Doc. 68.-the steamer Nashville: how she ran the blockade.
Petersburgh, March 1, 1862.The confederate States steamer Nashville reached Beaufort, N. C., yesterday morning, at seven A. M., from Southampton, having successfully eluded the blockading steamers at the entrance of the harbor, one of which, the Albatross, it is supposed, fired some twenty or thirty shots at her without effect. She brings about three millions dollars' worth of stores, chiefly for the use of the Treasury and Post-Office Departments. From an officer of the Nashville we gather the following account of the trip: Leaving Southampton at four P. M., on the third of February, within full sight of the Tuscarora, which had but just returned from a six days cruise outside of the harbor, and was then engaged in coaling-up, the Nashville steered for Bermuda, and, after successfully weathering a terrific gale of six days duration, which disabled one of her engines, reached her destination at two P. M., on the twentieth, without having caught so much as a glimpse even of the eight vessels of war which had been expressly detailed by the Lincoln Government to effect her capture, and whose vigilance had been stimulated by the offer of two hundred thousand dollars as prize money for the “rebel” steamer. Supplying herself with coal, the Nashville departed from Bermuda at eleven A. M., on the twenty-fourth ult., under the pilotage of the master of a Southern schooner which had run the blockade a few days before with a cargo of turpentine and rosin, and who expressed the fullest confidence in his ability to conduct the ship safely into port. On the twenty-sixth ult., she encountered, on the margin of the Gulf Stream the Yankee schooner Robert Gilfillan, Capt. Smith, bound from Philadelphia to St. Domingo, with an assorted cargo of flour, pork, butter, cheese, and other provisions. Removing from the schooner such of her cargo as was deemed valuable, and transferring her crew to the steamer as prisoners, the prize was fired, and in a few minutes completely destroyed. About dawn on Friday morning, the steamer reached the vicinity of her destined harbor, off which was espied a Yankee war-steamer, apparently in watch of the approaching vessel. It was the crisis of the trip: and its perilous nature may be understood when it is known that the entire armament of the Nashville consisted of two rifled six-pounders, while that of her antagonist consisted of several formidable guns of immense calibre and range. Nothing daunted, however, but with every energy wrought up to the highest pitch of determination, the gallant commander of the Nashville displaying the Stars and Stripes at the masthead, and with it a signal-flag, which, in the uncertain light of the morning, was well calculated to blind the Yankee commander as to the real character of the stranger, ordered his vessel to be steered boldly toward the blockading steamer. The manoeuvre was promptly performed, and the Nashville was almost within musket-range of the Yankee, but between her and the harbor, when Capt. Pegram ordered the Stars and Stripes to be lowered, and in their stead the stars and bars of the Confederacy displayed at fore, main, and peak. This defiant movement of the Nashville was almost immediately after responded to by the Yankee, who, as if now recognising the “rebel” steamer, fired a volley after her, and started in rapid pursuit, firing as rapidly as the guns could be loaded and discharged; but the eager agitation of the Yankee gunners marred their aim, and the shots fell far wide of our noble steamer, which was then dashing onward under a full head of steam, and in a comparatively few minutes was safely within range of the protecting guns of Fort Macon, and beyond the range of her chagrined pursuer. From Beaufort, Capt. Pegram and Paymaster R. Taylor, of the Nashville, proceeded to this city, from whence they started for Richmond, in the nine o'clock train this morning. My informant speaks in glowing terms of the kindness of the English people, who showered upon the crew and officers of the Nashville all manner of sympathetic attentions. As an instance of the good feeling of the English towards us, and of their confidence in our cause, it is related to me by an officer of the Nashville, that four hundred thousand pounds sterling--two millions of dollars — was at one period advanced to the Nashville by a single English mercantile house. All classes are loud and earnest in their expression of sympathy for the confederacy, and of detestation of the “Yankee nation.” The ladies of England are especially prominent in their manifestations of favor and regard for the South, and are designated by my informant as the “fiercest secessionists” he ever saw. It was rumored  in England, and the rumor confidently reported here by Capt. Pegram, that the independence of the Confederacy would be first recognised, and that right speedily, by Belgium. The following is a list of the officers of the Nashville: Commander.--R. P. Pegram. Lieutenants.--J. W. Bennett, and W. C. Whittle. Acting-Master.--J. H. Ingraham, Jr. Paymaster.--Richard Taylor. Surgeon.--J. L. Ancrum. Midshipmen.--Cary, Dalton, Pegram, (son of the commander,) Sinclair, Hamilton, Bullock, McClintock, and Thomas. Captain's Clerk.--------Hasell. Her crew consists of sixty men. The Nashville brings the intelligence, that on February twenty-second, an order was officially promulgated at Bermuda, prohibiting to the United States Government the use of the port as a coal depot. Several schooners laden with coal reached Bermuda a few days before the promulgation of the order. The Sumter was at Gibraltar at latest accounts. She had captured twenty-one Yankee vessels, nearly all of which were subsequently destroyed. The arrival of the Nashville creates great rejoicing here. The news she brings has restored the cheerful spirits of our people, and inspired them with renewed hopes. Some disappointment was expressed by almost everybody that the Nashville brought no arms from Europe for the use of our government. When, however, it is recollected that the Nashville was tolerated in English waters, and protected from destruction by the neutrality and courtesy of the British government, our readers will at once perceive that to have taken in a cargo of war material such as had been interdicted by the Queen's proclamation, would have been a gross violation not only of hospitality, but of courtesy and the laws of neutrality. The Nashville, it must be remembered, is a government war-ship, and not a merchantman.
--Richmond Enquirer Extra, March 1.