Progress of the war
From our latest Southern files we extract the following interesting Items of news:
from the South.
From the Potomac — heavy cannonading — as explosion — vessels driven back.From the Fredericksburg Herald, of the 10th inst, we extract the following with regard to affairs on the Potomac: There was heavy cannonading at Evansport yesterday afternoon, and again about 5 o'clock last night. We are informed that a brisk and heavy cannonade, lasting for an hour or more, first took place between the batteries of Sickles's Brigade on the Maryland side and the Confederate batteries at Evansport. Directly after a shot had been fired from our side, an explosion took place in Sickles's Brigade, the thunder of which was so heavy that those who witnessed it were impressed with the belief that one of their powder magazines had blown up. There was no firing after wards, and the cessation must have been the result of some disaster. We have no report direct from Evansport since the affair, it being witnessed by our troops from the hills adjacent to Aquia creek. About 9 o'clock last night our batteries at Evansport are reported to have fired on one or more war vessels that attempted to pass down. The firing was heard with great distinctness in King George county, (a distance of sixty miles,) and jarred the doors of the dwelling of our informant of this fact. It is believed at Aquia Creek that the vessel was driven back, as she had not passed down the river. The Texas boys with their long range guns — Enfield fles probably — drove several crews from small sail vessels that attempted to pass in the vicinity of Evansport; but the vessels were afterwards recovered by the enemy — All was quiet off Aquia Creek as laters noon to-day, the hour of our latest advices from that quarter. There were rumors afloat yesterday that the enemy was landing at Matthias Point, but the report was incorrect, being predicated no doubt on the movement of Colonel Stokes's N. C. regiment from their old camp to another point. The rumor about a landing at Tappahannock, and the citizens packing up and leaving, was equally unfounded. The Fredericksburg Recorder, of the 10th inst., says: ‘ The mail rider between this place and Hempstead, who came up yesterday evening, reports having met a returning courier who had carried information to Gen. Holmes of the landing of the enemy in large force in the county of Northumberland. Whether this is a mere raid, or preparatory to its occupation, we are not advised. On Sunday evening we were at the Creek and matters seemed to be unusually quiet only some few sail vessels were in sight. For our part, we are very incredulous about a ‘"great battle on the Potomac."’ It may occur, and it may not — our belief is that the backbone of the war is broken, and that Spring will find us if not blessed with peace, at least in a fair way for securing to speedily ’
Fierce cannonading on the Southern coast.The following particulars of an affair which has been briefly noticed in the will be found interesting. It is taken from the Savannah Republican, of the th inst. Night before last, about 1 o'clock, our citizens were aroused by a terrible firing that seemed to proceed from the neighborhood of Fort Pulaski, and the general impression was that the fleet had made a demonstration against the fort or attempted to pass it.--When daylight came and they were not in sight, all feld sure that the experiment, if at tempted, had failed. A dispatch from Tyber explained the affair. It appears that Lieut. Williams, of the Irish Volunteers, with a small party went over to Tybee about midnight for the purpose of reconnoitering the island Finding the enemy missing, they concluded to deprive him of his observatory for the future. They accordingly set fire to the interior of the light-house, which was entirety consumed leaving only a hollow shaft standing. The splendid lamp was. removed to a place of safety some months ago. Discovering the fire, the enemy concluded our, troops had resumed possession of the island, and forth with commenced pouring it upon it a shower of shell; but as the party retreated as soon as the building was fired they sustained no injury. Yesterday afternoon the Federal fleet in the roads had increased to sixteen or eighteen, for what purpose, remains to be explained. The new comers are said to be old and rusty looking sailing vessels, resembling whalers and are probably a portion of those that have been collected for sinking in the entrance Southern harbors.
Latest from Tybre.The Savannah News, of the 5th December, says: ‘ The steeple of the Exchange was occupied nearly all day yesterday, by persons with glasses. observing the Yankee fleet in the harbor. Late in the evening we went up and took a view of the ships, which then numbered sixteen inside of the bar. From persons who arrived in the afternoon in the Ida, we learn that the same number of vessels as on Wednesday are still anchored it the Roads, Day before yesterday a brig was stripped as if for the purpose of being sunk, and on yesterday afternoon a bark, with sail was run on shore near the large light.--This is supposed to have been done on purpose, as the wind and tide were both in favor of the vessel. The object of the vandals can not be divined, as the sinking of the vessel at that point would not have offered any obstruction to the entrance of our harbor. Our scouts from Fort Pulaski were on the Island on Wednesday night, but were not able, after diligent search, to find any Federals. Their flag was removed from the Martello tower on Wednesday night, and replaced there yesterday morning. ’
Later from Columbus, Hi — Surrender of Col.Federate prisoners — another attack of Camp Holt, &c.We take the following late and interesting particulars of affairs at Columbus from the Memphis Avalanche, of the 7th inst.: We learn from a gentleman who left Columbus about noon on Thursday, that a Federal steamer came down from Cairo on Wednesday afternoon, under a flag of truce, and brought about one hundred and fifty Confederate troops who were taken prisoners at Camp Jackson, Independence. The prisoners were allowed to bring their guns equipments, & with them. It will be remembered that Gen. Pr turned loose all the Federal prisoners he had in Missouri, and it is understood that these prisoners were in reciprocation of that act. The same night the steamer Yazoo was detailed for service up the river, with the same troops on duty which had been returned a few hours before. The object was to prevent a surprise. On Thursday the gunboats ‘"Jackson"’ and ‘"Polk"’ went up to within a short distance of Cairo, and poured several rounds into Camp Holt opposite Cairo, peppering the Federals, and compelling them to leave their tents and scamper off for their very lives. The Federal have no guns mounted at Camp. Holt, and our gunboats occupied such a position that they could not be reached either from Cairo or Bird's Point. It is believed that these attacks will speedily bring on an engagement — the very thing our boys most ardently desire. At Columbus. on Thursday, it was generally rumored and believed that an attack at ad cah would be made at an early day. The Federal force there is said to be reduced to about 3,000. Gen. Jeff Thompson is fortifying at New Madrid, and has no idea that the Federals are fools enough to attempt to disturb him. He is concentrating a very large army there, and doing as efficient service for the means at his command as any one in the Confederate service At Hickman, we are informed, true Southerners from Kentucky are arriving in large numbers every day, and going to Columbus with all possible dispatch. Indeed so great is the rush to Hickman that it is in contemplation to run a steam boat between Hickman and Columbus for the special accommodation of the Kentucky sympathizers with the Southern cause
Skirmish at Cumberland river between Zollicoffer and the LincolnitesFrom a private letter from Gen Zollicoffer's camp, on Cumberland river, on the road between Jamestown and Sumersett, the Knoxville Register is permitted to extract the following particulars of a skirmish which occurred there on the 3d inst: Gen. Zollicoffer, having complete control of the river, the enemy cannot approach except at one point, Steigal's Ferry. Here there were about 1,000 Lincolnites stationed. While the General was reconnoitering their position in the morning with his glass, they opened fire upon him, and a cannon ball struck within four feet of him. In the afternoon, Gen. Z., with two regiments and four pieces of artillery, went up and attacked them, throwing a great many shot and shell into their camp, and compelling them to leave, None killed on our site and but one wonder. The loss of the enemy it was impossible to ascertain, we having no facilities for crossing the river. We are now constructing boats, which will enable us to cross. We get core here at from 15 to 40 cents per bushel, and hay at 50 cents per hundred. It is expected that the river will shortly be navigable from here to Nashville.
Knoxville (Tenn.) Register, of the inst., says: ‘ We have reliable information that Gen. Zollicoffer, the ’