captain Nicholson; the Potomska, Captain Watmough; the Ellen, Captain Budd; the Western World, Captain Gregory, and two armed launches, with their crews, from the Wabash, under the command of Captain C. R. P. Rodgers, U. S. Navy.

It was arranged between Captain Davis and myself that two companies of troops should be placed on board the gunboats and that the latter should proceed to reconnoiter the passage known on our maps as Wilmington Narrows. Accordingly the next morning, the troops having been taken on board, the gunboats proceeded up the Narrows, leaving the transports at anchor in the sound. I accompanied Captain Davis, in the Ottawa. No obstruction to our progress was met with, or any signs of an enemy discovered, before reaching a position in the Narrows between the plantations marked on our sketches as Scriven's and Gibson's. At this point the passage forks, and it was discovered that the one leading to the right was obstructed by a double line of piling of heavy timber, near which we anchored.

Soon after anchoring I went on shore with Captain Rodgers, of the Navy, to examine the lower of the three plantations, taking with us, to cover the landing, the two large launches, each carrying a boat howitzer, and to serve as skirmishers after landing 20 men front the troops were taken, to act in connection with the launches' crews, which were armed with rifles. The place was found to be utterly deserted, with no evidence of its having been occupied for weeks and perhaps months. All the movable property of every description had been carried off. No signs of life were visible. Soon after our return on board, however, a party of some 5 or 6 men were seen from one of the gunboats, who were dispersed by a shot from the vessel.

The following morning, the 28th, I started in a small boat with Lieutenant Barnes, of the Wabash, temporarily with the launches, to examine the Narrows above the piles. Lieutenant Barnes had been over the same ground the evening before, with the black pilot Isaac, to a point which the latter represented as within a short distance of the entrance into Saint Augustine Creek. We proceeded a little farther only, as we came to fast land, where it was probable that pickets would be stationed, and, as we confidently believed, close to the junction of the two creeks. The banks up to this point were of soft mud, rendering it impracticable to land, and overgrown with high grass, which made it difficult to see the surrounding country. We took carefully the bearings of the different reaches of the creek, and, as often as we could see them, of surrounding objects. The sounding nowhere showed a less depth of water than 20 feet, and the width is sufficient for any of the gunboats. The piling above referred to was therefore the only obstacle to the passage of the gunboats so far as we penetrated, and this it is no doubt practicable to remove.

Just as we were preparing to return we perceived the rebel gunboats, five in number, coming down from Savannah, and soon after reaching our vessels the enemy appeared to be within the Savannah River. Our gunboats at once opened fire, as did those under the command of Captain John Rodgers, on the other side of the Savannah River. The leading rebel boat, bearing a flag-officer's pennant, was soon apparently quite disabled, and, turning back, made her way slowly to Savannah in company with