runaway negroes--‘"Bohemian"’ gone to North Carolina--the news, &c.
[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Norfolk, Feb. 3, 1862.
I learn that more slaves effected their escape last week from Norfolk county
They belong to farmers residing on or near Tanner
They doubtless get off at night in boats sufficiently large to cross the Roads
and land them at or near Fortress Monroe
The loss of valuable negro men falls heavily upon the gentlemanly and kind-hearted farmers and gardeners in the section of the county above mentioned, and prompt and judicious measures should at once be taken to prevent slaves from getting off by water to the forts and vessels of the common enemy.
The deluded negroes, thus leaving their best friends and comfortable homes, where they are fed, clothed, and allowed all reasonable privileges, vainly suppose that they will fare better, and the more favorably situated, under the protection of the Yankees
, than at home, where they have been reared and provided for. And notwithstanding the reliable statements relative to the strict rules to which they have to submit, and the rigid and inhospitable treatment they receive after they get within the enemy's lines, it is believed that these stampedes will continue unless a thorough look-out be kept along the shore, and especially near the mouths of Tanner's
and Mason's creeks
Considering the fact that some of the negro men who have gone off to Old Point
were held in high estimation by their indulgent owners, who, in some cases, placed great confidence in their fidelity, and that negroes are not apt to originate or to form among themselves any well- devised plan or carefully-concerted movement, it is not improbable that their credulous minds have been poisoned, and that they have been prompted and advised by abolition traitors who have communicated with them, and who are acting in concert with some of the fanatics connected with the Federal
forces at Old Point
or else where.
Your gentlemanly and talented correspondent ‘"Bohemian,
"’ left our city yesterday morning for North Carolina
, having taken passage in a steamer that will go up the Southern
branch of the Elizabeth
, and through the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal
, thence out into the sounds of the Old North State.
It is probable that he will visit some prominent points, from which you will no doubt received some interesting and judicious letters relative to the movements of the enemy, besides some well written descriptive sketches of the section of North Carolina
now menaced by the Yankee
forces that are striving to ‘ "possess the land."’
We have no late news here from the North Carolina
What I know of our army movements relative thereto, I will not state.
It is not improbable that the enemy will shortly attack Roanoke Island
, and if successful, which is by no means certain, an attempt will be made to take possession of Elizabeth City
, and other small towns on the sounds and rivers.
It is also believed by some persons that Burnside
's intention is, if possible, to concentrate a large force in the neighborhood of Elizabeth City
, and thence march towards Norfolk
for the purpose of an attack in the rear.
This, however, is very doubtful; and it is probable that the crippled fleet, with all its shivering Hessian troops, will accomplish but little more than the stealing of a few negroes, and the plundering at unprotected points of the barns, smoke-houses, and hen roosts, of the thrifty farmers in the productive section of Carolina
, which they are so anxiously hoping to possess, without serious interruption.
That they will have a hard road to travel in gaining any decisive victory, is perfectly evident to all who know the character and spirit of the people of that region, and especially the man of power and action who commands our brave troops on the sound.
Snow fell here this morning for about two hours, and then changed to rain, the wind blowing from the East
, but not heavily.
Corn is selling here at 65-67 cents, and the demand, which is principally for army purposes, in readily met by the supply.
Groceries, provisions, &c, are still very high, and many articles very scapes; but no great change has taken place in the market recently.