Affairs at the South.interesting information obtained from the Hatteras prisoners great dissatisfaction among Lincoln's hirelings — the Romney fight, &c.
From our Southern exchanges we gather the following intelligence of war movements, &c., in our Confederacy:
Interesting facts obtained through a conversation with released Hatteras prisoners — the Tankers wish to join the South.The editor of the Norfolk Day Book publishes the following report of a conversation had with the released Confederate prisoners sent down to that city from Fortress Monroe under a flag of truce some days ago. The information is highly interesting and will richly repay a perusal of our readers: ‘ They represent much dissatisfaction among the Federal troops; and state that many of them endorse the action of the South, and hope for her ultimate success. In proof of the existence of such a state of feeling they relate that an attempt was made by some of the Federal soldiers at Old Point to blow up the magazine there by means of a train of powder which they had succeeded in laying, but which was discovered before an opportunity was had to fire it. They also state that quite a number of the Northern soldiers expressed a desire, on their departure, to go South with them, and regretted exceedingly the circumstances which prevented their so doing. There are seven guns mounted on the Rip Raps--one of them a rifle and the others Columbiads. The old Sawyer gun is mounted on the platform, and is used as a pivot gun. It was placed there to do service on the Merrimac, which they believe to be completed, and only waiting a favorable opportunity to make her appearance. The big Union gun is also at the Rip Raps, but is not mounted. The number of men at the Point is estimated at 6,000. At the Rip Raps there are but one hundred and seventy men. From overheard conversation among them, the fact was gleaned that they regard twenty thousand men as amply sufficient to drive them from the Fort, and fear very much an attempt upon our part to do so. Before the prisoners, however, they were very loud in their boastings of what they had done and what they could do. Especially did they brag upon the effects of their guns upon Sewell's Point, asserting that on three occasions they had driven the men entirely away from the battery there, and that they could have taken possession of it with the greatest ease, but they did not wish to do so, as it was a place of minor importance, and not worth possessing themselves of. Poor fellows! the cat didn't want the cheese after being fully satisfied that it was impossible for her to reach it. Among the various little amusements for our men while at the Rip Raps, none seemed to please them more than the seeing of numbers of the Northern delinquents with a ball and chain attached to their feet, rolling wheelbarrows of coal. One of them relates that a Fed told him if he didn't behave himself they would do him in the same way, whereupon he told him they would have to kill him first, and he added "I meant it, too, for I should prefer death any time to those iron things about my legs." The notorious Charles Henry Foster is at the Rip Raps — sneaking around in his usual hand- dog manner. He had the impudence and lack of manliness to make a dishonorable proposition to our men there, which they were prevented from properly resisting on account of the circumstances under which they were placed. They have him marked, however, and the time may come when they will have an opportunity of wreaking their vengeance upon him. The proposition to which we refer was that they decline any farther alliance with the South, and "enlist as soldiers under the Stars and Stripes." We are happy, however, to be able to say, that while the prisoners themselves were not at liberty to reply as they would have desired to this base suggestion, yet they had the satisfaction of witnessing the mortification of Foster, occasioned by a peremptory order from the officer in command of the Rip Raps, forbidding him to utter such language, and intimating that none but a coward would take such an occasion to make such a proposition. Foster plead, as an excuse for his conduct, that he had been instructed to make the proposition by General Wool; this the officer flatly denied, and afterwards told the men to resist such a suggestion if made to them again. Two deserters from our ranks joined the enemy at the Rip Raps a short time before our men left. They were both Georgians and deserted from Magruder's forces. One of them had a note on the Southwestern Bank, which he supposed to be worthless, and tried to get clear of it by passing it on the Hatteras prisoners for its full equivalent. Failing in this, he offered to sell it for a dollar. It was purchased, and the buyer on reaching here, Thursday, had the satisfaction of finding that he had made a good thing of it, inasmuch as he had secured five dollars for one. Dixie's Land, it seems, is an air so much admired by the Feds that they cannot bear the idea of giving it up, and our informant states that he was asked a number of times, while among them, to sing it.--He regretted with us that he didn't do so — introducing the little affair at Bull Run. By the-way, speaking of Bull Run, reminds us that while our men were in Castle William, at New York, passengers on the boats would take occasion, when passing there, to tantalize them with cheers for Hatteras. They bore it patiently for some time; but finally regarding forbearance as no longer a virtue, they replied to these cheers, on one occasion, by singing out, "Three cheers for Bull Run!" After that boats passed as noiselessly as a funeral procession, and no more cheers were heard for Hatteras. It seems that the Northern soldiers regard the South as having the best officers, and make no hesitation in asserting the same, whenever an opportunity presents. They have bestowed a new title upon Beauregard, and allude to him as the "Old Swamp Fox," meaning by this, we suppose, that he is cunning enough to perceive all their plans, and wise enough to thwart them. Everything is represented as being carried on with the greatest activity at the Point. --Practice with guns is had every day, and every disposition is manifested to acquire military knowledge,--all of which will, of course, on the first occasion, result in a move, not indeed, laid down by Scott, but, nevertheless, performed by his men with an expertness heretofore unknown — we mean the double-quick retrograde. The report which reached us with reference to the stopping of the fleet at or near the Horse Shoe, and which we gave the reader a day or two since, it appears was correct. The vessels stopped there for a short while — for what purpose is not known — and afterwards put to sea as one expedition, none of them going up the bay. The returned prisoners report that they left quite a number of their comrades sick, and state that there has been sixteen deaths among them since they left Hatteras. The disease prevailing among them is a form of typhoid. When they left Hatteras, the prisoners left behind them all their wearing apparel, and consequently stood very much in need of clothing on arriving at New York, and, being in a strange country, among strangers, they did not know for awhile what they should do. Those with whom we conversed, state, however, that their wants, in this respect, had all been supplied, and expressed their indebtedness for the clothing they then wore to their Captain, L. L. Clements, who had procured the same for them. The released men express much satisfaction at being again in Dixie's land. They left Friday morning in the cars for Weldon, and are now doubtless once more at their homes among the loved ones there. ’
The Romney fight.The following account of the recent affair at Romney, which we copy from the Winchester Republican, of the 1st inst., shows the utter folly of placing any reliance in the Federal reports about any of their movements in connection with the war now existing between the two Governments. It will be recollected that in the account published in the Dispatch yesterday morning, from the North, in which was included Brigadier Gen. Kelly's report, commanding the Lincoln forces, it was claimed that an engagement ensued between the Confederates and Federals, resulting in the total rout of the former and a ‘"brilliant victory"’ for the Lincoln hirelings. The subjoined will clearly prove that it was but a small affair, and one over which we have very little to regret; at the same time affording another illustration of the persistent determination of the Yankees to bear off the palm over all creation in the qualification of steering clear of the truth: On Thursday, the 24th of October, the enemy, 1,000 strong, stationed at New Creek, were reinforced from Grafton by Gen. Kelley's brigade, consisting of three regiments of infantry, three companies of cavalry, and several pieces of artillery. On Friday, they took up their line of march for Romney in two columns, 1,000 approaching by way of Springfield, and Kelley's brigade advancing by way of the Northwestern turnpike Friday night Kelley was encamped at Bidgeville, 14 miles from Romney, Continuing their advance early Saturday morning, they were met at Mechanicsburg by two pieces of artillery and a portion of Col. McDonald's command, consisting of the cavalry, all total commanded of Major Funston Finding the enemy is overwhelming Major F. a large force of the enemy had crossed the mountain and would cut them off, he retreated across the river to the bluffs commanding the river and roads. Seventy men were placed in the rifle pits upon the bluff commanding the bridge and ford — the balance (80) were held as a reserve. The howitzer was placed upon the same bluff, to the right of the rifle pits, Major Funston commanding the howitzer and rifle pits. The rifle cannon was placed upon Cemetery Hill and reserve forces in its rear, commanded by Col. McDonald. This position was maintained until 4½ P. M., when the enemy succeeded in turning our flank by the Moorefield Road, and advanced upon the rifle pits in three columns, our men retreating in good order to the reserve, when an immediate retreat of our entire fore was ordered. Overtaking our baggage train this end of town, our forces were thrown into confusion. The enemy advancing in overwhelming numbers and close proximity, all attempts to rally them proved futile, so that the entire train, consisting of ten wagons, with three pieces of artillery, clothing and ammunition, also the Quartermaster's papers and effects, had to be abandoned. We lost none in killed or missing in this affray. Major Funsten, whilst making a desperate effort to rally his men, was thrown from his horse and considerably bruised. His energy and bravery is spoken of in high terms of praise. He is now here, and will in a few days be in the saddle again. The great fault in this unfortunate affair appears to be in not sooner having ordered a retreat; 300 men against 3,000 could not have been expected to hold good their own, however brave they may have been, or how cowardly their enemies. Where the fault lies, however, not knowing we will not undertake to say. Dr. Burns, the Surgeon of the regiment, saved the ambulance, the only thing saved. The Doctor's gallantry, in attempting to rally the men and protect the baggage, deserves all praise, as also Lieut. Lionberger, of Page, who had command of the rifle gun. Col. McDonald acted with the utmost coolness and bravery. He was the last to leave the gun, and the last to leave the town. The militia, under Col. Monroe, 200 strong, acted most nobly. They met the regiment, 1,000 strong, of the enemy advancing on the Springfield road, at the Chain or Wire Bridge, killing about 40 of them, and completely routing the rest. The enemy, 4,000 strong, hold possession of Romney, whilst 1,000 are encamped at Springfield. It is to be supposed that a force will be immediately sent to dislodge them.
Depredations of the Lincolnites in Hampshire county.The Winchester Republican, of the 1st inst., says: ‘ Kelly, the infamous leader of the Abolition invaders of his native State, is carrying things with a high hand in Hampshire; all sorts of depredations are being committed; stock and valuable property of all kinds is being stolen from the county, and conveyed to New Creek, and sent West. In addition to the five thousand now in the county, it is rumored that additional reinforcements have left Grafton and Cumberland, and are now on the way to join Kelly's command. ’
The Big guns of the ship Pennsylvania.The Norfolk Day Book, of the 2d instant, says: ‘ We are glad to hear that they have gone to work to get the old ship Pennsylvania up, or rather as much of the hull as is left of her.--Workmen have been engaged on her for several days, getting up some of her guns, in order to lighten her up as much as possible.--Four guns have already been brought up and secured--two 68's, one 42, and one 32--the latter bursted. The Pennsylvania had a large number on board, we believe, and if our late "respected Northern brethren" had not left us such a fine lot of these instruments in the Yard for "masked batteries," we should look upon the treasures on board the Pennsylvania as a great boon, but, seeing we have so many of them, why, they are only as so much stock, that we can keep in store for future use; but she has vast quantities of other valuable material on her that is just now in more immediate demand. ’
The naval action near New Orleans.The New Orleans Picayune, of the 31st ult., publishes the following copy of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Com. Hollins, in relation to the naval action near New Orleans:
Flag Officer Geo. N. Hollins, Commanding at New Orleans:
S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy.