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Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.Affairs in Norfolk and Portsmouth. Norfolk, Va., April 11, 1861. Great excitement prevailed here yesterday, out of the fact that a number of dispatches had been received stating that seven war steamers were off Charleston harbor, and of the official information to Gov. Pickens of the intended reinforcement of "Fort Sumter." --Many of our Union men, I have reason to believe, were converted then to the ranks of the Secessionists. The secession feeling, I have some ground of believing, is gaining strong hold upon our citizens; and now, since the war rumors that have reached us, many are for immediate secession. A petition to this effect was lately sent to our representative in the Convention, signed by a number of our most prominent citizens. Our city press teem with rumors of this kind, and are anxiously perused by our people. A great deal of excitement is expressed to hear the latest news from Charleston, and our papers will b
ecedented in the annals of war. In the midst of the negotiations a fleet, larger than England keeps up in the Channel, an army of three thousand soldiers, with an immense amount of munitions of war, has been suddenly sent by the Government to attack Morris' Island, and force provisions, and probably men, into Fort Sumter. Simultaneously with this most menacing movement, the Southern Commissioners have been cavalierly dismissed from Washington, and a formal notification sent by Lincoln to Gov. Pickens that he was about to provision Fort Sumter, peaceably, if he could; forcibly, if he must. Even then, with this thunderbolt suspended over their heads, the Confederate Government gave Major Anderson an opportunity for a peaceable evacuation of the fortress.--But their call for a surrender he refused, intimating that he might be compelled by starvation to evacuate in a few days, whereas it was that very necessity which Lincoln's fleet and army had been sent to prevent, a fact of which
ing, at 4½ o'clock, the batteries of the Confederate troops in Charleston harbor opened fire on Fort Sumter. Ex-President Tyler yesterday afternoon received by telegraph from John Tyler, Jr., at Montgomery, Ala., the following copy of the official correspondence which took place before the bombardment commenced: [no. 1.]Gen. Beauregard's Dispatch to the Secretary of War. Charleston April 8, 1861. To L. P. Walker Dear Sir --An authorized messenger from Lincoln has just informed Gov. Pickens and myself that provisions will be sent to Fort Sumter, "peaceably if they can, forcibly if they must." G. T. Beauregard. [no. 2.]reply of the Secretary of War to Gen. Beauregard. Montgomery April 10, 1861. To Gen.Beauregard, Charleston: If you have no doubt of the authorized character of the agent who communicated to you the intention of the Washington Government to supply Fort Sumter by force, you will at once demand its evacuation; and if this is refused, proceed in suc