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Doc. 112.--reinforcement of Fort Pickens.

U. S. Steam sloop Brooklyn, at anchor off Pensacola Bar, Sunday, April 21, 1861.
Huzza! We have done it. We have satisfactorily settled one important question that has long been agitating the public mind, and that is, whether we were able to reinforce Fort Pickens or not. I have the great pleasure of assuring you this was accomplished between the hours of 11 and 12 o'clock on the night of Friday, the 12th inst., without the firing of a gun, or the spilling of one drop of blood. The manner in which it was successfully done is briefly as follows: A bearer of dispatches arrived from Washington during the day, bringing the orders we had so long anxiously looked for, and as soon as it became dark we began work with a good will, and in earnest. At first the marines from the frigate Sabine and the sloop St. Louis came on board our vessel, and immediately after the accomplishment of this, the anchor was hoisted by the jolly old salts with the merry chant of--
General Jackson won the day
     Heave, yea ho!
At New Orleans, the people say;
     Yeo, Leave yeo!

We ran as close to the shore as possible for us to do, came to anchor, and without a moment's delay, lowered the boats and filled them with troops.

At 11 o'clock, Lieut. Albert N. Smith, of Massachusetts, being in command, they started on their mission, not knowing whether they were facing eternity, or whether they would live to see the light of another day. As they left the side of the vessel, many a “May God cause you to succeed,” came from the lips of the loyal men by my side. If I live a thousand years, I shall not forget the feelings I had when I saw those brave fellows shake hands with all their old comrades, and, as a tear would now and then glisten in the gloom, but be instantly wiped away by a clenched hand, I felt they all knew their danger, and, knowing it, dared to face it with that true courage eminently worthy of all praise, and may they receive it!

The party were instructed to send up signals should they be attacked, and I do assure you never were there keener eyes than ours on that eventful night, as we peered into the darkness, momentarily expecting to see a rocket pierce the midnight gloom; but none appeared. While we were thus anxiously awaiting some evidence of the success or non-success of their mission, a boat is hailed — a faint answer comes back, “Lieut. Smith and the boats' crews,” and in whispering tones we hear the news, “they have been successful” --brother officers shake hands, and give Lieut. Smith that praise justly deserved by him. They went around inside of the harbor, passed under the guns of Forts McRae and Barrancas without being heard, and safely landed all the troops without interruption.

This being so successfully accomplished, it was almost instantly concluded to attempt it again, and so orders were given that all the marines in the squadron should take to their boats, preparatory to being put into the fort; this being quickly done, the steamer Wyandotte took them in tow, and towed them as far as she could go, where they left her, and pulled into the harbor, taking the same course the first party had, and in good time reached the fort, and safely landed all that were in the boats. Just as day was breaking, we saw from our deck the boats shoving off from the beach, and when they returned to us, our anchor was instantly “up,” and we steaming to our old anchorage, with very different sensations than we had when we started for the work. Thus, you [163] see, the Brooklyn has accomplished what she was sent here for, viz.: the reinforcement of Fort Pickens, in spite of their General Bragg, their horde of murderous traitors, and the threats that oceans of blood would be spilled if even the attempt was made. We have done it. It also proves that my views of the entire practicability of such a scheme were very correct.

On Tuesday, the 15th, we were delighted to see the splendid steamer Atlantic sailing into our midst, and we were completely overjoyed when it was ascertained that she was laden with troops, horses, batteries, ammunition, stores, &c., &c., for the fort. The next day the frigate Powhattan arrived, and yesterday the Illinois came among us, laden the same as the Atlantic was; all the forces brought by these transports, together with the guns, ammunition, stores, &c., &c., have been safely transferred to the fort, giving it a thousand or more troops, and, together with the fleet outside, making it impregnable; in fact, with our present force, we think we can hold it against the entire South. The number of rebels in this vicinity is about 6,000, and they are constantly at work erecting batteries along the beach, and fortifying their positions in every way they can. We expect to get some pretty hard knocks in case of an encounter, but may God protect them when our dogs of war are let loose, and are speeding their implements of death.


--N. Y. Tribune, April 25-29.

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