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Important from Mississippi sound — large Lincoln force on Ship Island — immense reinforcements expected.

The following statement appears in the New Orleans Delta, of the 15th instant, and is vouched for by a most distinguished citizen of that place:


December 14, 1861.
My Dear Friend:
--I have just seen Captain Legarde, of the fishing smack Wild Duck — He was captured 1st December, on the west and of cat Island. He has been a prisoner on the Massachusetts until the 12th, when himself and twelve other fishermen were released, their vessels being confiscated, in retaliation for the Lincoln fishing-smacks the Confederates have captured off Cedar Keys, belonging to Key West. Capt. Legarde reports that a large number of troops arrived at Ship Island on the 4th.

The steamship Constitution arrived with the 17th and 26th Massachusetts regiments, and a regiment from Connecticut--2,600 men in all; and on the day he left, the transport ships Great Republic, King Fisher, and New World, arrived with 2,000 more, and general cargoes of army supplies; also, the steam transports Connecticut, and Atlantic, with two regiments from Massachusetts and one from Maine. The forces on the island, when he left, were about 8,000 men, and 30,000 more troops were expected in a few days. Those now on Ship Island are under command of Col. Phelps, he being the senior colonel, and is said to be a rank Abolitionist.

The Quartermaster-General is Col. Butler, brother to Gen. Butler, who is the Commander of the expedition, and is looked for daily. Col. Phelps (before Capt. Legarde left the island) had a proclamation ready to send on shore. It was so rapidly abolition that the Commander of the fleet had refused to allow any of the boats from the fleet to go ashore with it, and orders had been given if any of the army boats attempted to go ashore with a view of distributing the proclamation to sink the boats. Copies of it had been sent North for the Northern papers, and a steamer had been dispatched to overhaul the vessel that had the copies on board.

As soon as Gen. Picayune Butler arrives, he will, it is said, issue a proclamation much more moderate in tone. The expedition is to be about 40,000 strong, and it is to be well supported by light-draught gunboats of the most approved kind, drawing from 6 to 14 feet water. It is supposed that the object of the expedition is to attack Mobile or New Orleans. If Mobile, the army expects to land near Pascagoula and march through to Mobile, when the fleet will attack Fort Morgan.

The Lincolnites are anxious to get lake pilots, and had offered the writer of this high wages if he would act in that capacity. They boast of having cut the telegraph cable at Bay St. Louis, and say they were piloted in by a man from Biloxi named John — the same fellow that the vigilance committee had ordered away from Biloxi last spring. As soon as they get their light-draught gun-boats out, they intend that none of our gun-boats shall pass Fort Pike. The New London is very anxious to have a fight with the Florida, or she will fight the Florida and Pamlico together, if they will only come into 12 feet water.

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