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. With British fleets in the Chesapeake, in the lakes, and on the Mississippi, and Southern armies stretching along the frontier from Harper's Ferry to St. Joseph, Mo., the North would have a frontier to defend more difficult even than that stretching from St. Paul's, Minnesota, in the far West, along the Southern border of the lakes to the Province of New Brunswick, in the far East. On the sea, their trouble would be very great. A powerful British fleet coming into the mouth of the Chesapeake would soon starve out Fortress Monroe, and the gravest folly and blunder of our Southern campaign — the loss of that key to Southern triumph — would be regained. An army of forty thousand men would be at once released from inactive guard duty at Norfolk and on the Peninsula, and forty thousand men and markets be added to our defences on the Potomac, in Western Virginia, in Kentucky, and Missouri. The possession of Fortress Monroe would give the South a navy, and place her at once on the
of commerce. In selecting locations for these towns none seemed to offer better advantages than a district called by Capt. Smith, Nansamund, situated on the Elizabeth river, and on the 8th day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and eighty, seventy-three years after the settlement of Jamestown, the Assembly aking preparations to defend themselves, and threw up fortifications around the town. The first battle fought was at "Great Bridge," on the north bank of the Elizabeth river, a few miles from the city, which took place on the morning of December 9th, 1775. Lord Dunmore dispatched 200 regulars and 300 blacks and tories to capture t the pen of Mr. William S. Forrest, entitled, "The Great Pestilence in Virginia." Norfolk is now a city of much importance, it is situated upon the Elizabeth river, as it widens out to the sea, eight miles from Hampton Roads, and thirty-five from the ocean. It has somewhere in the vicinity of fifteen thousand inhabitant
ed to "Bohemian, box 178, Norfolk," letters will reach me. In approaching the city on the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad, one of the first objects that strikes the eye of a stranger is the fine suspension bridge over the east branch of Elizabeth river, terminating within a few hundred yards of the town. It is a splendid structure, and is so pleasing in appearance and so symetrical in contour, that I venture to give a slight description of it. Commencing at the bottom, then, I will say ths own gravity.--But, enough of this, as I am not writing an essay on bridge-building, but merely putting down a few random thoughts which presented themselves while standing before Frink's patent suspension bridge over the east branch of the Elizabeth river. The news of the defeat at Somerset was received here with a great deal of sadness and hints of mismanagement on the part of general officers were freely bruited about.--As no definite information, beyond that contained in the Yankee ac
ry. They regard his resistance of the demand for a "forward movement," and the silent energy he has evinced, as marks of generalship of the highest order, and of a determination to work out his plan of operation despite the complaints of those who do not comprehend his purposes. With regard to the steamer Merrimac, with her encasement of railroad iron, Mr. Taylor is of opinion that the report of the contraband as to her efficiency is not reliable. As he came out of Norfolk he saw a vessel in the stream, near the Navy-Yard, which he presumed was the Merrimac, but he says that she is regarded in Richmond as a failure. Her load of iron is said to be too heavy, and that she would not answer her helm during a recent trial trip. As she is intended to be used principally as a "ram," this is regarded as a fatal defect. Her draught of water is also so great that she cannot pass the obstructions that have been placed in the Elizabeth river to prevent the ingress of Federal vessels.
Sketch of Elizabeth City. --Elizabeth, City is the capital of Pasquatank county, North Carolina. It is situated on the right bank of the Pasquatank river, about twenty miles from its mouth, 215 miles cast by north of Raleigh, and about thirty miles south of Norfolk, Va. It is also a post town, and is considered one of the most important towns in the northeastern part of the State. It has a water communication with Norfolk, which is reached by going twenty miles up the Pasquatank river, thence twenty two miles by the Dismal Swamp Canal to Elizabeth river, Virginia, thence nine miles to the latter city. It contains a court house, jail, three churches--one Baptist, one Episcopal, and one Methodist--an academy, four seminaries, two banks, thirty five stores, three newspaper offices, issuing two weekly newspapers and a semi-monthly publication, and a population estimated at two thousand Vessels drawing seven feet of water can come up to it with the greatest ease.
se whom they have deceived and ruined. "foreign Interference." A Fortress Monroe letter (dated March 31) says: The British war steamer Rinaldo, which for several weeks past has been anchored outside our fleet off the mouth of the Chesapeake, got up steam this morning and proceeded to a new anchoring ground, midway between the Fortress and Newport News. This strange proceeding — for strange it is — deserves an explanation. The point this steamer is now anchored is directly in thored outside of our fleet, and subsequently steamed to a point about a half mile south of the Government wharf and cast anchor, so as to put his vessel a short distance from and outside the Monitor, thus obscuring the view from the latter of Elizabeth river, Sewell's Point, and other points necessary for the latter vessel to watch against rebel encroachment. One week has elapsed since this occurred, and yet the commander of the French steamer has not seen proper to move his vessel out of the w
., had received no practical answer. The James river is practically closed to our fleet so long as the Merrimac and her consorts have the freedom of Hampton Roads. The only way we can raise the blockade is by blocking up the narrow part of Elizabeth river with stone laden bulks, thus barring the door against any further annoyance and allaying anticipations of attacks, from the fancy rebel craft. The measure is perfectly feasible at any time the Flag- Officer so directs. Until then we are lihey did not. A large rebel flat-bottomed boat has been busy all day to-day conveying troops from Craney island to Sewell's Point. The regimental banner of one of the rebel corps was seen distinctly as they were being ferried across the Elizabeth river. The rebellion Settled in a Hurry. The New York Herald again closes up the war on this continent, and makes the wonderful prediction that two weeks will bring the matter to a close: It is a singular fact that at the present ti
rtment, commands Fort Macon. Loss on our side, one killed and eleven wounded. Jno. E Wool, Major-General. News from Norfolk — Via Fortress Monroe. A dispatch from Fortress Monroe, of May 2d, gives the following: Three refugees from Norfolk left last night in a row boat, and arrived at half-past 7 o'clock this morning. There is little news except a repetition of previous reports. Commodore Tatnall received sealed orders on Monday and sailed, but opening them in Elizabeth river, found he was ordered to run the blockade and proceed to York River. He therefore returned to Norfolk and immediately resigned his commission, together with his chief officers. There was general expectation in Norfolk that the Merrimac would come out for the last three or four days. Refugees say that there are several hundred Union men in Norfolk known to be such, and many others who keep quiet, including many of the soldiers. There are six or seven thousand troops under Gen
nds of dollars upon their pet scheme was no trifle for them, and every precaution was taken to prevent a failure.--They constructed a trap at the mouth of the Elizabeth river, so that in case the Merrimac should be compelled to flee from an untasking force, the parading ships might be ensured and compelled to surrender. The channel of the Elizabeth river was staked out with piles so that a clear channel of from seventy to ninety feet only was left by which Norfolk could be approached. Just beyond the mouth of the river, the Germantown was moored with springs upon her cable and ready for instant movement. The ship was also prepared, by boring, so that of the pursuing vessels. By examining the principle upon which a rat is trapped, one may readily see what would have been the position of our "cheese box" in Elizabeth river with the bars put up. All our efforts to release her would have proven futile, and we should have been compelled to record a far greater disaster than the los
lowed by the sloop-of-war Seminole and the San Jacinto. The flag-ship Minnesota is also under steam. Twelve O'clock.--The Naugatuck has moved up towards Elizabeth river, followed by the Monitor and Dacotah in line of battle. The San Jacinto follows slowly. Heavy firing can still be heard from the direction of James riveown's a number of shells in the same direction. Quarter past Two O'clock P. M.--The Monitor and Dacotah are moving along again slowly up the mouth of the Elizabeth river. A dense black smoke has commenced to rise from Sewell's Point, indicating that our incendiary shells thrown there have fired the barracks. The Dacotah connnesota and Vanderbilt have gone back to their anchorage. The Dacotan again proceeds up towards the Merrimac, and the Monitor starts towards the mouth of the Elizabeth river. The Dacotah is now within an easy range of Sewell's Point, but the batteries there do not open on her. She and the Monitor have both stopped, and the Merrim
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