[special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
sensation rumors — the Negro plot to escape to the Yankee fleet-- Departure of troops from Fort Monroe--sword presentation, &c.
Norfolk, Dec. 9, 1861.
There were various rumors of war about town yesterday.
Some person gave out the old stereotyped sensation report that an attack was to be made last night on the fortifications below, Norfolk
would probably be bombarded, and an attempt would be made to take the Navy-Yard
, ‘"Mary Mack
,"’ and things generally in this favored section of the Old Dominion.
A large and powerful fleet, they said, was coming down the Chesapeake
, bound to Norfolk
, in grand style.
Dispatches had been received that an at tack would be made on the batteries at half-past 1 this morning, perhaps a little later.
A few of the faint-heated and credulous believed these reports; and were probably thinking about packing up and getting ready to make themselves scarce.
It was suggested, however, that no able bodied men, old or young, should be allowed to run off. Some were thinking about their wives, daughters, cousins, and sweethearts.
These, however, were not alarmed, and laughed heartily at the idea of escaping to the Dismal Swamp
or anywhere else.
The examination of the negroes that attempted to escape recently to the Yankee
fleet in the Roads
shows that a plot was formed among themselves to get off; and for this purpose, they deposited their clothes at a certain place, stole money, &c. They tell of each others exploits pretty freely — about revolvers and balls, bowie knives
, percussion caps
, and other munitions of war.
I learn that about 2,000 troops left Fort Monroe
yesterday in a large steamer, probably the Quaker City
I have not ascertained their destination.
A beautiful sword has been presented to Lieut. Branch
, of the Richmond Grays
, by the members of his company.
The weather is charming.
They call it Indian summer.
The air is mild and balmy, like that of ‘"rosy-footed May,"’ and how the gentle and fair ones enjoy it.
11:30 A. M.--Heavy firing heard below.