train would leave the city expressly for the transportation of all women and children desirous of leaving. But little heed seemed to have been given to the second admonition.
No demonstration beyond the usual blockade was made by the enemy until Sunday, March 2, about 9 a.m. A bark, bearing French colors, appeared in the offing and hoisted signals for a pilot, whereupon Lieutenant Colonel D. P. Holland went out to her with a white flag, taking with him 6 soldiers of the Fourth Florida Regiment. She proved to be a Federal vessel, and they were captured by the perfidious craft and taken off. I have the happiness to state that they have since been released and are again at their post.
About 10 o'clock the same day several ships hove in sight, bore down near the bar, and anchored. It became evident that an attack would be made on Monday, the 3rd. Our position was critical. As the enemy had full view of my quarters, it was necessary that the usual camp quiet should prevail.
It was not until 6.30 p.m. that I issued the order to break camp and transport everything to the railroad depot. This was effected by 2 o'clock next morning.
At an early hour in the night I received a dispatch from Colonel Styles, saying that from nineteen to twenty-one of the enemy's gunboats were in Saint Andrew's Sound, of which fact Colonel McBlair was duty notified. In consequence of this information he very properly placed his command en route for the city, where it arrived about 1.30 o'clock in the morning.
At 1 o'clock on Monday morning I repaired to town, and at 2.30 a.m. ordered all the troops (three companies of the Fourth Regiment Florida Volunteers excepted) to take up the line of march to the main-land. These three companies I retained for the protection of the citizens and for the more speedy removal of our equipage. No trains were permitted to go beyond 2 miles from the railroad bridge. The rush for succor and aid was perplexing. Duty on one side and commiseration for the sufferers rendered my position very distressing.
At 12 m. I was informed that four of the enemy's gunboats had come around the north end of Cumberland Island and entered the sound.
At 1 o'clock it was reported to me that they were moving across, whereupon I ordered the companies to file across the bridge, and at 2 p.m., in company with Colonel McBlair, I left Fernandina. It was now that all trains should have been removed to a place of safety, and no difficulty would have occurred. The three companies behaved well. There was no confusion; not the slightest. The train fired into was not injured.
On Tuesday, at 4 a.m., I ordered Second Lieutenant Deakle, of Company C, Fourth Regiment, to burn the trestle-work on the side next the main-land, which he accomplished, under fire of the enemy's gunboats, without loss. You are aware, sir, my orders restricted me entirely to my immediate command, Colonel McBlair having full charge of the batteries.
In conclusion, I will add that nothing was lost belonging to my command. My ill-health prevented an earliest report, as well as one more full and complete.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Fourth Regiment Florida Volunteers.
R. H. ANDERSON,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.