Friday, June 24, 2016

Diary of Sergeant George G. Smith: April 2, 1862

Seven sail in sight. Spoke brig Free Lanning from Philadelphia bound for Key West. Passed Hole in the Wall and Abaco Island. In regard to the former I saw no wall or hole either, only just two or three rocks standing out in the ocean; but in regard to the latter it was all that is claimed for it. The shore is precipitous, either clay or white cliffs. The ship sailed so close to it I could toss a biscuit on shore, no trees or shrubs growing on it, nothing but grass, thick and short as though goats had browsed it. All was so silent, no living thing was to be seen except I saw a grasshopper fly and snap his wings, and that was all the sound to be heard. The lighthouse is on the extreme southern point of the island, but the keeper had gone and all the lights had been removed along the southern coasts and islands. The Abaco Island for solitude and loneliness can discount Selkirk's Island two to one and have points left. From this time until the 6th we were becalmed most of the time. George Goldsmith of Company K died and was buried in the ocean. The natives from some of the islands came out in boats with fruit and shells to barter with the soldiers.

SOURCE: George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 5-6

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