Highly interesting from Pensacola — particulars of the firing on the Federal launch.
Of the Mobile Advertiser and Register.]
Pensacola, Sunday night, July 14.
and Register was telegraphed last night the fact, that a detachment of the Montgomery
Mounted Rifles had fired upon a boat filed with Federal sailors.
The Rifles, under Capt Clanton
, have for some time been performing the laborious and dangerous duty of guarding the coast in the neighborhood of the East
Pass of Santa Rosa Island
, but without incident until Friday morning. About seven in the morning of that day, a detachment of the company under Capt. Clanton
, discovered approaching the Island
ashore, a small boat or launch from the blockading steamer lying a mile or two distant.
The men immediately concealed themselves behind a ground of sand and a waited their approach to within a very short distance of the ambuscade, when they were discovered by the crew.
The launch immediately stopped, and attempted to pull round, when Capt. Clanton
demanded their approach to the shore.
For a moment it seemed the intention of the launch to obey his summons, when the officer in charge of the boat drew his sword and ordered a return to the ship.
a second time ordered their approach to the shore, accompanied with a threat to fire on them if disobeyed, which was disregarded.
The Rifles then opened fire at a short distance, when the officer in command — supposed to be a midshipman — reeled and fell across the guards of the boat.
He is supposed to be killed or desperately wounded.
Several others in the launch were thought to be hurt or killed, as the boat (an fight oared one) got out of the scrape with the assistance of only two oars.
Nineteen shots were fired at not over a hundred yards. Some of them, it is thought, must have been killed.
The gun of one of the men missed fire the first volley; he claimed the privilege of a fire, however, which was granted, and it was thought with success.
These are all the particulars of the affair I have been able to gather.
These fellows, it seems, have been in the habit of running about in their boats, for some time, near the shore, with the purpose of supplying themselves with water, as well as dropping the lead, and Capt. Clanton
determined to put a stop to their audacity, and set the trap into which they came very hear marching.
Molten lead must have been a poor substitute for the cool spring water with which the rascals have been in the habit of slaking their thirst.
The result of this, some think, may be a serious matter, and that their small boats may retaliate on our coast guard.
Let them try it, if they want Captain Lovell
's little fleet to make 'em ‘"scratch gravel."’
There has been no addition to the squadron for the last day or two at the anchorage.
Like old Patterson
, the fleet is inactive.
, with nearly all his command, has returned to this side.
They are confident of having killed five or six.
They fired at about one hundred yards. The flags of the steamer were at half-mast when they left their retreat for camp.
Three guns were discharged from her, which they suppose were summons to other launches to return or ‘"look out."’