Norfolk, Sept. 6, 1861.
The defeat of our forces at Hatteras
, as you may imagine, produced in our city profound sensation; and justly so, since a number of our brave citizens were engaged in the fight, and nobly sustained the honor of this good old State, as will appear from the following letter from a gentleman on board the winslow:
Newbern, N. C., Aug. 31, 1861.
"My Dear Mother:"
As I have a short time before the mail closes, I think I cannot better employ it than in writing to you concerning the bombardment and capture of Hatteras
by the Minnesota
, Wabash, Cumberland
, two sloops-of-war, together with several gun-boats and vessels unknown to me. Father is safe, and although the Winslow
was in the heat of the engagement, thank God, escaped scatheless.
The bombardment lasted a day and a half, and never was a scene of greater grandeur and horror presented to the view of man. Above, below, around, thousands of hissing bombs sailed through the air, plowed up the ground, and bursting in the water, threw up columns twenty tent high.
Only imagine eight hundred men crowded into a small fortress covering scarce a quarter of an acre of ground, among whom bombs were falling at the rate of fifty a minute.
We had part of a gun's crew on shore, commanded by Commodore Barron
, Lieuts. Sharp
, all of whom escaped except the Commodore
and Lieut. Sharp
, who were in the fort, and, it is believed, unhurt, when it surrendered.--Lieut. Murdaugh
had his left arm dreadfully mangled by the fragments of a bomb, but never did man act more bravely and manfully than he, even after his misfortune.
"After our glorious ensign was struck and the white flag hoisted, we saw a steamer leave the scene, followed by a Yankee gunboat, which fired some shell at her, notwithstanding which, being at that time in a slight hurry, she did not stop.
Before she left, however, those of our crew who had gone on shore were taken on board, (with the exception of the Commodore
and Lieut. Sharp
, who, I suppose considered it inconsistent with their honor as officers to leave,) as, also, some few of the soldiers who came on board.
‘"One of our wounded died shortly after the scene, on the way, having been so shockingly mangled as to make life impossible.--He was buried yesterday.
The conduct of Commodore Barron
, was gallantry itself.--He stalked over dying and dead, amid hail storms of grape and shell, and gave his orders as coolly as though in his own parlor.--During the engagement, father
and Capt. Sinclair
, who were on a Confederate boat, possessed the undivided attention of a sloop of war."’
It will herein be seen that, despite the tremendous odds against them, our little Spartan band fought with the tenacity of veterans.--The conduct of both officers and men reflects undying glory on the State
of which they are the faithful representatives.
, taken prisoner at that post, has in our city two beautiful and accomplished daughters, whose hearts are wrung in consequence of the unfortunate fate of their father.