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Northern News. We have received, through our special agent, a copy of the New York Herald, of the 10th inst. We copy the following from its account of the great naval battle of the 8th: We have to record to-day a slight reverse, combined with a reactionary success of the Union Navy, at Newport News, on the James river. The reverse recounts the destruction of two of our old wooden sailing frigates by the rebel naval monster, the Merrimac, and two iron-clad rebel gunboats. The success includes the subsequent defeat of the whole rebel force, and the disabling of the Merrimac by our new Ericsson battery and iron-clad gunboat Monitor. The facts, as officially reported are these: The Merrimac, which is said to be commanded by Capt. Buchanan, late of the Washington Navy Yard, came out of Nor folk on Saturday morning, and, together with the rebel iron-clad gunboats Yorktown and Jamestown, steamed down towards Newport News, where the frigates Cumberland and Congress were lying
Another correspondent of the Dispatch, who witnessed the terrific engagement, sends a long and interesting account, a portion of which we append. After describing the successful attack upon the Cumberland and the Congress, the writer proceeds. It was now about 8 o'clock P. M., when the Confederate steamer Patrick Henry, Capt. Tucker; the Jamestown, Lieut. Barney, and the Teazer, Lieut. Webb, which had been lying near the Rocks on James river, and were attracted by the cannonading, appeared on the scene, and were ordered at once by Commodore Buchanan to open upon the Congress and the perfidiens shore batteries; and never was order more daringly executed, as these slight vassals dashed up to the enemy and literally vomited fire upon them. How they escaped destruction in this unequal conflict, it is impossible to explain, especially as at this hour the Minnesota, the heaviest steamer in the Federal navy, came up from Old Point, and opened upon our squadron, about a mile off
, who fell contending for the libertinism which we now fight for. The right rest again upon the Savannah river, on the brow or a bill which fell to the banks of a creek, beyond which the swamp extended, hoary with moss. The swamp is still there — it a hand of the adventurous pioneer has not yet effaced all the evidences of the rank grow of primeval nature but the creek has become a canal, and from its source the city is supplied with the best of water, and which partakes of the color of James river wan, but which always preserves its even temper, and is seldom raffled to frothy violence. This of works is now at least one mile within those of the present defence; but it is not unreasonable to suppose that bavanush then occupied a smaller proportion of the enclosed area than it does at present; the little germ which Oglethorpe planted has matured into a queenly city, and has become the centre of pulsation for the commercial world of Georgia, and famed for the intelligence and the re