Brilliant Naval engagement — Capture of a Yankee schooner — loss on our side, one chicken — an affray, &c.
[special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Saturday night the Confederate steamer Sea Bird
, flag steamer of Commander Lynch
went down to Hampton Roads
As she crossed the harbor coming from the Confederate
dock-yard and passed Town Point
, it was thought by some who saw her that there was "something in the wind." She kept on her course to the Roads
, and lay quietly under Sewell's Point
until yesterday morning at half-past 7 o'clock, when the Federal
steamer Express was discerned steaming along towards Old Point
, to wing the schooner Sherwood
, from Newport News.
The Sea Bird
immediately started in pursuit, occasionally firing her long thirty-two at she Federal steamer.
The Express, after receiving a shell or two--one of which it is said set her on fire — cut the haweer loose and left the Sherwood
, which was immediately taken in tow by the Sea Bird
, which quickly steamed off towards Norfolk
, notwithstanding the dangerous proximity, of the Federal
men-of-war.--Meanwhile eight Federal gun-boats and an armed transport were steaming after her, emptying their heavy guns of shot and shell that went screaming, splashing, bursting, and ricocheting in many direction excepting around her, the sa Confederate steamer occasionally wheeling firing from her bow gun. Suddenly, however, the Federal
steamers found that they were in range of the guns at the Sewe point Batteries, which opened upon them in splendid style.
Of course the gun-boat halted in the chase and turned their attention to the Point
, throwing shot and shell in quick succession, some of which fell in various parts of the encampment.
The heavy Sawyer
gun at the Rip Raps
also opened upon our batteries, and soon after the thunder was deepened by a powerful rifled gun at old Craney Island
The exciting cannonade continued for about two hours and a half, the distinctroal of the heavy ordnance adding a deep-toned "thunder base" to the pleasant music of the "church-going bells."
About half-past 9 the Sea Bird
passed up to the Navy Yard
, having in tow the Sherwood
, which was found to be loaded with water, intended for the thirsty Hessians
at Fort Monroe
Only one man was captured with the prize.
It is supposed that some of the Federal
gun-boats were somewhat damaged, but the particulars I cannot give.
No person was injured on our side.
A stray chicken, however, at Sewell's Point
, was struck by the fragment of a shell and killed.
The men at the batteries, as well as on board the Confederate steamer, behaved in most gallant style, and managed the guns admirably and deliberately.
This exploit of the Sea Bird
is justly considered daring and gallant.
In an affray on Saturday, a private in the 3d Georgia regiment, was badly cut in the side by another soldier.
The offending individual was promptly arrested and continued.
On the 27th the schooner J. F. Crouch
, of Port Elizabeth, N. J.
, from Alexandria
, bound to Dayton
, Mass, went ashore on Pleasure House beach, a few miles northeast of this city.
The vessel and cargo, (consisting of coal,) will be a total loss.
A detachment of Huger's artillery went down to the shore and took charge of the Captain
) and the crew, who were brought to this city as prisoners.