The burning of the Confederate steamer Natchez.
--A correspondent of the Yazoo (Miss.)
furnishes that paper with the following particulars of the recent burning of the C. S. steamer Natchez
, one of the finest steamers in the Confederacy
, was ordered by Commander I. N. Brown
to be fitted up with cotton for the defence of the Yazoo river
and to meet the enemy at Greenwood
After having received a thousand bales of cotton at Yazoo City
, and a full supply of wood, she left the wharf on Friday evening. She took on about three hundred bales above and proceeded on her way tot he point of conflict, all in high spirits, and hoping a great deal from her eminent power.
We had reached a point on the Yazoo river
, between Castleman
's and Barton
's, about eighty miles above Yazoo City
, when the cotton was discovered to be on fire, one bale alone showing fire or smoke.
Immediately the boat was ordered to be stopped, and the alarm of fire was given; but in one minute the whole tier of cotton was on fire, and spread so rapidly that all hope of extinguishing it was lost.
In the meantime the bow had struck the left shore, and some jumped off, the pilot, Captain Sebray
, then rang the backing bell, when he had to leave the wheel, the engineer responded, and soon her stern struck the trees on the right bank; pressed down some of the smaller onces, and the boat be came stationary.
All on board had reached the stern, the whole boat was then enveloped in flames, about five minutes from the time the fire was first discovered.
All or nearly all then rushed overboard as fast as they could.
It was an awful moment.
But nearly all were saved, either by aiming or clinging to the trees, though many ran a narrow chance.
There was no dry land to be found, and these that could not get beyond the nearest trees suffered considerably from the wreck, many were considerably burned, but all were finally rescued, except three while persons--one of the engineers, one passenger named Adkins
, I think, and a Mr. Wilson
, together with four or five negroes.
How she took fire none can tell.
It was first discovered on the outer tier of bales, and it was then so small that but for the wind it could have been easily extinguished, but in ten minutes nothing was left but the hull.
She was a noble boat, and might have done noble service.
The loss is heavy.