From the coast.
the late Naval victory — its effect upon the people — operations of the enemy on the Court, &c., &c.
[special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Savannah, Ga., March 11, 1862.
The victory achieved by the Virginia
on the waters of Hampton Roads
, has electrified, this community and the whole South
It came at a most favorable moment, and has accomplished much towards inspiriting us in the struggle we are now engaged in: We have been in a state of nervous anxiety to hear all the details of the brilliant achievement, and the more full they are the more complete seems to have been the disaster to the Federal fleet.
It will tend in a great measure to reassure us all in the efficiency of the Department, which has accomplished this much towards the creation of a navy, and given to its future history the frentispiece of a glorious and brilliant victory.
In my last I mentioned the abandonment of Fernandina
, and the loss of twenty-six guns in battery there.
The affair reflects seriously upon either the officer in command or on Gen. Trapier
, who has the reputation of being a skillful officer.
If the island was too exposed to attacks of the fleet, it should have been timely evacuated and all military stores removed, or otherwise defended to the last.--So sudden was the attack that the soldiers occupying the cars, before starting, were shelled from the ships, and two of the number killed.
The remainder beat a hasty retreat, not waiting for the cars.
obtain little of any value, and hold a country which cannot support a battalion of men for six weeks without constant communication with the depot at Port Royal
They have ascended to Brunswick
, and, by last reports, were lying off the town, but had not entered.
The batteries there had been dismantled some weeks since.
The progress which they have made on the coasts of Geergia and Florida
, though it may sound gravely in the cars of many not acquainted with the nature of the same, gives no uneasiness whatever, and it may indicate a conclusion on the part of the Federal
commander that Savannah
cannot be assailed with any hope of success.
St. John's river
is apparently the next object of their attack.
Four steamers, by last accounts, were off the bar, which is exceedingly difficult, and liable to a heavy cross sea, rendering its passate one of peril except for light vessels and experienced pilots.
Public rumor often precedes the advance of a Yankee flotilla only because we take for granted that they are as well acquainted as we are with the defences of any point.
Some days since the ‘"reliable gentleman"’ had given up Jacksonville
to the mercies of the Yankees
, previously destroying some Government work progressing there, simply from the general knowledge of the accessibility of the place.
I am glad to be able to contradict any such rumor that may have reached you; but I shall not be much surprised to learn of its speedy evacuation by its inhabitants.
The invaders seem to have come to a general agreement among themselves to abandon the piratical and cruel coercive policy which they have so long pursued, and to have adopted a milder one, more agreeable to the usages of war and consonant with the dictates of humanity.
This change, I believe, has not been brought about from any superior sentiment of humanity, but originates from the same motive which induced Abraham to release from Fort Warren
the political offenders against his reign — the conviction which he has forced himself to express, if not to feel, that the rebellion is on the wane.
He has, without doubt, learnt to be diplomatic, and has substituted one reason for another to disguise his change of opinion as to the formidable nature of the rebellion.
and at Nashville
they offered to the citizens who remained in their midst every offer of protection, and at Fernandina
and elsewhere they have lately held out the same inducements to those remaining quiet in their habitations.
They have secured five thousand negroes of the planters of Beanfort, stripped them of their remnant of property, keeping them exiles from their homes, and yet offer protection
to Floridians, and, to show their truth, iron the negroes who fly to their shelter.
The bait will not take.
As in North Carolina
, our people have learned wisdom from experience, and place little reliance upon Yankee
, worse than Punic, faith.
The disregard of national obligations cannot exist in unison with individual truth, we know from a life long trial of their public treachery, and this war has disolosed the corruption which has crept into every individual nature, and grown to be a part and parcel of the Yankee
We would be worse than madmen now to trust to the same stale and idle promises which have been given to the wind by Yankee breath, and which Southerners have learned, or should have learned, to value at their true merit.
they found but one man who remained at his invaded hearthstone, and he would fain have escaped had the failing of a weak nature and weaker mind permitted.
So in Georgia
, we give no credit to their worthless protestations, and stand ever ready with the strong right arm to deal a deadly plow for our native soil or fall, our blood enriching the land from which a new crop of heroes shall spring.
One Federal officer was killed on Saturday last off Skidaway
, and the inference is that he was one in high station, from the interest manifested by all the vessels in the roads.
It appears, a picket saw the boat receiving its crew alongside a Federal steamer, and not fled an officer of the fact; the lookout was in a bay tree, cleats having been nailed on to render ascent more easy, and secure a footing for a small number of men. Chosen shots were picked out and awaited the approach of the boat, which came up within three hundred yards--the officer in the stern sheets steering, and at the same time warily examining the shore with a glass.
Suddenly the boat turned round, and at the moment the rowing was stopped, apparently to demand a reason for the sudden change of course.
As the officer raised his glass and pointed to the tree in which he had discovered the picket, the unerring rifle sent the swift messanger.
The officer was seen to fall across the gun wale, and, in as little time as I take to write this, the crew dragged him into the boat and returned to the ships.
The vessels gathered about the one to which the boat proceeded.
was alive with the bustle for half an hour, when their usual places were resumed.
It is not probable the Yankees
will approach Skidaway
so incautiouly the next time, though they may not encounter the quick eye of that excellent picket.
Sometimes we come across some really adventurous and dashing young fellows, who ‘"seek the bubble reputation at the cannon's month;"’ nay, encounter worse perils than open danger in the field of battle, and whose motive is higher and nobler than the evanescent and fleeting honor which the breath of the fickle can take away.
Since the river has been blockaded by the Yankee
batteries, communication had not been entirely suspended until a few days past.
Our mail-carriers, or rather couriers, have been chased in several instances, and again, after having run the blockade, while returning in plain view of the fort, two worthy young men were captured, one of whom is the son of J. H. Bartels
, proprietor of the Pulaski House
Many have succeeded, however, in going and returning.
One of these successful ventures having been accomplished under such difficulty and danger, and with such firmness and resolution, as to entitle the performer to all the honor that can attach to a gallant act.--With a light canoe he proceeded from Causten's Bluff, through the creeks and channels lying between that position and Fort Pulaski
, a distance of ten miles. After paddling a portion of the way, he boldly took his canoe on his shoulders and traveled across an intervening space of march, securing a short, easy, and unmolested approach to the fort.--He subsequently returned as he came, bringing the mail prepared for him and dispatches to the commanding General
have no doubt found out that the communication was kept up, and it is surmised that with a view to prevent it they have set fire to the marshes in the neighberhood, the flames from which, and the dense columns of smoke, have been seen frequently for a week past.
We have nothing new to chronicle of movements about here.
We are now under military law, and the city is profoundly quiet.--I must not forget to mention the fact that the versatile ‘"Personne
"’ has been here.
He left, in company with James R. Sneed
, of the Republican,
to attend the Convention
I trust he will return, and will give to your readers some of the items which his suavity of manner well fits him to obtain.