From the Seacoast.
[our own Correspondent.
Savannah, Ga., Feb. 20, 1862.
Very little worth recording has transpired here since I wrote my last letter.
The enemy's gunboats still hold the same position in Wall
's cut, but their doings there cannot be easily found out; they have unquestionably cut off the communication with Fort Pulaski
, and no effort we can make with our present naval force could dislodge them.
It is well that the precaution had been taken at a seasonable time to provision it and place it in such a position as to withstand the blockade which has been established.
Time will do much and it is not at all probable that, though the Yankees
may be delayed, defeated in their attempt to capture the city, they will be able to maintain their position long without recourse to some vigorous action.
It is a source of great regret that we have no means at our command to drive them from the river, a little energy and foresight, timely exerted, might have prevented their occupation; a floating battery could have been built, indeed could yet be built, iron-clad and bomb-proof, affording every security to the men and capable of withstanding, nay, dispersing the whole fleet of petty depredators now so materially harassing us and offering indignity to our faces.
Mechanics could be found in this city to construct such a work, if authorized, in one month, and to place it in such a position as will most effectually accomplish its desired object.
Unfortunately, during the whole of last summer
, the military government of the city was most miserably mismanaged, and there is not sufficient individual enterprise in Savannah
, to achieve such a work as that carried out by the citizens of New Orleans.
The preparation and completion of the batteries about and just below Fort Jackson
has been going on briskly during the interval, and guns are being mounted in all available positions.
These batteries are earthen works, unprotected by casemates, and in this view deficient; but they are the result of the utmost labor and careful construction, and, from the nature of the soil, it would have been exceedingly difficult to render them bomb-proof.
Still I think the attempt should have been made to render them so. Our experience has been dearly purchased, and we should not neglect its teachings, notwithstanding the losses in such engagements have been small on our side.
At Port Royal
, only ten were killed; and after frequent cannonades at Pensacola
, the loss has been trifling.
In all the movements of the gunboats against land batteries, they have been invariably successful, for some reason not yet sufficiently explained.
Why the fire of Fort Pickens
, a strong, well protected, and permanent work, should prove ineffectual against our attacking forces and batteries, while the constantly moving and unstable fire of a gunboat produces such effects, I am at a loss to conjecture.
I trust our military servants will explain this to our satisfaction.
It is a mystery why, with so little loss, all our salient points that have been attacked have been carried with such ease.
It cannot fail to produce a bad impression on the public mind everywhere.
has been deserted by a large number of families during the excitement of the two months past.
The furniture and effects of those moving would fill large trains, were they sent forward promptly as delivered; but the accumulation has been at times so great as to occupy a considerable portion of the large depot of the Central Railroad Company.
Lately, however, the grant of passports have been stopped, and, though the exodus of females, children, and negroes still continues, the male portion cannot escape the fate that awaits the city, and will, perforce, have to peform some kind of military duty, and stand up to the rack, on the 4th of March, proximo, when they will be invited
to volunteer, with the reserved threat of a draft, in case of the requisite number not accepting the proffer.
The volunteering goes on briskly; some companies are being formed here for Confederate service, and in the interior of the State
, I am informed, the spirit is moving the people generally.
has already most nobly responded — her full quota having offered and been accepted.
All the upper part of the State
will show, by the emulation to enlist, the unappeasable thirst which consumes them, till the moment, to wipe out the remembrance of the late Yankee victories.
I am confident no recourse will be had to the draft in Savannah
; it would be a stain upon her escutcheon that would not soon be wiped out.
There appears in some quarters a great ignorance of what has been done and the means to accomplish the same at the command of the Secretary of the Navy
A New Orleans paper assumes to judge Mr. Mallory
, and to request his resignation.
of this city, takes up the refrain, and modestly points out the Hon. T. Butler King
as a proper person to fill the place.
Without saying a word against the eminent abilities and the many services rendered to the South
by that distinguished gentleman, I will merely say, all the clamor that has been raised against the inefficient working of that Department is founded upon very unstable ground.
Any one conversant with the capacities of the country and the work now being done in Richmond
, and Charleston
, and Savannah
, and in every large seaport of the Confederacy
, will admit that they are taxed to the utmost.
That the work has not been done sooner cannot be laid to the charge of the Secretary
Till the July term of the Provisional Congress little power and very limited means were reposed in the hands of the chief of that Department, and that little has been well employed by him.
Saturday being the inauguration day of the President
, Jefferson Davis
, the pastors of the different churches have invited the attendance of their respective congregations to invoke the blessing of Almighty God upon our Chief Magistrate
, and to give him strength and guidance in the administration of our young Republic.
It is well to have recourse to the only power that can bestow blessing and give wisdom and right judgment in the conduct of affairs to precarious, and amid
troublous times such as surround us at present.
Your effort to abate the sad and demoralizing sale of poisonous liquids, sold under the name of whiskey, deserves the support of every honest citizen; the effects have been ruinous to so many gallant and well-deserving young men, who yield through a weakness allied to generosity, and has proven detrimental to the efficiency of so many regiments that the abuse has assumed its most fearful proportions, and demands the strong hand of power to stop it suddenly.
I am only sorry that the Government
has turned over to the Legislature the duty of putting an end to a trade the vilest and most hurtful in its effects to man. We have been somewhat more free from the disorders incident to the sale of liquor to soldiers since the order of Generate Walker
I have frequently heard the most earnest appeals since that order went into effect, but I believe that with very few exceptions it has not been violated.
The General has made himself very unpopular with his men; he has, firstly, been very strict in the giving of furloughs, and secondly, he has enforced discipline in his camp--two sources of the most grievous complaints against him. His men remark they are not ‘"soldiers"’ in the strict sense of the term; had they enlisted in the Confederate
service it would have been another matter.
You can appreciate the justice of the complaint.
The General appears still to adhere to his prescribed discipline not withstanding.
Spring is coming fast upon us; our woods are now odorous with the jessamine, and the trees are commencing the new year after the sleep of the winter.
Our markets are pretty well supplied.