1.-the fight at Pensacola.
January 1, 1862.
A correspondent gives the following description of the fight at Pensacola
On the morning of the 1st inst. a small rebel steamer was observed from Fort Pickens
making her way towards the navy-yard.
She behaved in a very defiant manner, some on board waving a rebel flag, which seemed to say, “You dare not fire at me.”
This was not to be borne with patience, as Colonel Brown
had frequently warned General Bragg
that the presence of these steamers would not be put up with.
As she approached, Fort Pickens
opened upon her, when she retreated at double-quick time.
The fire from Fort Pickens
was immediately answered from all the rebel batteries and the engagement became general.
The firing was kept up throughout the day, and at night Pickens
maintained a slow fire from the thirteen-inch mortars, which was hotly returned by the rebels.
About eleven P. M. a fire broke out in the navy-yard, which continued throughout the night, and from the extent of the conflagration it is supposed that the greater part of the buildings in the navy-yard have been destroyed, and also the larger part, if not all, the town of Woolsey
, which is adjoining the navy-yard on the north.
The firing on both sides was remarkable for its extreme accuracy.
Shells in countless numbers fell inside of Fort Pickens
, and it is wonderful that no loss was sustained.
Our side returned the compliment in equal proportion, but I have no doubt we will have the old story from General Bragg
, that he took it all very coolly, and their loss was nothing.
The scene during the night was magnificent in the extreme.
Every shell could be traced in its course through the air from the time it left the gun until it exploded; and this, in connection with the conflagration, rendered the whole affair a sight such as Pensacola
, and but few other places, had ever before witnessed.
The illumination was so great that it was distinctly seen by the United States
when over forty miles at sea.
All our batteries were engaged, and did their work admirably.
, which had been so roughly handled by our squadron and Battery Scott at the last engagement, appeared to have resumed its accustomed vigor, for it kept up a constant fire throughout the engagement.
Several of the squadron were present, but took no part in the fight, and it is as well they did not, for nothing could have been gained, and probably much would have been lost had they attempted to have opposed their wooden sides to stone walls and earthworks.
The bombardment was the old story of fort against fort, at a distance too great for any decisive result.
We gain nothing, yet expend a great amount of powder, shot, and shell, and they the same.
Apart from the burning of Warrington
, the navy-yard, and Woolsey
, I doubt if we have done them any injury worth speaking of; and as for Fort Pickens
, it is as strong as before the first bombardment.
There were but few, if any, incidents worth recording during this affair.
, by way of bravado, suspended a light outside of the Fort
, that the rebels might better see where to fire at. What his reasons were for so doing he alone knows.
No doubt they were good ones.
I can not see what benefit can accrue from these bombardments, especially when we have no force to follow up any advantage we may gain.
is of opinion that had he five thousand additional troops, he could take the navy-yard and Forts McRae
Perhaps he might, but it remains to be seen if he can. I should think that he would wait until the required force arrived before commencing active operations of any kind.
One thing is certain, the forts and batteries now in possession of the rebels must be effectually silenced before any attack can be made with ten thousand men, with any reasonable prospect of permanent success.