|Admiral Dupont and officers aboard USS Wabash|
Obtaining passage aboard one of the warships was a war correspondent from The New York Times. Although his report was filed two weeks later, it included a good description of the movement of the fleet south from Port Royal, South Carolina:
...It was a clear starlight night when the fleet weighed anchor and proceeded southward, the navy first, led by the Wabash and Susquehannah, and followed by the transports. The next morning found the fleet anchored off St. Andrew's Sound, about twenty miles from Fernandina. Here the transports and the deep-draught naval vessels remained at anchor all day, while the smaller gunboats went forward to reconnoutre. - Correspondent of The New York Times, March 15, 1862.
The large warships remained off Cumberland Island throughout the day of March 1, 1862, with smaller vessels probing forward. The Confederates at Fernandina and Amelia Island, meanwhile, began to scramble as they realized the strength of the menace approaching them. I will post more on that tomorrow.