Challenge for a naval Engagement.
--We learn that on Saturday last the Confederate war steamship Patrick Henry
, formerly the Yorktown
, came down James river
to within a mile or two of Newport News, and offered a challenge for combat to a large United States
frigate lying off that point.
So great was the agitation and confusion on board the frigate, it is said, that they did not take time to furl their awnings, but pulled them right down and beat to quarters.
The Patrick Henry
stopped off at her position, with her ports open ready for a combat, if she could induce the Yankee
to come from under the guns of the shore-battery; but the latter positively declined the invitation, and stuck to her safe place.
It is believed by those who witnessed the operation that the Patrick Henry
would have ventured battle regardless of the shore battery, but for the presence of two or three Federal gun-boats.--Norfolk Day Book.