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[87] of it, and the Peabody will be required as a transport for infantry.

These forts, the scene of Gen. Butler's exploit, are nearly in the condition in which they were found by our forces. Fort Hatteras, the nearest to the inlet, is the most important. It is a circular work, riveted with wooden piles, and the sand of which it is composed is double sodded. Four or five of the guns are yet unmounted. Within the circular work are protecting bastions of earth, and a large bomb-proof magazine occupies the centre. The barracks within the work accommodate one company, and are occupied at present by company C, First United States artillery, under Capt. Morris. Fort Clark is a much smaller work, and is occupied by company B, Forty-eighth Pennsylvania volunteers, under the command of Capt. James Wren.

The post is under the command of Brigadier-Gen. Thomas Williams, with the following staff: Assistant Adjutant-General, Lieutenant C. Cook; Brigade Quartermaster, Lieut. H. E. Elliott; Commissary of Subsistence, Capt. John Clark; Lieut. G. C. DeKay, A. D.C.; Lieut. J. C. Biddle, A. D.C.; Brigade Surgeon, Dr. T. H. Bache, son of Professor Bache, of Philadelphia.

The sand-spit on which the forts are erected still bears traces of the bombardment in the form of fragments of bomb-shells and unexploded shells, with a few solid sixty-four-pound shot. The camps further up the island are being entrenched with skilfully constructed earthworks, which will prevent all possibility of a recurrence of such affairs as cutting off regiments, as in the case of the Twentieth Indiana. This affair has been magnified into an undue importance by the newspaper correspondents, who, in the absence of sensation in the humdrum life at Hatteras Inlet, have spread rather extensively on this trifling affair. The truth of the matter is, that the terrible execution by the shells of the Monticello was a joke practised on the credulity of these sensationists, and the only mortality resulting from her fire was the killing of an inoffensive inhabitant of the island. Not one rebel was killed.

The Ninth New-York alone will be relieved at this post by the Sixth New-Hampshire. The Forty-eighth Pennsylvania will not be relieved, as was stated in a previous letter, but will continue to form a portion of the command of Gen. Williams.

Hatteras Inlet, January 20.
The chief object of interest at present, is the difficulty in getting vessels over the bulkhead or swash, within the inlet. Our vessels are nearly all too deep to pass, except at the top of the tide, and even then it is necessary to remove troops, stores and coal, and to blow the water out of the boilers. When the vessels are lightened to the utmost possible degree, they are taken in tow by the light-draft tugs, and at high tide are, with a great deal of difficulty, worked over. An operation that should have been completed before our arrival here, was not commenced until to-day. Soundings are being taken on the bar, and the channel indicated by barrel buoys, on which lights are to be placed at night.

We have just received intelligence of the wreck of the steamer Pocahontas, which was loaded with the horses of the Fourth Rhode Island regiment, of the First battalion Fifth Rhode Island, and the horses of the staff-officers of several regiments, in all one hundred and twenty-three horses. Seventeen horses were brought to the shore, and ninety-six were lost. No lives were lost. The vessel was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in the country. She was built over thirty years ago, and ran from Baltimore to points below, on the Chesapeake Bay. She was chartered by the Government for the present trip only. She was disabled by one of her flues giving out while at sea, and was run ashore about fifteen miles north of Cape Hatteras. The vessel was run ashore on Friday, and the crew, with the horses, did not arrive here until Sunday, after two days travel in the heavy sands of this region.

Propellers and steam-tugs are being sent out to remove the troops and stores from the heavy ships, three or four of which have been anchored off the beach since Monday, the thirteenth. Their draft is too great to admit of them being brought inside, even unloaded, and they will probably be sent back to New York. They can be seen rolling and tossing with the heavy sea that the east and south-east winds of the past two days have driven on the coast.

Albert H. Tucker, of Milford, Mass., a private of company B, Twenty-fifth Massachusetts volunteers, died to-day of pleurisy, and will be buried to-morrow, on the beach. The chaplain of the regiment intends reading the funeral services over the deceased, at which the company to which he belonged, are to be present. Two soldiers of the Twenty-first Massachusetts died of small-pox, and were buried at sea, owing to the infectious character of the disease.

Col. Allen, of the New-Jersey Ninth, left the Ann E. Thompson, accompanied by Surg. Weller, of the regiment, the captain and second mate of the ship, with a crew of ten or twelve sailors and soldiers, in a surf-boat, to report to Gen. Burnside. They were returning to the ship, and when in the breakers outside the inlet, a heavy sea broke over the bow of the boat, filling her with water, and washing the crew back toward the stern of the boat. The Surgeon was trampled into the bottom by the men, who were forced back by the water, and was drowned in the boat. Their oars were washed away, and the boat was thus at the mercy of the breakers, which soon upset her. The Colonel and the second mate of the ship, whose name is James Taylor, were both drowned when the boat capsized; and all hands would certainly have perished, but for the proximity of the tug Patuxent, Captain Jeremiah Bennett, whose pilot, James McIntyre, of Philadelphia, launched the boats of the steamer, which picked up the captain of the ship and the boat's crew. The remains of Colonel Allen and Surgeon Weller will be sent North in the Spaulding, which is daily expected to arrive from Port Royal.

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