Extracts from the New York Herald's Fortress Monroe correspondence.
The following extracts, taken from various letters in the New York Herald
from Fortress Monroe
, will doubtless afford our readers some amusement, if not instruction:
Apprehensions of the C. S. Steamer Yorktown running the blockade.
It will be seen from the subjoined that the rumor of the intention of the Confederate States
to run the blockade had a tendency to cause the Lincolnites to pass a sleepless night, besides otherwise alarming them:
Just as I was closing my letter last evening I learned that great apprehensions were felt lest an attempt would be made to run the blockade by the Yorktown
The greatest activity was manifest in mounting guns on the ramparts of the fort which would bear upon the channel.
As the sun went down the workmen were busy in putting the guns in order.
I also learned that the Union
gun, which is now mounted on the point near the light-house, was to be replaced by the 15-inch seacoast gun. Believing that some work might be done ere this morning's sun arose, I took my blanket and glass and wended my way up the dry sandy beach until I reached a position where I could discover any movements in their earliest stages.
I had not been in position long before I saw the tugs Young America
come up the bay and take up a position at a convenient distance between Sewell's Point
and Newport News Point, so that they could see any craft if they attempted to come out of Norfolk
, or should by any good management escape the good watch kept on board the Congress
, and pass down the James river
Not long after the tags took their stations the lights were extinguished on board.
The night was beautifully clear, and the stars shone out in all their brightness, while the fresh southwesterly wind drove the miniature waves up in whitened crests on the beach where I lay. In vain I tried to close my eyes for a "forty-wink nap," but the rumor which I heard bore so much semblance to truth, and there were so many reasons why we should expect the rebel steamer down, possibly in a few hours, that it was impossible for me to keep my eyes closed over five minutes at a time.
We have reliable information here that the Yorktown
is leaking badly, and that she is obliged to keep her pumps going all the time to keep her free.
This fact made the rumor even more probable, and I could not, in common with many others, but observe that we should see her dusky form heave in sight at a moment's warning.
With my glass I scanned the coast line from abreast of Newport News Point down to Craney Island
, and thence to Sewell's Point
, where a series of telegraphic signals, formed by lights of different colors, were being made to Craney Island
, and answers returned, by the same process.
The telegraphing occupied my attention for some time, as I became interested, and felt desirous, if possible, to learn by future movements the readings of the lights.
I was not alone in my watching, for hundreds of wakeful and watchful eyes were straining into the shadowy darkness to catch the faintest outline of any object that might bestire itself on the broad expanse of the dark waters.
At about half-past 11 o'clock I saw the dim outlines of a large object in the direction of Craney Island
Could it be the Yorktown
passed by the point?
No: there was not enough water to float her there.--Possibly it might be the Merrimac
coming out from Norfolk
While thus ruminating to myself, I thought of the guard boats, and upon turning to look for them I heard the rattling of a chain cable, and soon saw that the Young America
was under way steaming slowly towards the point.
They had seen the same object that I had. On she went, while the telegraphing at the point had ceased for some time.
A few moments of breathless anxiety intervened, and I was most sure the little tug was about to bag some game; when, to my surprise and chagrin, up went two red lights at Sewell's Point
; then one red and two white ones were thrown; and of course the craft had been signalized that there was danger.
The little tug was now almost lost in the distance and darkness, and I was expecting to see her first fire a blue light and then a gun but no such good fortune awaited me. In the course of an hour the tug returned and anchored, and all was quiet.
I think that the vessel we saw was a flat-boat which had come down in the daytime to the point, and was returning at that time of the night.
This seems to be the opinion of those on the tug who saw the object referred to. I fell asleep about four o'clock in the morning and woke up when the sun had made his appearance above the waters of the bay. The market flats were pulling in shore, and the steamer from Baltimore
was entering the bay. I rolled up my blanket and came into the point, having passed a lonely and watchful night.
I am bound to see the first shot fired at the Yorktown
or any other craft which shall attempt to run the blockade.
The prisoners sent from Richmond under a flag of truce.
Some account has already been published of the base ingratitude of the Yankee
vagabonds who had been brought to this city from Manassas
, had their wounds dressed and other wise taken care of, and after which were sent down under a flag of truce to Newport News.
The following from the Herald's Fortress Monroe
correspondent, which has not been published before in this city, will tend still further to prove the correctness of the trite old adage, that, "if you nurse and warm an adder into life (from his torpidity) he will be sure to sting you:"
Several of the Eleventh New York (Fire Zouaves) landed at Newport News Point, but I have not been able to learn their names.--Most of the number are minus one or more of their limbs, especially right arms.
Surgeon J. M. Homiston
and Assistant Surgeon W. F. Swalm
, of the Fourteenth, are with the party.
They go on to Washington
After the wounded were comfortably located in the hospital, I paid them a visit and spoke to each one, and found several with whom I was acquainted.
They are in great glee to think they are once more under the shelter of the good old Stars and Stripes.
I did not remain long, as they have been laboring under so much excitement for a few days past as to irritate some of their wounds.
I am very happy to write, for the information of their friends, that the doctors at the hospital say that in their opinion all of them will recover and be able to return to their homes in a few days.
Those of the brave boys who are able to go around, and whose names appear on the second list, have been enjoying themselves in strolling around the fort and visiting the camps under the care of the soldiers of duty.
They say that they were treated miserably at the rebel hospitals, and had it not been for their own surgeons and the Sisters
of Charity they must have perished.
informed me that he endeavored to visit all the hospitals before he left so as to bring with him a list of names of the wounded now in Richmond
, but the heartless fellows would not grant him the favor.
That portion of their army now at Richmond
(the number could not be ascertained) are most miserably fed and more miserably clothed, and some of the rebels begged for "God's sake. " that the wounded men would sell them their blankets; but the boys thought that would be aiding the enemy and they could not consent to it. Matches are worth five cents a box at Richmond
, and other things in proportion.
They are putting up salt works near the city, and will be ready to make that scarce article in a few days.
Our batteries and defences.
From the subjoined it would seem that the correspondent of the Herald
has been rendered quite uneasy about the security of our seacoast defences in and around Norfolk
If the minions of Old Abe are not satisfied about their inability to pass our batteries and effect an entrance into Norfolk
, why, all they have to do is just to try it. The letter says:
The rebels are evidently expecting some move.
They are very busy at Sewell' Point; twenty large guns are mounted, and from the present state of movements more will soon be put in place.
At Craney island
thirty-four from bulldogs show their ugly muzzles.
This piece of work was built for the purpose of preventing shipping from passing up Elizabeth river
About twelve guns of the largest calibre bear on the approach to the mouth of the river, while twenty-two command the passage up. It is almost an impossibility to pass this battery, which is beautifully constructed, and is certainly one of the finest pieces of earth work I ever saw. With a proper force the rebels might be driven out by shell, but it would cost many lives and some vessels to do it.
The batteries on Sowell's Point
are composed of six distinct entrenchments, the first mounting two guns in embrasures and one on parapet.
The next mounts nine, all in embraxures, which are flanked with legs.
The next battery is provided with three guns en barbelle.
Two small batteries are next in order, each mounting one gun en barbelle.
The next battery mounts two guns en barbelle.
A heavy gun on ship carriage, pointed on the beach, completes the line of defences.
With proper management it would be an easy matter, comparatively speaking to drive the rebels out of this line of batteries.
gun, on the Rip Raps
, can trouble them very badly now. Although I have taken up this subject to-day, I do not wish to be understood that any active steps are to be taken in relation to these points; but as I have had an opportunity lately of having these batteries described to me, I thought it would be a matter of some interest to record the position of the rebels in this locality.
Our system of telegraphing now. Our boats Tantalize them.
correspondent seems to have abandoned his whole time to watching the admirable manner with which all our affairs are conducted in the region in which their blockading fleet is stationed.
It would seem that our boys are not much annoyed by the Yankees
, judging from the manner in which sailing intercourse is carried on among them:
The rebels have a system of telegraph by night, which I explained in one of my recent letters.
They are plainly seen every night making signals to Craney Island
, and to a point back of Hampton
I watch them for hours at a time.
They have two large fishing boats at the Point
, and I can see them draw the seine every day. These boats do guard duty in the night, and are often chased by our small steam guardas.
It is not uncommon to see a large flat boat bring down troops and provisions and land them on the Point
Today it is very stormy and foggy and I have no doubt that they are busy transporting munitions of war down from Norfolk
Shall vessels run regularly from Norfolk
up the Nansenmond river; we can see them, but there is nothing done to prevent it. I can not find out why it is tolerated.
Apprehensions of an attack.
correspondent, of the 11th, thus plans out an attack which is soon to be made upon Lincoln
's forces-in and around Fortress Monroe
I have been informed, on what I consider good authority, that the rebels propose visiting us here in a few days as follows:--A body of rebels will attack the Newport News camps, and at the same time endeavor to cut off support by the way of Hampton
this is going on the Yorktown
will endeavor to come down the James river
, and at the same time the Merrimac
will endeavor to get out from Norfolk
, who lives at Back river
, is my informant. --Gen. Wool
would like to see him.
List of residents.
For the information of those in our midst who feel interested in the matter, we subjoin the following:
I here with send you a list of the residents of this vicinity, men who dwell in the habitations near our pickets, who visit Fortress Monroe
daily, and who have sons or near relatives in the Confederate army:
, a son-in-law in Confederate States
army: Craver, three sons in Confederate States
, brother in Confederate States
, three or four sons in C. S. A., Russell
, two sons in C. S. A.; Holston
, brother in C. S. A.; Copeland
*; Bentle,* one son in C. S. A.; Bloxon,* Lewis
,* Bolover*; Guy
, four sons in C. S. A.
*These men have not taken the oath of allegiance.
has a daughter married, and her husband is in the Confederate States
A Mrs. Haywood
comes in here frequently and purchases goods for her friends in "Secessia." Quite a number of women come in weekly, and undoubtedly carry out letters and papers to the rebel side.
I think by the time this is published General Wool
will have bagged a lot of them.
I have referred to these persons in more than one letter, and I have been constrained to with hold their names until the present time, hoping they would see the error of their ways and reform; but the game is played so openly that it is high time it was blocked.
The whole lot of them possess an amount of impudence quite astonishing, and I think they are doing too much harm to be tolerated any longer.