The War on the coast.From the Savannah papers of Thursday last, we get some further intelligence of the state of affairs on the Florida coast. The Republican says: ‘ Capt. Clark, of Col. Davis's Mounted Regiment, of Florida, and a number of volunteer citizens, started from Callahan Station, on Wednesday night last, to intercept a Federal gunboat which had gone in pursuit of the little steamer Hard Times. After traveling twenty miles to the bluff, in the vicinity of Albert's mills, they found that the gunboat had passed up beyond that point. They then galloped four miles farther up, to another bluff, to await the return of the boat, and after hitching their horses at a convenient distance, they scattered about a half mile along the edge of the bluff, each man taking a tree, and with their Maynard rifles and double-barrel shot guns, as the enemy's gunboat got within sixty yards, the first of the ambuscade line opened, and the fire told with deadly effect upon the thickly crowded decks of the gunboat, causing great confusion and excitement among the Lincolnites.--Considerable excitement prevailed on board as they saw their comrade falling. Officers cursing men, and men cursing officers. The Yankees used their ordnance, but with no effect, the shot striking the tops of the trees. They used their navy pistols also, but with no damage other than slightly wounding a horse that was hitched about 250 yards from the edge of the bluff. Oar men fired from one to five shots each. One of them, a volunteer, a noted hunter and excellent marksman, fired five times, and each time selected his man — the one with the most brass buttons on, as he expressed it. After each shot, he did not again get a glimpse of his object. An hour intervened, when the boat was attacked again by Captain Lang's (of Camden county) company, who were similarly ambuscaded on a bluff about eight miles distant. One of the volunteers of Colonel Davis's mounted regiment shot both barrels of his gun, loaded with wire cartridges of ‘"blue whistlers,"’ or buckshot, into a group of four of the Federals on deck, about sixty yards from his position, and saw no more of them after he fired. A negro who had been a prisoner of the Yankees, and escaped from Amelia Island to the camp near Fernandina, states that he was made to assist in burying 47 Yankees, and reports that there were 16 wounded. We trust that all our troops in the Confederacy will profit by the example set in this guerilla movement. ’ The Savannah News comments with some bitterness upon the capacities and conduct of our officers in command in Florida, but makes an exception in favor of Colonel Dowd of the Mississippi regiment. We copy the following additional particulars from the same article: ‘ In despite of these adverse circumstances, a brilliant action was performed by a company of Colonel Davis's First Florida Cavalry. This company, commanded by Captain William Clarke, took position on a bluff on the St. Mary's river, and waited the approach of a Federal gunboat. As they approached, a man at the masthead, espying Clark's company, cried out, ‘"Here are the damned rebels."’ ‘"Yes,"’ said Clarks, ‘"here we are!"’ With that he raised his rifle, and the lookout dropped dead on the deck from his lofty perch. Clark's men then gave three cheers, fired a volley, and twenty-five or thirty of the Federals were billed and wounded.--The gunboat not being able to contend with our men thus advantageously posted, retreated discomfited. The evacuation of Fernandina was conducted very badly, and much was lost owing to the inefficiency of the Colonel in command. Ex-Senator Yules, President of the Florida Railroad, was untiring in his efforts to save the property of the citizens. He was the last man to leave Fernandina, and was on the train that was fired on. He escaped by great efforts, and projected an expedition on Monday night to bring off the train that had been left, which would have been entirely successful had not the railroad bridge been set on fire by order of Col. Hopkins, in command, just as the train reached it. All the Florida troops need to insure success is a worthy commander. At last accounts a battle was being fought on the mainland between the Federalists. 8,000 strong, and our forces, numbering about 2,000. There is no doubt that we shall take the whole Federal force, if Gen. Trapier does not order a retreat. Such are a few items we have gathered from those recently from Florida. We forgot to mention that the steamer St. Mary's, Captain Freeborn, is safe in the St. John's river. It is said she has been taken far up that river and there sunk by her gallant Captain. Had it not been for the sagacity of Captain Freeborn, the St. Mary's would have been taken on Sunday morning, when the first Federal steamer made her appearance, flying a French flag in distress.--It was proposed to him to go out to the assistance of this pretendedly distressed steamer. Captain Freeborn took a good look at her through his glass, and quickly observed that he was not to be caught in that way, because he was sure she was a Yankee build. It was then that Lieutenant-Colonel Holland and eight men put off to her in a boat, and were caught and taken prisoners by this base stratagem of the unscrupulous Yankee. ’
The troops not to be withdrawn.Rumors have been current that the troops in Florida are to be withdrawn. We are credibly informed that such is not the case, and that they are not only to remain, but every man in the State is determined to come to their aid and fight to the death. Florida, though a young State, will do her share, and can bring into the field her quota of good marksmen.
Picket firing.Between 6 and 7 o'clock Tuesday evening, a Yankee barge, containing some eight or ten men, was discovered by our pickets, in Augustine creek supposed to be taking soundings or reconnoitering. Two of the picke's fired at them, and one was seen to fall. The enemy returned the fire, but missed their mark.--They then hurried back. Capt. Rockwell's company, stationed at a battery near by, went to the assistance of the pickets on hearing the firing. About midnight, the Federals returned and commenced an attack. Firing was kept up on both sides for some time, but with no injury to our men. How the Yankees fared on this, their second. visit, could not be ascertained; but it is presumed they were satisfied to retrace their steps, without waiting to find out what success they met with.
Skirmish at Brunswick, Ga.Col. Carey W. Stiles visited Brunswick early yesterday morning, in command of a battalion. The enemy were not in the city but on board their vessels in the harbor--Eight Yankee soldiers were engaged gathering oysters within musket ra ge from the bank, and the temptation induced one of our men, a printer, belonging to the Jackson Artillery, who had accompanied the expedition, to pull trigger on them and killed one of the party. The rest began to row stily away, when other shots were fired at them, and but two of the eight were left to return to their ships. The gunboats in the stream then opened their cannon on the city, but done no damage to our troops, as they had withdrawn, finding no enemy on shore to meet them.--About 10 o'clock that night the Yankees again opened on the city, and it is supposed that they were shelling the town.
Fernandina is on Amelia Island, which forms a part of Nassau county, Florida, The island is sixteen miles in length by four in breadth, and is separated from the mainland by a strait from two to four miles wide. The northern and eastern sides of the island are bordered by rows of sand hills, and backed by a thick forest of pine, palmette, oak, and undergrowth. On the western side of the island, on the shore of Amelia-river, as the channel between the island and the mainland is called, stands the village of Fernandina, or New Fernandina, as it is called, to distinguish it from Old. Fernandina, a decayed Spanish settlement a little to the northward of the new town, Opposite Fernandina, on the other side of Amelia river, is Tiger Island, between which and Amelia island is the harbor, which is one of the best and, arest on the coast, though the draft of water is not equal to that of Beaufort or Brunswick. Nassau county, of which Amelia Island forms an important part, had, in 1850, a population of 2,161, of whom 1,077 were slaves — Its productions in that year were 404,805 pounds of rice, 29,812 bushels of Indian corn, 279 bales of cotton, and 44 hogsheads of sugar. Fernandian commands the month of St. Mary's River, which is accessible to vessels drawing seventeen or eighteen feet of water. It is also the eastern terminus of an important railroad, one hundred and fifty miles in length, running across the peninsula of Florida to Cedar ays, on the Gulf.