From the Seacoast.
[our own correspondent.
latest from the Federal fleet, at Savannah
— Col Tetnall's fleet — the enemy's light-draft Boots — what he will do with them — arrival of Gen. Lee
--patriotic action of volunteers.
Savannah, Ga., Jan. 28, 1862.
The Federal fleet has within a few days gathers.
In force in the neighborhood of Warsaw Sound
, and to-day number eighteen vessels, of all classes; consequently there has been some excitement in the city, and great anxiety manifested to hear the latest news from below.
The letter from Port Royal
to the New York Herald
prepared us in a measure for the expected attack upon this post, and we have anxiously looked for the threatened movement for some days.
There seems every probability that an attempt will soon be made to effect a demonstration from the neighborhood of the batteries on Skid away or Green
islands, and this week will probably witness the attempt and its result, for it will soon be decided one way or the other.
is accessible from several points above and below its mouth at Tybee
, and these have been carefully watched for some time, save one hitherto neglected, and which our enemies have found to be without adequate obstructions.
The result of an attempt to land in force at Skid away or Green island
, with the intention of an advance upon the city, I believe will meet with a signal failure.
Our troops are eager for the fight, and will acquit themselves as become Georgians whenever they may confront the foe. I shall during this week keep myself well posted upon all that transpires on our coast and will inform you promptly, persuaded as I am that the enemy designs an attack, though it may be delayed beyond the period which I have assigned.
The Federal gun-boats are everywhere, save in the Savannah river
itself, and are making great exertions to remove the various obstructions placed in the way of navigation of the small creeks.
On Sunday the steamer St. John
's went down the river, convoyed by the Savannah
, one of Commodore Tatnall
's armed boats, with a guard and the staff of General Lawton
on board. --She proceeded to Wall's Cut, a channel, which has long been opened and used by the steamers plying between this city and Charleston
, by the inland route; it communicates with New river
, which small stream I have once before spoken of in my letters, and thereby with the creek at the back of Hilton Head
, affording a short cut into the Savannah river
above Fort Pulaski
, and beyond the reach of its guns.
This cut had been blocked up by sinking an old hull athwart the channel, which at high tide is only fifty feet wide, with seven or eight feet of water at the best times.
It had been reported that the boats of the enemy had been tampering with the hull, and to see the effect and to interrupt any further progress the steamer went down.
When they neared the mouth of the cut, the officers espied two barges full of Yankees making off for dear life; but unfortunately they were beyond the range of the muskets of the guard on board, who, nevertheless, did not fail to give them a parting shot or two.
They found that the hull had been slewed round by great labor, and it was manifest that some time must have been consumed in effecting it.--The calaboose of the vessel had been moved to the bank, and several sheds of plank had been built for their accommodation, which were burned or torn down and given to the river.
An anchor was brought away, but a very large one of some 15 cwt., evidently a frigate's anchor, was left, from the want of proper means of removing it from the bank.
In such haste did the party leave, that the officers forgot to carry off their letters, which were no doubt the occupation of the moment before their precipitate flight.
I am informed that not one hour after the steamer returned, seven vessels of the enemy appeared at the New River
end of the cut, and to-day two light-draft boats remain in the cut itself.
It must be remembered that this position is not more than 11 miles from the city, and in a clear day the spars of the hireling fleet may be discerned above the low, marshy banks of the intervening space.
It is not easy to conjecture the object of this determined effort to gain an entrance into this river by a channel which is available only for the very lightest draft steamers, and those even of the smallest beam.
They will be forced to do that to remove every vestige of the wreck still remaining.
It may be that they wish to introduce a number of small steamers into the space between Forts Pulaski
, with the hope of being able to shell out the occupants of the latter post, and obtain such complete possession of the river as to cut off the supplies of Pulaski
and open the way to the city.
I cannot but think that the design, if attempted, would equally fail, for many reasons.
I believe that Fort Jackson
could maintain its own against any such fleet as can be introduced by that avenue, and I have the necessary authority to state that the lower garrison is amply provided to withstand a siege of six months, and has now at least one hundred and twenty rounds of ammunition to every gun. --The only want, and a most serious one, which may be apprehended in the event of a dry spell of weather, is the scarcity of water.
The fort is generally supplied by cisterns, amply capacious in ordinary seasons; but it sometimes happens, as took place during the late dry weather preceding the storm, that they fall, and no effort can be successfully made to obtain water from wells on such a barren spot.
Taking everything into consideration, I think there is nothing to apprehend from the marchings and counter-marching of the Yankees
, and although there is some trepidation among the timid and nervous old men as well as women, a general sense of security prevails.
I trust, if any stampede, such as occurred after the Port Royal
disaster should happen, none but women may be allowed to leave the city.
In view of the late reverse which has befallen our arms in Kentucky
, it behooves us, however, not to be too confident of our own strength or of the weakness of the enemy.
I trust that at least this fruit will be drawn from the disaster; the general voice in Georgia
speaks as firmly, as manfully, and as hopefully of the final result as if no loss has befallen the Republic
, or no grief was felt for the gallant Zollicoffer
It is with great satisfaction that the later news of the battle has been received here, lessening the importance of the affair, and reducing our loss materially.
It is unfortunate that the Yankees
had the opportunity of communicating the news to the Southern
people for the first time; but had their characteristic good sense been exerted, they would have received it cum grane salle,
and cut it down to its legitimate proportions.
While we have received from the good Father above, no doubt, a merited chastisement.
He has not failed to exert
His mighty power in our behalf, to teach us our dependence upon Him, the source of all our triumphs.
The storm, which I perceive has raged so continuously in Virginia
, and along the coasts of the Carolinas, extended to this vicinity, and for three days we were in the midst of so humid an atmosphere, some times becoming very like a dissuading servant, that the strong was shortly impossible to
and when we thought of that we were satisfied ‘"How have the mighty fallen."’ Where are the hoped-for results of the last expiring effort of the tyrant and oppressor?
‘ "In the deep ocean buried."’
I cannot apostrophize his mighty ships or his ‘"men-of-war,"’ as I think it will be admitted they were very small potatoes, as the history of their dispersion will in time disclose.
Where is the expedition — or at least that portion left swimming upon the surface of the great deep?
We are mystified here completely.
One day they are in Pamlico Sound
, and the next outside, ‘"steering South;"’ and again, it is ‘"officially contradicted,"’ and they are now here.
The latter conjecture is highly probable, and we must accept it for want of more ‘"reliable information."’
Your article on the Lincoln
blockade, in your issue of Saturday, has brought to my recollection a subject which I had designed to write a few words about.
Your suggestions in regard to the necessity of building up the manufactures of the South
, now fostered in their infancy by the blockade of our harbors, and the advantages we are daily deriving from it, are very much needed at this time.
will compete with any State of the Southern Confederacy in the number and variety of the manufactories she has established, and time will render them independent of any governmental assistance, should the condition of affairs not soon change.--Recently a policy has been acted upon very like that of the much-decried monopolies: the manufactories buy in a very cheap market, and they sell at very high prices.
Where cotton is bought at seven cents, the labor remaining the same, the prices have been raised three hundred and four hundred per cent., establishing a system of exorbitant prices which will prove in the end ruinous to their own interest.
Should the war be brought to a close in three months, with such a policy to start with, not one in ten of these manufactories will survive the certain influx of foreign goods; nay, I will not exclude Yankee goods in the category, unless a strict system of discriminative duties should be imposed upon them.
Our people will buy in that market in which they can obtain the article cheapest that they may desire, and this will not be reversed in our case.
In a long war there is hope that we will acquire not only political, but that commercial independence without which we will have achieved a barren victory, and may yet be called to break the chains which we now but partially rend asunder.
I find that some of the correspondents who were lately banished from the region of Manassas
, are again poaching on Gen. Johnston
How does that happen? --Does the General
sleep, or have these ‘"City Gammons
"’ succeeded in inducing him to allow some of the smallest offenders to renew their communications from his territory?--It appears to me that the General
is quite forgetful of his duty, especially when McClellan
is about to advance, in permitting these prying fellows about his premises.
I recur at a later hour to the news just received from below.
The Federal fleet is now within four miles of this city, and at 8 P. M. to-day, I saw through a good glass three of them engaged in an encounter with the Sampson
Our little steamer stood the brunt of it remarkably well--one large shell from a rifled gun fell upon her deck, but failed to explode, and she received three other shots, doing some slight damage.
The Federal gun-boats came through Warsaw Sound
to the rear of Little Tybee Island
, and early this morning swa of the largest were engaged at the mouth of St. Augustine creek
in raising the piles and the obstructions sunk there.
Should they succeed, they will cut off communication with Fort Pulaski
; indeed, the space cut through by the creek into the river is so small that the enemy's guns command the channel of the main river, and this morning they attacked the small unarmed steamer Ida, plying to the Fort
has arrived here, and, with a company and the necessary officers, leave this night to replace any obstructions that may have been removed.
We are in great excitement to-day.
The Irish Volunteers, a noble command of 109 men, volunteered to-day to return to duty, they having been mustered out only on Saturday last.
They proceed to Fort Jackson
You must not be surprised to hear of the lower fort being cut off.
No immediate result, I believe, will follow the removal of the obstructions.
I judge that the enemy will wait to make a combined land and naval demonstration simultaneously from the river and from the country about Skid away.
The impression is general, that the remainder of Burnside
's expedition is now in our waters.