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Southern War News.

Expected battle in Kentucky--the Federal winter blockade--Rev. Drs. Plumer and Converse--Gen. Walker's expedition to the Potomac — Incidents, &c.

From the latest exchanges from the South received at this office, we make up the following summary:

Expected battle in Kentucky.

The Nashville Gazette says:

‘ Army movements very clearly indicate the probability of an early and perhaps extensive engagement between the Federal and Confederate forces at some point on the Louisville and Nashville road, between the towns of Bowling Green and Elizabethtown. Already have collisions occurred between the outposts of the two belligerents, a circumstance of itself portending the shock of battle. The struggle is imminent, but we indulge no fears as to its issue. The fullest confidence in the skill of our commanders, in the valor of our troops, and in the justice of our cause, leaves us no room to apprehend that the victory will not be ours.

A rumor from Mississippi sound.

It was reported in the city, says the Mobile Advertiser of the 12th, that the enemy had made an attack on Pass Christian, and occupied the place after cannonading and shelling it. The rumor ran that they came over from Ship Island, in launches and flats, in strong force. All this is said to have occurred yesterday. The report of it is stated to have come in ‘"broken doses"’ by the telegraph line, from the Hannsboro' Station, at which point it was said the great cannonading at the Pass was distinctly heavy for some hours. The truth of these things could not be well ascertained, as communication by the Mobile and New Orleans line was cut off. It was reported that the operators discovered that a strange hand was tinkering with the instruments at Pass Christian last evening — supposed to be an amateur operator who came with the Lincoln bombarders.

The Federal winter blockade.

The Wilmington Journal observes that to keep a force on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts during the winter, the Federals must have possession of some harbor or harbors south of Cape Hatteras, say Beaufort harbor in North Carolina, or Port Royal harbor in South Carolina, and either Brunswick, Georgia, or Fernandina, Florida. Their only chance on the Gulf is Key West, but in certain states of the wind neither that nor the Tortuga is safe, and the last named is deficient in water. It they try to get into Pensacola or Mobile the effort will be costly. Without a harbor of refuge in nearly three thousand miles of dangerous coast, a winter blockade could hardly be kept up.

Stranding of the Ship Thomas Watson.

This incident of the blockade has been announced briefly by telegraph. The Charleston Courier says that the ship was of Mobile, Ala., from Liverpool for Charleston. She was loaded with a cargo of 3,200 sacks of salt, and had successfully got inside the blockading fleet, but did not make the bar. Her officers and crew took to the boats and arrived safely at Stone Inlet. Her crew will, no doubt, reach this city at an early moment, and we await further information from her with anxiety, as she will probably be burned or taken in possession by the Lincoln fleet.

Rev. Drs. Plumer and Converse.

A correspondent of the Charleston Mercury, writing from Richmond, says:

‘ The list of our religious weeklies embraces also the Christian Observer, edited by the Rev. Dr. Converse. This noble old man, at the time of the John Brown raid, was one of the very few Northern men who took our side fully and unequivocally. Nor was he driven from his stand when our present troubles burst forth. Rather than relinquish his convictions, he abandoned house and home, property and friends, all that he held dear. Many years ago he resided in this city. In 1837 he was accused by Mr. Plumer of being an abolitionist, and with such virulence that he was driven to Philadelphia. Now, Plumer holds a snug professorship in an abolition college in Pennsylvania, and Dr. Converse is an exile and a wanderer for upholding the Southern cause! This simple fact should plead eloquently for him — aged, despoiled, and harmless as he is.

Gen. Walker's expedition to the Potomac.

We are permitted to make the following extract from a letter of recent date, written from Fairfax:

‘ "General Walker was ordered, with three regiments of infantry, a battery of artillery, and one company of cavalry, to march to three different points on the Potomac, make a display and try to burn, with hot shot, a large warehouse, on the Maryland side, used as a barrack for a large number of the enemy. We marched from here Sunday morning and reached the Potomac in the afternoon. At two o'clock next morning we placed the battery of six pieces rifled cannon in position on an eminence overlooking the house we were to fire at, which was nearly a mile off. We then waited very patiently until daylight; but much to our disgust, when day dawned it was accompanied by such a dense fog that it was impossible to see twenty yards distant. Mind you, all this time the enemy did not dream we were any where in the neighborhood.

"About an hour after sunrise the fog cleared a day, and revealed to us several hundred of the enemy on drill. The sight was grand, the beautiful Potomac flowing several hundred feet below us; on our side the cannoneers all standing at their guns, the gunner with lighted torch, silent and determined; on the opposite shore the enemy on drill, their bayonets gleaming in the sun. The next minute the captain of the battery, in a stern voice, gave the command, 'Battery, fire!' and the six pieces vomited forth their leaden missiles, whereupon, instead of returning our fire, the enemy immediately broke ranks and ran in the utmost confusion, up a hill, where they were concealed from our view by a dense growth of woods, from which they fired at us several rifle shots, without effect. You never saw such scampering in your life; it was truly laughable. We fired 156 shot at the house, and struck it a great number of times; 24 red hot shot went to the mark, and twice we set it on fire slightly, but the fire went out.--We distinctly saw them carry off two dead; how many more were killed, we do not know. We then marched to another point about five miles distant, when they fired several rifle shell at us, but again without effect.

"On Tuesday morning we reached our camp at this place, having marched 58 miles, and displayed ourselves at three different points on the Potomac, so rapidly as to mislead the enemy and make them think there were three separate columns. All this in two days; pretty quick work, was it not? It was merely a feint movement we were ordered to execute."

The Utter Annihilation of the Union.

Mr. Breckinridge, in his recent address, (an interesting portion of which we published on yesterday,) says:

‘ The United States no longer exists. The Union is dissolved. For a time, after the withdrawal of the Southern States, and while there was a hope the rupture might be healed, it might be assumed that the Union was not yet dissolved, and such was the position of Kentucky in declaring her neutrality and offering her mediation between the contending parties. But time has now elapsed, and mighty events have occurred which banish from the minds of reasonable men all expectation of restoring the Union. Coercion has been tried and has failed. The South has mustered in the field nearly as many combatants as the North, and has been far more victorious. The fields of Manassas and Bethel, of Springfield and Lexington, have worked with a terrible and sanguinary line the division between the old order of things and the new.

Kentucky items.

We take the following items from the Bowling Green Courier:

‘ All confirm reports from Louisville and other points, that apathy towards the Federal cause prevails among the people.

Judge Fry, formerly county Judge of Boyle county, and a cousin of the Messrs. Speed at Louisville, lately made two speeches in Danville for recruits. At the end of the second speech, one fellow approached Judge Fry, and said he would follow him to the cannon's mouth, whereupon, being stupidly drunk, he was recruited. Having sobered up, he deserted the next morning, and is now supposed to be in the Confederate service.

One of our informants states there were about six hundred men (reported) at Greensburg under General Ward, well armed, having one brass cannon. General Ward sent word to General Buckner to look out, that he was coming to take him.

General Zollicoffer had reached London, in Laurel county, before our informant left Danville, which was on Saturday, and was advancing. The people of Madison county had met in Richmond, their county seat, and subscribed four hundred beeves for General Zollicoffer's army, and offered to find them for ninety days. Madison county is nearly unanimous for the South, and the enthusiasm is great. Cassius M. Clay's residence is in that county.

Interesting correspondence.

The following interesting correspondence has recently transpired between Mrs. A. Meade Goodwin, of Greenville, Va. and General Beauregard:

September 17, 1861.
General Beauregard:
--Being unaccustomed to our chilly atmosphere, and fearing cold weather will find you regardless of self, permit me to have the pleasure and honor of contributing a small gift towards your protection in camp life by presenting the worsted comfort to you. It is a piece of work of several years' making, having designed it for my venerable relative, Bishop Meade. While he will enjoy the luxury of a home fireside this winter, it may be denied the commanding General of the Potomac.

The other little gifts you will find warmer and more durable than you could, purchase. --May the God of Battica lay around you the arm of his protection, and crown all your efforts with success.

I am, most respectfully,
Mrs. A. M. G., of Greenwood, Greenville, Va.

Fairfax Court-House, Va., Sept. 27, 1861.
Dear Madam:
--Permit me to thank you most kindly for the beautiful comforter and other presents you had the goodness to send me by Capt. Griswold, of the 1st Virginia Volunteers. I only regret that I have not the name of the kind donor to associate with them.

The comforter is so exceedingly beautiful, and shows so much taste, skill, and patience in its construction, that I shall have to keep it more as a work of art than of use, and on it I will inscribe, ‘"Regardez moi ne touchez pas."’

Our cause is so righteous and sacred that the God of Battles has and will protect it. All that is required for final success is, that we should be true to ourselves, and that we should adopt as our motto, ‘"Victory or death!"’ Who would dare to refuse to do so, and prefer to live a vassal of the North? I, for one, would rather see the last of my name and blood perish in the struggle, than witness such a degradation of my country.

With much respect, dear madam, I remain your most obedient servant,
G. T. Beauregard, Mrs. A. M. G., of Greenwood, Hicksford Post-Office, Greenville co., Va.

The enemy on the Southern coast.

The Mobile News, of Tuesday, says:

‘ Last evening a courier arrived from the coast bearing dispatches to General Withers that the enemy's forces menaced a landing, from the fleet outside, at the "Point of Pines" With this courier the writer had an interview, and he stated that two launches, at least, had been seen to come in. This has naturally created a general interest, though but little excitement, this people not being of the "sensational" order, for the reason that they have strong nerves and strong confidence in the defensibility of the city against the worst efforts of the enemy.

It is suited to the times to inquire as to what work the enemy will have to do, and how long it will take them to do it, before they can march a column upon us from a point of landing on the coast. Supposing that they are undisturbed in making that landing — which is scarcely possible, for we have gun vessels which can come out of Lake Pontchartrain and Mobile into the Sound to play havoc with their launches, their heavily armed, light draught gun-boats not being yet in readiness. Supposing that they are undisturbed, it will take them many days to do the work, to wit: to first land a force of fifteen or twenty thousand men — for they would not make a real demonstration against this well-guarded city of thirty-thousand inhabitants with less — with their horses, batteries, wagons, supplies and equipments generally; and, secondly they would have to entrench a camp at the point of landing to secure them against being cut off from their place of disembarkation.

Thus we may calculate that ten days at least, a fortnight, or probably more, would elapse before their force could attempt a movement of advance, and when they did advance it would be to experience signal reverses at every point and final defeat. While preparing to move, the troops now in the service for the defence of the city, and thousands more by rail and river from the interior, would be gathered about the enemy's camp, and every defensible avenue of approach to the city would be guarded by brave men fighting on their native soil. The rifled cannon of our artillery would be plunging shot into their camp, and our skirmishers would cut off every scout endeavoring to spy out the roads to the Gulf city and the positions of its defenders. The enemy would find fifteen thousand men too few to attempt advance and to keep the road of retreat open behind them; and by the time they could get fifteen thousand more, their thirty thousand would be too few. We can reinforce faster than they.

The Mississippi after the fight.

The New Orleans Picayune, of the 16th, says:

‘ We have conversed with one of the officers in command of this gallant expedition, who gives us some facts we have not heard before. He says that the sight of the blazing fireships as they approached the Richmond, which was giving chase to the Manassas, after she was disabled, and when the latter was upon the point, as it seemed, of falling into the hands of the enemy, was fearfully grand. The commander, Captain Warley, had determined, rather than that this should occur, to blow her up, and in this determination he was enthusiastically seconded by all on board his little craft. But the opportune presence of one of our boats, sailing in the very midst of the fireships, all in a blaze, and bearing down on the Richmond, rendered this unnecessary by putting the sloop-of-war to flight. Not liking such hot work as seemed to be preparing for her, she made the best of her way to deeper water, and more sea room.

Our informant is of opinion that the vessel hit by the Manassas was the Preble. The Commodore does not express so decided an opinion on this point. All agree that, whether it was the Preble or the Vincennes, she received a terrible, if not an utterly ruinous, blow.

At last accounts there was one less steamer at the Passes than at the close of the action of Saturday. The Water Witch was seen to go away, probably with dispatches, and the inference from these observations is that the vessel struck by the Manassas had sunk in fifteen fathoms of water. This is Commodore Hollins's opinion, and seems a reasonable one.

All accounts concur in describing the affair as one of the most gallant and spirited over heard or read of in history. It reminds one of the night attack of the English vessels upon the Spanish armada, off Calais, in 1589, when fireships were set adrift in the direction of the proud galleous and galleasses of that boastful fleet, and struck the Duke of Sidonia Medina and the whole of his command with a panic that resulted in their dispersal and the eventual defeat of the armada.

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