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There is a point on the Mississippi river more favored by nature for offensive and defensive operations against the enemy that have passed and do pass Vicksburg, and may run the gauntlet of Port Hudson, than the metropolitan city of Mississippi, Natchez, and its immediate country above and below. A high range of hills, precipitous banks, rolling back country, firm, determined, and patriotic people, with other advantages pertinent, yet not material to specially, commend it most strongly to highest consideration. Drury's Bluff, if not common sense, teaches us what artillery, planted in the locality of Natchez, might accomplish. Besides, the range of bluffs there commands the Louisiana valley opposite at least as far as the gunshot range of the enemy's gunboats, say back toward, and beyond Lake Concordia and the lowlands above and below that old bad of the Mississippi.

Natchez, too, now, is become the great depot entreat, &c., of our citizens and soldiers, the trade and army road of the people of Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri, coming East and going West. We learn from one who susaks from the record that an average of twenty five soldiers per day have passed through that point during the last thirty days, and that as many as 300 to 400 of these soldiers have been seen at one time in transitu at that point. There are no railroads east or west from Natchez. It is seventy miles on the east to Brookhaven the nearest point on the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad--another neglected point — and twenty eight miles on the west to Trinity, on the Tensas river. There are good wagon roads all things considered, to both of these points from Natches, and stages, wagons, and other teams, ply there daily.

Natchez and its county (Adams) polls less than 800 votes, and yet it has sent into the field twelve companies, with an aggregate of over 100 soldiers, each and all of whom have done good service. Her population still enables her to furnish two full militia (State) companies.

Natchez is no port for the enemy to stop at, being devoid of railroads and conveniences for inland communication, but they do devastate in its neighborhood solely because there is no sufficient check to them there. This reminds us that sufficient publicity has not been given, nor a proper record made, of the feat of arms at Natchez on the 2d of September last. On that day, Yankee Porter with his iron-clad gunboat Essex and tender, Ang'o American, after pillaging the plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana opposite and near Natchez, resolved to rob the ice house at Natchez and to that end sent on shore in a long boat a Lieutenant and thirteen men. Twenty five resolute spirits, officers of the army on leave of absence, officers of the Court and others, residents of the city, armed with double barrel shot-guns, swore the enemy should not land and pollute their shore with impunity. As soon as Porter's force landed and had began carting the ice to their boat, these brave fearless twenty five, in the fase of the formidable gunboat and its scarcely less formidable tender, (armed with three heavy guns,) made a dash under the hill, fired on the foe as they were rushing into their boat, and killed two and wounded seven others, by which time the impetus given the boat as they jumped aboard and the addying current carried the enemy beyond our fire. Our first volley (our men loaded and fired three rounds) was responded to by shot and shell, grape and cannister, from the Essex and Anglo-American both, the shelling lasting or continuing from 4 till 7 o'clock P. M. riddling (making holes in) sixty houses, and killing one poor little child, thoughtlessly taken into an exposed street, and doing no other damage. Not one of the brave twenty five nor other person was touched. The damage to the city did not exceed $5,000. At nightfall the Essex and tender steamed up the river, and in two or three days after returned and demanded an unconditional surrender of the city. The herole reply, given without hesitation, was--"Give us four hours to remove our women and children, and then take us if you can." Porter parleyed and left, he said to return. He never returned. Natchez since then has never been molested, save and except in the destruction of her water craft by the vandals whose one or two boats have stolen by Vicksburg only to be captured by the Red river fleet.

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Yankee Porter (3)
Adams (1)
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February, 9 AD (1)
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