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[423]

We find on the Governor's files a letter dated Atlanta, Ga., April 10, 1863, signed Henry Shelby, and directed to his brother, Captain William Shelby, Co. B, Second Regiment, Georgia Infantry, C. S.A., on which is endorsed by Colonel Browne, ‘The within is a copy of an original letter taken in the engagement at Chancellorsville, by a sergeant in an Ohio regiment.’ This letter gives an account of a visit to Atlanta by Jefferson Davis, and of a conversation held by him in regard to the ‘Alabama’ visiting Boston. A portion of the letter is too vulgar to quote. It says,—

President Davis was here a few days ago, and said that the “Alabama,” with four others that will be dreaded as much as she has been, will make the Yankees a call some time in June, at Boston or Portland; and won't they shell out? Davis said the forts might try to play ball a little, but they are so fast sailers they could not hurt them much. Won't Governor Andrew look as black as some of his Southern friends, when one of our big shells just bids him goodmorn-ing in the State House. Then Boston people can see how good it is to have their homes destroyed; for, before they can get out any thing at the Navy Yard, we can knock them. Any way, how I should like to see the fun! Now, William, after you have read this, burn it up; don't tell any one what is in it, as the visit must be kept a secret, as it would be rather tough to have them know of it. Davis said it must not be known, as they could run off in disguise, and come on in a hurry. Don't put it in your pocket, as you might forget it. Are you all right to give it to Hooker's Yankee mob? We hope to hear a good account soon from you. Your family are all well.

There can be no doubt of the genuineness of this letter, and that it was contemplated by the Confederate Government to have Semmes and his associate pirates make a dash upon Boston or Portland, and damage the ‘Yankees’ as much as possible. But in this case, as in many others, discretion became the better part of valor.

On the twenty-third day of May, Robert C. Winthrop, of Boston, inclosed a letter to the Governor, which he had received from the American consul at Malta, a kinsman of his, giving information in regard to a portion of the British fleet stationed at that port, that had been ordered to Halifax; and, should a war occur between America and England, the first

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