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Southern affairs.

the Commercial Convention--the school girls' Offering — the late engagement off New Orleans, &c.

Our Southern exchanges furnish but little of interest. Below will be found a short summary:

The Commercial Convention.

All the reports received concur in characterizing the Commercial Convention which recently met in Macon, Ga., as having been among the most imposing assemblages. In character, talent, and substantial worth, it impressed all who have had experience in such representative bodies, and the weight and influence of its counsels must be widely felt. As a fair exponent of many journalistic comments we append the following from the Macon Telegraph:

‘ The late Commercial Convention in Macon, whether considered in relation to either the number or character of its representation, must be acknowledged a decided success. The attendance was large and nearly every State of the Confederacy was ably represented. It may well be doubted whether a more intelligent, respectable, and influential body of men was ever convened in the Southern States.--The debates were all characterized with marked ability, and deeply interested every auditor. Intelligent men who entered the hall to satisfy a mere curiosity about the body, were even after constant attendants upon its deliberations. The speeches were all short, terse, cogent, and marked by their eminently practical character. Very few talked for the sake of talking. In no deliberative assembly of that magnitude have we heard so few waste words.

Its action, was in character with the body itself. Looking over the records as they have been daily published in the Telegraph, we think there will be little difference about the propriety of what has been done. Every important topic was thoroughly canvassed in all its bearings, with a patience and candor worthy of all praise, and a practical intelligence which it is more than doubtful could have been brought to the proposition by a Congress of politicians. It cannot be doubted that the recommendations of such a body will meet the attentive consideration of the authorities of the Confederate States.

The school girl's Offering.

The little school girls of Charleston, S. C., as will be seen below, have been busy in their efforts in endeavoring to anticipate and relieve in part the wants of our gallant soldiers. This testimonial of their spirit and sympathy is deserving of the highest commendation, and we doubt not will be emulated by the patriotic little misses who are pursuing their studies in the many popular seminaries now in session in this city:

Charleston, Oct. 1, 1861.
Dear Sir:
--Wishing to contribute our assistance to that which has already been rendered, in endeavoring, as far as possible, to relieve the sufferings of our brave soldiers in Virginia, we send you this box, the contents of which are the results of work done in our leisure moments from studies.

Our Society, being composed of only a few school girls, we regret that we have not been able to do more for those noble ones who are fighting for our homes and firesides.

Hoping, however, that our contribution will be received in the same spirit with which it is sent, we have the honor of signing ourselves,

very respectfully,

A Society of School Girls, Formed for the relief of our soldiers. To Rev. R. W. Barnwell.

Charlottesville, Va., Sept. 9, 1861.
The School Girls' Association of Charleston (would that the soldiers, knew their names,) should receive our cordial thanks for the box of articles shipped to the hospital of the South Carolina sick and wounded.

The brave men who are now suffering in their country's cause are encouraged and cheered in their misfortunes by such kindness and attention as you have manifested.

Gratefully yours,
R. W. Barnwell, Jr.

The late engagement off New Orleans — an interesting letter.

The following letter, which was written by his son in New Orleans to a gentleman in Charleston, contains some interesting facts in regard to the naval engagement off New Orleans, which have never before been published:

Commodore Hollins arrived here last night, bringing with him a United States supply vessel, a prize. She was a Lincoln supply vessel for the blockading fleet, but we have her now. The ‘ "Manassas,"’ or the steam ‘"Ram"’ arrived at 3 o'clock this afternoon. She will go in the dock to-morrow morning. Lieut. A. F. Warley, C. S. N., (of South Carolina,) commanded her. She went in among the fleet at 2 o'clock in the morning of the 11th inst., in search of the Richmond, but struck the first one she could, which was the ‘"Preble"’ sloop-of-war, 800 tons, ship-rigged, 16 guns. --She went into the Preble 16 feet, but the force of the current of the Mississippi took her stern round, and tore open the planks. The Preble then drifted stern on the bar, and there will rest her ribs. She fired fifteen times at the ram, hit her once, and that shot carried away her smokestacks, one of which was lost overboard. The concussion was so great, that the engines felt the effects of it. I never doubted but that she would be a success.--The frigate Richmond, twenty-two 9 inch Dahlgren guns, is hard and fast on the bar.--Our fleet opened fire on her. The Richmond fired several broadsides briskly. It was all Commodore Hollins desired, for every broadside shook her to such a degree that it buried her deeper in the sand. They had erected what Commodore Hollins called ‘ "custom houses,"’ on the shore near the mouth of the river. A large quantity of timber, &c., was landed by them, and buildings nearly finished. ‘"They were going to collect revenue,"’ but Commodore Hollins says he was compelled to ‘"shell out the first duty."’

A war boat from the Richmond made her appearance full of men. He fired three shots from his 32 rifle pounder. Two missed, but the last one struck her midships, and he thinks some one was hurt. He captured this boat and brought it up with him.

A Bloody piece of music.

In the programme of a concert recently given in the interior of Georgia; we find the following:

‘ Battle Manassas, Descriptive Fantasia, Soldier's March in Camp, Cannon's Booming, Trumpet call the Alarm, Yankee Doodle Advancing, Dixie Answering, Yankee Doodle and Dixie Fighting, Dixie played in the Right Hand, Yankee Doodle in the Left Hand, Yankee Doodle Running, Dixie Victorious, Sweeping the Field.

The blockade.

The Charleston Mercury, of the 19th, has the following:

‘ The steamer Nina, Capt. Davis, left this port early yesterday, for Georgetown, S. C. Soon after getting to sea she was chased by a propeller, which gained on her rapidly and compelled her to return. Capt. Davis informs us that he saw five vessels near this place--one off Bull's Island, a second off Dewees, a third well off shore, and two near Ship Bar. One of them had a schooner without a fore-topmast in tow, which is supposed to be the same vessel that was noticed some days ago near Stono.

Sale of a vessel.

The Mercury thus records the sale of a brig in Charleston a few days ago:

‘ The herm. brig West Indian, of 320 tons, coppered and copper-fastened, built in Maryland four years ago, has been sold here for ten thousand dollars, cash. She is a fast sailer, and is ready for a voyage. She has been purchased, we are informed, for parties in Savannah.

Gens. Beauregard and Johnston.

The following sketches of these distinguished gentlemen we find in the New Orleans Delta, furnished that paper by its correspondent at Fairfax:

Gen. Beauregard, commanding the First Corps of the Army of the Potomac, has his headquarters in the house formerly occupied by Mr. Lowe just on the outskirts of the village of Fairfax Court-House. Your readers will be glad to know that Gen. Beauregard's health is much improved since he left his quarters at Wier's house, near Camp Pickens. He seems to have participated in the benefits resulting from the fresh, exhilarating atmosphere of this delightful country. If one can be fortunate enough to find him during a leisure moment — and such occur at times when the General rides out to visit the various brigades--one cannot resist the fascinating influence which his conversation exerts. Entirely free from affectation, either of humility or arrogance, but always preserving an impressive and becoming dignity, he entirely fulfills the ideal of a commander who extorts the respect and wins the affection of his troops. He has no concealments, except as to those matters which military discretion require to be concealed, and none of that air of solemn mysteriousness with which the accidentally great often attempt to impose on their entourage. A half hour's conversation with Gen. Beauregard, even apart from the evidences which an inspection of the laborious details of military command presents, would be sufficient to convince any one of the absurdity of the ridiculous theories so often propounded by unreflecting people, that our battles have been won entirely by the personal courage of our soldiers; that nothing has been due to the skill and experience of our officers; and that everything necessary to conflict a campaign against the Yankees is to charge on them whenever and wherever you see them, in the expectation that they will immediately take to their heels. Such ineffable nonsense, for instance, as that at the battle of Manassas, our men dissolved their organizations, formed into extempore battalions and regiments, and wandered around the field seeking for Yankees to slaughter, ought to be dispelled from the mind of any body who has ever visited an encampment, or seen even a skirmish. Gen. Beauregard's report of the battle of Manassas presents a complete history of the memorable campaign, terminating with that remarkable engagement, showing all the preceding movements, the plan of retreat from Fairfax to Bull Run, the first strategic retreat of volunteer troops on record, the motives for the attempted concentration of the armies of the Potomac and the Shenandoah, the origination of that movement, and the causes of its partial failure; the programme of attack, by which Gen. Beauregard intended to throw his columns of brigades upon the enemy's rear at Centreville — a movement which would have resulted in the destruction or capture of the entire Federal force — the reasons why that movement was not carried out: the consequent charge of front on the left: the consecutive moving up of the brigades to the point where the main action was fought, the final rout of the enemy, and the wonderful courage and endurance which enabled our men to repel the fierce and repeated attacks of vastly superior numbers. Let Gen. Beauregard explain all these things to you himself, in his own clear, forcible, and comprehensive language, and you will become convinced that it is much easier to criticise than to plan; to dissect than to combine; that the task of analysis is much easier than the task of synthesis; and that to be a great leader requires not only the capacity to comprehend, but the power to conceive; not only the faculty to foresee, but the ability to execute.

Of Gen. Johnston, the Commander-in-Chief of the army of the Potomac, it is scarcely possible to give a description which will at all do justice to him. Gen. Johnston is a man of medium stature and slender form, with a finely turned head, covered, except just above the forehead, with hair slightly mixed with gray. He is generally reticent, though not taciturn, in his manner; but when interested in any subject his countenance beams with animation, and glows with a fascinating and genial smile. I had heard it stated that he was inclined to be morose and severe, even with the members of his military family. --Precisely the reverse is the truth. A courteous ease and affability, initiated by the General himself, prevails at headquarters, excepting, of course, the moments devoted to official business.

At such times the usual rigidity of military forms is preserved. Gen. Johnston is a man of rare intelligence, profound information, and delightful conversational powers. He illuminates every subject he touches with the lucidness of his descriptions, the clearness of his explanations, and the brilliancy of his illustrations. Gen. Johnston's quarters are now situated in a commodious building, at Fairfax Court-House, formerly used as a Female Seminary. The house is surrounded by beautiful grounds, filled with fine trees and tastefully-arranged shrubbery, which, even at this late season, are covered with dense foliage. When the Federal invaders entered the village, on their advance to Manassas. Gen. McDowell rode up to this building, and found a gentleman at the gate. ‘"I understand, "’ said the gallant McDowell, ‘"that these buildings constituted the headquarters of the rebel General, Bonham,"’ ‘"They were Gen. Bonham's headquarters,"’ replied the Southerner. ‘"Then,"’ returned the Federal commander, "they are now the headquarters of Gen. McDowell.

Important Arrest.

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

‘ The army officers on the Jackson Railroad arrested a Mr. Felt yesterday morning for trying to get along the road without a passport. He had about him, in a body belt, $6000 in gold, and certificates of large deposits in the Chemical Bank of New York city. He was taken before the Governor, but we do not know what disposition was made of the case.

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