The fighting at Mobile.We have received copies of the Mobile papers of the 7th instant. As they are located thirty miles from the recent conflict at the forts, they do not contain many particulars of the engagement. We copy from them what is of interest:
The Passage of the forts.The gunboat Morgan succeeded in reaching the city last night, though chased and fired at by the enemy's fleet. Her only equality in the fight was one engineer slightly wounded by a shot which passed through the ship near the galley. The Gaines's crew have also come up in her launches. No officer hurt. The Tennessee was completely disabled in the fight, being surrounded by her powerful enemies. She had four killed; have not learned how many wounded. An enemy's monitor and one gunboat were sunk. The advices from Fort Morgan are cheering. The casualties are astonishingly light, the enemy firing wildly, and seeming intent mainly on running past. Captain Johnson, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, commanding the water battery, was slightly wounded. One man was killed and two slightly wounded inside the fort. The garrison are in fine spirits and confident. Lieutenant Smith, at Fort Morgan, lost one of his hands. An officer from the steamer Morgan reports the fleet passed the fort without replying to its fire.--The large vessels had each a double-Ender lashed alongside. As they passed, the Tennessee stood out to engage them, followed by the Morgan, Selma and Gaines. The Selma and Gaines at once ran alongside the Hartford and engaged her, she fighting them as they ran. After passing out of reach of the fort, the Hartford cast loose the double-Ender, which the Selma at once attacked; but after a severe fight the Selma hauled down her colors.
Scenes in Mobile after the fight.Yesterday morning, at an early hour, the news was spread abroad on our streets that the Yankee fleet had opened on Fort Morgan, and had attempted to pass it, and it was soon announced officially that the leading monitor was sunk. Fuller intelligence was published about half-past 10 o'clock, in the form of a dispatch from General Page to the commanding general, which was communicated to the press and published in the evening papers. This was followed by rumors of every description; one of which was, that the Tennessee was safe, the falling of her flag-staff from a shot having been mistaken at the fort for her surrender. This, unfortunately, proved incorrect. All accounts agree that the Tennessee made a desperate fight; and so did the Selma. At the time of writing, this is all the intelligence that has reached us from below. On receipt of the news that the enemy had passed the fort, the General ordered the bell to be rung, according to previous notice, as a signal to the citizens that the time for completing their organizations was at hand, and that this work could no longer be delayed. It is unnecessary to say that this summons caused great excitement, but if it partook of the nature of panic, we were not able to discover it. In one place might be seen men armed, and unarmed, hurrying to their respective rendezvous; in another, those who were dispatching their necessary business, that having put their house in order they might the better attend to their paramount duty. Several new organizations were set on foot among the citizens, while those of the military who are here absent from their commands showed a commendable alacrity in their preparations for bearing a share in the work before them. Captain Garrity, of the "Old Continentals, " from the Army of Tennessee, who is here in consequence of his recent wound, reported to the General with nine of his men, similarly situated, for service wherever ordered, and several convalescent officers of the Army of Northern Virginia issued a call for the members of that army to meet in the evening for the purpose of organization as a battalion. Among the earliest acts of the day was that of the Mayor and Municipal Boards, pledging the resources of the city to the commanding general, and requesting him to defend Mobile to the last extremity. These are strong words, and we doubt not the city authorities used them with a full understanding of their great import. We understand them to mean that Mobile is not to be made a second New Orleans; but that when enough shall have been done for safety, and in vain, (if it must be so,) the honor of the city will still remain in his hands, and that the wish of the people is that it be made a pile of ruins, an alter of sacrifice, rather than become the theatre for such disgraceful scenes as have been enacted in our sister city. If there are any who dissent from this view, who would consent to live under Yankee rule, we warn them to look to their goods and chattels — their household gods, and the only ones which their craven spirits acknowledge — for we have sounded the hearts of the real people of Mobile in vain for the last three years, if it falls into the hands of the enemy otherwise than as a desolate, fire-blackened waste.
The Evacuation of Fort Powell.On Friday afternoon the enemy's fleet formed in line of battle around this little work, and after a long bombardment the place was evaluated, the garrison escaping to the main land after night by wading. We are not in possession of the particulars that led to the surrender of this important fort, which is the key to the lower bay, and gives the enemy possession of it at will, because, as soon as they open the pass obstructed by our engineers, the fleet can be supplied by transports from Pascagoula sound. We hope the report of the young officer who commanded it will show that it was not yielded while it was at all tenable. Its loss throws the city back upon its inner line of defences, and causes the abandonment of the reasonable hope that if it had been held the fleet would have been forced to run to sea again by the guns of Fort Morgan for its supplies.
The casualties in the fleet and at port Gaines.
The capacity of Fort Morgan for Resistance.The Advertiser, speaking of the chances for Fort Morgan holding out, says: ‘ Farragut may mean to open the batteries of his twenty ships on Fort Morgan and attempt to reduce it by fire. A similar attempt on little Fort Powell failed some months ago, and if there is the right kind of Fort Sumter pluck in Fort Morgan, Farragut may fire in vain until the end of the war. By direct fire the fort is invulnerable, its walls being protected by a glacis of sand, in which all the shot and shell in the world could be innocently buried.--If he resorts to throwing shell over and dropping them inside the work; nobody need be hurt. The troops have only to keep away from the area; and they have no occasion to be there, for no fighting is to be done there. We take it, therefore, that in a stand-off fight of this sort, twenty wooden walls, even with the help of three iron-clads, will be no match for the heavy ordnance, the sand, and shell, and gallantry of Fort Morgan. ’
A small Newspaper skirmish before the battle.
Confederate States steamer Morgan,Mobile squadron in particular, seem to show you to be possessed of a courage quite uncommon, as well as an acquaintance with carrying on naval warfare, quite marvellous for gentlemen leading peaceable lives like yourselves, I feel particularly anxious to obtain the services of two such valuable recruits, and have, therefore, at the suggestion of some of my brother officers, taken the liberty of addressing you this letter for the purpose of requesting the favor of your company on board of my vessel when the expected engagement with the enemy's fleet takes place. I promise that you shall have the most conspicuous position on board and the fullest opportunity to display your bravery and naval knowledge. As patriots, you will, I am sure, jump at the opportunity thus offered to serve your country.
The editor of the Advertiser replies as follows: ‘ A thousand thanks to Captain George W. Harrison, of the Confederate States steamer Morgan, for his polite invitation, and we have to regret that it was only received yesterday morning, "the day after the wedding." Had it been in our power to have accepted the invitation, and had we "occupied the most conspicuous position on board," we should still have been in the land of the living to acknowledge his courtesy, for "the most conspicuous position" appears, by the result of the fight, to have been an eminently safe one. Except an engineer, "slightly wounded" by a splinter, "nobody was hurt" on board the Morgan. ’
A small Library gone to the Yankees.Colonel: Having had some experience in the monotony of garrison life at Fort Gaines, I send you, by your Ordnance Sergeant, Mr. J. B. Williams, Jr., one hundred volumes of miscellaneous books, which please present to the regiment. I trust that, while you all patiently await to meet and repel the enemy, the perusal of these books may tend in some degree to relieve that monotony.