The United States rams Lancaster and Switzerland undertook to run the batteries at Vicksburgh. As soon as they came within range, the rebels opened a tremendous fire. The Lancaster was struck thirty times. Her entire bow was shot away, causing her to sink immediately, turning a complete somerset as she went down. All the crew except two escaped. The Switzerland was disabled by a sixty-four-pound ball penetrating the steam drum. She floated down; the batteries still firing and striking her repeatedly, until finally the Albatross ran along-side, and towed her to the lower mouth of the canal. Both these gunboats were improvised from light-built wooden river steamers, and not calculated to sustain a heavy fire.
Brentwood, Tenn., garrisoned by a force of National troops, numbering five hundred men, under the command of Colonel Bloodgood, was this day captured and sacked by the combined rebel forces of Wheeler, Forrest, Armstrong, and Stearns. After the capture, the rebel forces were pursued by a body of Union troops, under the command of General Green Clay Smith, and over-taken near Franklin, Tenn. The Nationals were inferior in numbers to their opponents, who were drawn up in line prepared to receive them, but they immediately made the attack, and, after a brief contest, they routed and drove them for a distance of five or six miles, killing and wounding great numbers of them. In their flight the rebels abandoned the whole of the plunder captured in Brentwood a few hours previous.--(Doc. 147.)
The citizens of Savannah, Ga., were suffering greatly for the want of an adequate supply of provisions. Even corn-meal could be had only in small quantities. The railroads were forbidden to carry any food out of the town.
Governor Brown, of Georgia, sent a message to the Legislature of that State, recommending the passage of an act restricting the planting of cotton to a quarter of an acre to each hand, under a heavy penalty. He also recommended that further restrictions should be put upon the distillation of spirits, so as to prevent the use of potatoes, peas, and dried peaches for that purpose. He was in favor of giving a cordial support to the rebel government.
The Union fleet of iron-clad monitors and gunboats under the command of Admiral Du Point, left Hilton Head, S. C., to-day.
The rebel schooner Clara was this day captured, while trying to run the blockade at Mobile, Ala., by the united States gunboat Kanawha.
The British steamer Dolphin, laden with contraband of war, was captured by the United States gunboat Wachusett off Porto Rico.