The Federal forces — returning fugitive slaves — the steam gun — examining baggage — insults to ladies, &c.
[special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Annapolis, May 27, 1861.
I am enabled by a gentleman going direct to your city to send you a few lines from this point.
The grounds and buildings of the Naval Academy are now occupied by the Thirteenth Brooklyn Regiment, Col. Smith
, numbering about nine hundred men. They are mostly clerks from the city of Brooklyn
,--genteel young fellows of good address, short wind and impassible legs.
With these are amalgamated one hundred and fifty ‘"fire laddies" ’ from Williamsburgs who really constitute the bone and sinew of the corps.
They are drilling constantly, and in this respect have advantages which many of their comrades do not possess.
The battery is a mere nominal affair, consisting of a circular shell of a building, two-thirty- two pounders and one or two howitzers; of ammunition for these pieces they have little or none.
Two thousand determined men could carry the place by storm with nothing but brickbats.
Just across the bay is the Sixth German Regiment of New York.
There they have thrown up one or two batteries to protect them from attack seaward.
The citizens of the surrounding county are much displeased with the arbitrary manner in which their patrols conduct themselves, and the daily insults which are experienced by men and women, especially the latter, is rolling up against them a debt of hate which the people of Maryland
will one day wipe out in blood.
To conciliate the people as far as possible Col. Smith
at this point is returning to their masters fugitive slaves.
No less than eleven have been thus disposed of within the last three weeks. The people understand the bait, however, and are not to be caught with such chaff.
The latter are by no means subdued — only repressed, and when the hour arrives for the volcano to burst, you will see a storm of fires welling up from Maryland
that will compensate for the forced quiet we have heretofore been compelled to observe.
The steam gun is now here, and an object of great curiosity to the Yankees
They flock around it every day, to study its points and seek, if possible, the problem which its inventor kept secret by preserving its most valuable parts.
It is now as useless as so much iron, but I understand that Butler
will shortly dispatch it to Lowell, Mass.
, his home, to be examined by some of the mechanics of that city.
The papers are meanwhile fighting over the credit claimed by different detachments for its capture.
Some two hundred men and a battery were engaged in the laudable enterprise, and the result of the exploit was a man, a boy, and a pair of mules.
Between this place and the Junction
, thirty miles distant, at intervals of two miles or thereabouts, are files of ten or twelve men, who guard the track.
They belong to the 20th Regiment of New York, Col. Pratt
, encamped at the Junction
— composed by the way of Yankees from the country towns and backwoods of New York — milkmen and farmers.
At the Relay House
are two regiments of Massachusetts volunteers, one of these being the same which passed through Baltimore
on the famous 19th of April. They are now venting their vengeance on the women and children who pass up the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, taking every occasion to insult them by looks, words and deeds.
Scrutiny of persons and baggage is more rigid than ever.