The Surge of Gaeta.
--We take the following from a letter in the Constitutional,
dated on board the frigate Garibaldi
, Mola di Gaeta,
I take advantage of a few moments on shore at Mola to send you some details respecting the siege.
On the 21st, about 10 o'clock, and experiment was made with the electric light from General Cialdini
's residence to throw a light upon Gaeta
, so as to enable the artillerymen to point the guns with precision.
On the 22d, at 8 A. M., white 4,000 men were working at the parallels, the fortress opened a terrible fire with 200 guns at once.
Our camp immediately replied to it, and the squadron at the same time received orders to manoeuvre.
At 9 A. M. the Admiral
gave the signal for departure, and ordered the commander of the Garibaldi
to lead the attack.
At 10 A. M., the Garibaldi
was in full way on the fortress.
At 11 she opened fire against the eastern batteries with a view to silence them, and at the same time to throw shells into the fortress.--In this she succeeded.
The other vessels of the squadron soon joined in the attack.
At 6 o'clock in the afternoon the Admiral
ordered the firing to cease, to give rest to the crews.--During the night all the vessels remained in front of Gaeta
; the gunboats alone continued the attack.
On the 23d the Admiral
, after expressing his thanks to the commander of the Garibaldi
, left for Mola, only leaving the Garibaldi
, a steam frigate and two gunboats to cruise before Gaeta
In the space of six hours our frigate sent in 971 projectiles.
Five shells from the fortress struck us, but did little damage.
The steam frigate Constituzione
had two men killed and three wounded. One of the gunboats suffered a similar loss.
The frigate Maria Adelaide
lost one of her band, and had three men wounded.
In the camp the explosion of a powder magazine caused the death of a captain and 22 men. The steamer Etna
, which Francis II.
brought with him when he left Naples
, was sunk in the port with 30 men on board, who all perished.
The attack caused considerable damage to the fortress.
It is suspected that great discouragement prevails in the garrison, as 132 men deserted during the night of the 23d.