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Doc. 191. the fight at Fort Pickens.

Colonel Brown's report.

Headquarters Department of Florida, Fort Pickens, Nov. 25, 1861.
General: That Fort Pickens has been beleagured by the rebels for the last nine months, and that it was daily threatened with the fate of Sumter, is a fact notorious to the whole world. Since its occupancy by Lieut. Slemmer, the rebels have been surrounding it with batteries, and daily arming them with the heaviest and most efficient guns known to our service — guns stolen from the United States--until they considered this fort as virtually their own, its occupancy being only a question of time.

I have been in command since the 16th of April, and during the whole of that time their force has averaged, so far as I can learn, from eight to ten times the number of mine. The position in which I have thus been placed has been sufficiently trying, and I have at three separate times intended to free myself from it by opening my batteries on them, but imperious circumstances, over which I had no control, has unexpectedly in each instance prevented.

Affairs were in this state on the morning of the 9th of October, when the enemy, fifteen hundred strong, attacked by surprise a portion of my command on an intensely dark night. They were defeated and driven from the island with great loss by less than two hundred regulars and fifty volunteers — all the efficient force I had disposable for the purpose. An insult so gross to the flag of my country, could not by me be passed unnoticed, and I designed immediately to take appropriate notice of it; but, as I said before, circumstances over which I had no control prevented. I make these prefatory remarks to explain why I have now opened my batteries on the enemy, when, from the smallness of my forces, about one-sixth of his, thirteen hundred to eight thousand, I have not the means of producing any decisive results, and as evidence of my having accomplished what I designed — the punishing the perpetrators of an insult on my country's flag.

Having invited Flag-officer McKean to cooperate with me in attacking the rebels, and to which he gave a ready and cordial assent, I, on the morning of the 22d, opened my batteries on the enemy, to which, in the course of half an hour, he responded from his numerous forts and batteries extending from the Navy Yard to Fort McRae, a distance of about four miles, the whole nearly equi-distant from this fort, and on which line he has two forts — McRae and Barrancas — and fourteen separate batteries, containing from one to four guns, many of them being ten inch columbiads and some twelve and thirteen inch sea-coast mortars, the distance varying from two thousand one hundred to two thousand nine hundred yards from this fort. At the same time of my opening, Flag-officer McKean, in the Niagara, and Captain Ellison, in the Richmond, took position as near to Fort McRae as the depth of water would permit, but which unfortunately was not sufficiently deep to give full effect to their powerful batteries. They. however, kept up a spirited fire on the fort and adjacent batteries during the whole day. My fire was incessant from the time of opening until it was too dark to see, at the rate of a shot for each gun every fifteen or twenty minutes, the fire of the enemy being somewhat slower. By noon, the guns of Fort McRae were all silenced but one, and three hours before sunset this fort and the adjoining battery ceased fire. I directed the guns of batteries Lincoln, Cameron, and Totten principally on the batteries adjacent to tile Navy Yard, those of Battery Scott to Fort McRae and the lighthouse batteries, and those of the fort to all. We reduced very perceptibly the fire of Barrancas, entirely silenced that in the Navy Yard, and in one or two of the other batteries the efficiency of our fire, at the close of the day, not being the least impaired.

The next morning I again opened about the same hour, the navy, unfortunately, owing to a reduction in the depth of water, caused by a change of wind, not being able to get so near as yesterday, consequently the distance was too great to be effectual. My fire this day was less rapid, and I think more efficient, than that of yesterday. Fort McRae, so effectually silenced yesterday, did not fire again to-day. We silenced entirely one or two guns, and had one of ours disabled by a shot coming through the embrasure.

About three o'clock fire was communicated to one of the houses in Warrington, and shortly afterwards to the church steeple, the church and the whole village being immediately in rear of some of the rebel batteries, they apparently having placed them purposely directly in front of the largest and most valuable buildings. The fire rapidly communicated to other buildings along the street, until probably two-thirds of it was consumed; and about the same time fire was discovered issuing from the back part of the Navy Yard, probably in Wolcott, a village to the north and immediately adjoining the yard, as Warrington does on the west. Finally, it penetrated to the yard, and as it continued to burn brightly all night I concluded that either in it or in Wolcott many buildings were destroyed. Very heavy damage was also done to the buildings of the yard by the avalanche of shot, shell, and splinters showered unceasingly on them for two days, and being nearly [420] fireproof, being built of brick and covered with slate, I could not succeed in firing them, my hot shot nor shells not having any power of igniting them.

The steamer Time, which was at the wharf at the time, was abandoned on the first day and exposed to our fire, which probably entirely disabled her. The fire was again continued till dark, and with mortars occasionally until two o'clock the next morning, when the combat ceased.

This fort, at its conclusion, though it has received a great many shot and shell, is in every respect, save the disabling of one gun-carriage and the loss of service of six men, as efficient as it was at the commencement of the combat; but the ends I proposed in commencing having been attained, except one, which I find to be impracticable with my present means, I do not deem it advisable further to continue it, unless the enemy think it proper to do so, when I shall meet him with alacrity.

The attack on “Billy Wilson's” camp, the attempted attack on my batteries, and the insult to our glorious flag, have been fully and fearfully avenged. I have no means of knowing the loss of the enemy, and have no disposition to guess at it. The firing on his batteries was very heavy, well directed, and continuous for two days, and could hardly fail of having important results.

Our loss would have been heavy, but for the foresight which, with great labor, caused us to erect elaborate means of protection, and which saved many lives. I lost one private killed, one sergeant, one corporal, and four men (privates) wounded, only one severely.

My officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates were every thing I could desire. They one and all performed their duty with the greatest cheerfulness, and in the most able and efficient manner. I am much indebted to Major Arnold, my executive officer, for his valuable assistance — his whole conduct was admirable; and Captains Allen, Chalfin, Blunt, Robertson, Hildt, and Duryea, and Lieutenants McFarland, Langdon, Clossin, Shipley, Jackson, Pennington, Seeley, and Taylor, merit my warmest encomiums for the coolness and deliberation with which they performed, without one exception, their duty under a heavy continuous shower of shot, shells, and splinters for two successive days. Lieutenant Todd, ordnance officer, had full supplies of all required articles, which were on hand at the post, and his department was conducted with system and efficiency. Major Tower, Surgeon Campbell, and Assistant Surgeon Sutherland, in their respective duties, sustained their high reputations. Captains Robertson, Duryea, and Blunt, and Lieutenants Pennington and Seeley respectively commanded batteries Lincoln, Scott, Totten, and Cameron, and a small battery at Spanish Fort, and the other officers batteries in the fort with distinguished ability. Captains Dobies' and Bailey's companies were with the batteries at Lincoln and Cameron, and did their duty faithfully and efficiently. The companies of Captains Renberer and Duffy, of the Sixth regiment New York Volunteers, were successively on duty at the fort, and rendered cheerfully important assistance to me. The regular companies engaged at the batteries, all of whom performed their duty so efficiently as to preclude my making a distinction, are Companies A, F, and L, First Artillery, C, H and K, Second Artillery, and C and E, Third Infantry, and Companies G and I, Sixth regiment New York Volunteers.

In closing, I tender to Flag Officer McKean and Captain Ellison of the Navy, and to their officers and crews my best thanks for their able cooperation, which would have had the happiest results but for the unfortunate fact that great draft of.water prevented their sufficiently near approach to the works of the rebels.

I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Harvey Brown, Colonel Commanding. Brig.-Gen. L. Thomas, Adjt.-Gen. U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

Headquarters Department of Florida, Fort Pickens, Nov. 25, 1861.
General: The bombardment of the 22d and 23d has elicited some facts that are of importance, and I notice them that we may in future benefit by them.

First--That with the most efficient guns of the largest calibre and served in the best manner, no serious injury can be done to stone or brick walls, or to guns in sand batteries, or to troops serving them, unless probably by rifled guns, if properly protected, at a distance of from two thousand to three thousand yards.

Second--That shells and hot shot are not to be depended on for firing even wooden buildings, unless having in them incendiary composition

Third--That pieces of port fire are nearly useless as such incendiary composition.

Fourth--That brick buildings covered with slate cannot be fired by either hot shot or shells at the distance named, unless by accident, unless the shells have rock-fires.

Fifth--That the trouble and expense incurred in protecting forts by sand-bag traverses, etc., is far more than repaid by the saving of the lives of the defenders.

Sixth--That no dependence is to be placed on James' rifle projectiles, either as it respects accuracy or range. If I had had guns to be depended on. I could have silenced the most of the enemy's sand-batteries and the guns in Barrancas.

Seventh--That ships with their present armament cannot for an hour contend against rifled guns, and that if our navy is not at once supplied liberally with good rifled guns it will be very likely to be disgraced.

Eighth--That on service here, and I believe the remark applies with equal force to every river and harbor in the Gulf, a gunboat drawing six feet water and well armed with good rifled guns can do more and better service than [421] a forty-gun ship, or than such ships as the Niagara and Richmond.

Ninth--That sail vessels are utterly useless in enforcing a blockade.

Tenth--That Parrott's rifled guns are efficient, and that forts should be immediately supplied with them, and with a full supply of ammunition.

I would strongly urge that a dozen of Parrott's thirty-pounders, or, if to be had, of larger calibre, be sent to this post, with a good supply of ammunition, as early as possible. I had one which I found to be excellent, but when the navy met with such a mishap in the Mississippi, I was compelled to let Flag Officer McKean have it, and one of my twelve-pounder Parrott guns, to put on one of his ships to save them from being driven out of the waters by a little steamer having a rifled gun on board.

I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Harvey Brown, Colonel Commanding. Brig. Gen. L. Thomas, Adjt.-Gen. U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

The following is the conclusion of the official report of Colonel Harvey Brown:

Headquarters, Department of Florida, Fort Pickens, November 25, 1861.
General: It is with much pain that, after the wonderful escape of my command from the missiles of the enemy, I have to report to you a most melancholy accident, the result of gross carelessness, which has just occurred.

In order to prevent accidents, I ordered all the shot and shell of the enemy to be collected, fearing that the men might tamper with some of the loaded shells. This was accordingly being done, when one of the men tried to empty a shell by knocking it against another, he being surrounded by a crowd. An explosion ensued, followed by that of another shell, instantly killing five and wounding seven others, to wit:--

Killed.--Sergeant Thomas Conroy, Co. L, First Artillery; Privates: Louis Hay, Co. L, First Artillery; Thos. Poole, Co. L, First Artillery; Michael Ready, Co. L, First Artillery; Frederick Verger, Co.. C, Third Infantry.

Wounded.--Privates: J. Buckley, Co. L, First Artillery, badly; Wm. Shaeffer, Co. L, First Artillery, badly; Daniel Slater, Co. A, First Artillery, seriously; John McBride, Co. E, Third Infantry, dangerously; Daniel Crontey, Co. E, Third Infantry, slightly; Wm. Gill, Co. E, Third Infantry, slightly; Sylvanus Morgan, Co. E, Third Infantry, badly.

I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Harvey Brown, Colonel-Commanding. Brig.-Gen. L. Thomas, Adjt.-Gen. U. S. A.

A detailed account, by an officer of the Niagara.

On Wednesday, the 20th November, it became pretty generally known among us, that the flag officer had made up his mind to commence the bombardment of Pensacola, providing that Col. Brown was ready; and as we knew that the colonel only waited for the Flag's action, we felt pretty certain that the ball would be opened at once. I need not tell you that all hands were up to “concert-pitch,” and as eager to commence, as you at the North have been anxious to have us; and although we felt sure that some formidable masked batteries would disclose themselves, we were ready to find out where they were, and try the effects of our eleven-inch guns in silencing them.

The object was to destroy the Navy Yard, so as to put a stop to their use of government property and tools in building any more extensive means of defence, and to batter down some of their fortifications. Orders were given to our engineers to place bags filled with coal around such portions of the machinery as were exposed to shot, and nearly all the work was done which is necessary to “prepare ship for action.”

Early on the morning of the 21st, the flag officer went on shore to confer with Col. Brown in regard to preliminaries. At twelve o'clock he returned, and then we received orders to complete all necessary arrangements. Orders were despatched to the Richmond and Montgomery, then in port, giving them directions how to act, and the word was passed that we should move in at daylight, so as to engage Fort McRea, the water-battery, and the sand-battery, just in front of McRea, all three of which could bring their guns to bear upon either Fort Pickens or the shipping.

We could form no idea of the strength of these places, but it was highly important that we should draw their fire, as they enfiladed the parapet guns of Pickens. It had been arranged, that as soon as the steamers came down from Pensacola to the Navy Yard, the fort was to open fire upon them, so as to sink them if possible, and cut off all means of bringing down reinforcements from the town, and the first gun from the fort was to be the signal for us to move in and open fire. Orders were passed to have sufficient food for the day cooked before eight o'clock in the morning, and at a late hour we turned in to dream of terrible battles and hair-breadth escapes.

By sunrise on the morning of the 22d we were all ready. Our boats had been hoisted out and moored alongside, shot and shell got up, and steam all ready to move in at short notice. The usual morning prayer was offered up, the chaplain imploring a blessing upon the events of the day, after which the flag officer addressed a few words to the men in his usual clear, quick, come-to-the-point manner. He urged upon them “strict obedience to all orders, coolness, judgment, and precision in firing.” The answer was three hearty cheers.

About half-past 9 we could see the steamers coming down to the Navy Yard, little suspecting that their doom was sealed. In a very [422] short time they were fast to the dock, and at just twelve minutes of ten we saw a smoke issue from Fort Pickens, and heard the booming of the gun. A cheer burst forth from our men, and if ever a ship's anchor came up lively, it was ours then.

In order to bring our guns within range, it was necessary for us to run into very shoal water, and consequently it required the utmost caution in working the ship. Even with a perfectly smooth sea, there would be only twenty inches of water under our keel, and if it should begin to blow, or a heavy swell set in, it was necessary for us to have the ship in such a position that we could easily run into deeper water.

While working our way in, the Richmond came up under our stern, and as she draws less water than we do, the Commodore ordered her to go in and, open fire as soon as she was within range. She passed by us, took a position nearer to the land and opened fire. Meantime, the water battery and Fort McRea were doing their best to frighten us, by throwing shot that fell about a mile short. We kept on steadily until we thought that we were within range, and then came to anchor.

Our first shot was from the eighty-four pound rifle, and it told with very good effect. The next was from a eleven-inch gun, but it fell short. A few more were fired, but with much the same result. Finding that we were too far off, a boat was sent out in charge of the master, in order to sound, and having found that we could get in somewhat closer without the water shoaling much more, we hove up anchor, and ran in about one-fourth of a mile further. During the time that our boat was out sounding, several of their shots came very near it, but fortunately none hit.

We now again opened fire from our broadside guns, and this time to some purpose. Almost every shot told, and there must have been a fearful scattering of pieces, as our shell exploded over their heads. I do not think there was ever any target practice in the Navy, that can show such a record of effective shots. The rebels were constantly throwing shot at us, and seemed to be either increasing the charge of powder, or else getting more elevation, for their shot gradually came nearer, though it was not until late in the afternoon that we were struck.

By twelve o'clock, both the Richmond and Niagara, together with the guns bearing from Fort Pickens and Battery Scott, were all playing into Fort McRea and its surrounding batteries. We averaged one shell every three minutes, and as the Richmond had more guns, though smaller, and more than our number of guns were being served from Santa Rosa, there was about two shell each minute being fired at this point.

About one o'clock a firing commenced from a masked battery which disclosed itself in the woods along the shore, and about a mile south of McRea. They seemed to have a particular spite against us, by the pertinacity with which they fired at us; but finding that they could not reach us, they turned their attention to the Richmond, which was nearer in shore. Many of their shot came very close to the latter, and had they been well directed would have done a great deal of damage. Only one took effect, however, and I regret to record that this killed one man and wounded seven. The man killed was captain of the gun, and was in the act of taking aim when struck. The wounded were but slightly hurt. The battery of the Richmond was now brought to bear upon the hidden rebels, but I do not think it did much execution, as most of her shot were seen to fall short. About five o'clock she hauled out.

At two o'clock, a shell from one of our guns set fire to a frame house in the rear of McRea, and much of the time the fort has been enveloped in a cloud of smoke. Soon after this fire broke out, their flag-staff was shot away, and the symbol of treachery came down by the run. Subsequently it was raised again.

About three o'clock, one or two shots passed over us and dropped into the water, and by the note which they sang as they passed, we knew that they had turned some heavier metal upon us. Two or three of our guns were directed to the spot whence the smoke was seen to issue, and if they treated us to music, we returned the compliment with interest. They succeeded in planting two shots in our sides, making rather ugly holes, and upsetting things in one of the lieutenant's rooms. By six o'clock we must have dismounted the gun, for at that time McRea ceased firing altogether, and for one hour and a half we tumbled shell after shell inside of her walls, without any response. We could hardly believe that we had silenced them so soon, but thought that they must be at work in preparing some larger gun for our benefit.

We ceased firing at half-past 5, it having become too dark to get good aim. Our whole number of shell fired was one hundred and eighty; of these, forty-three were filled with sand, an expedient sometimes used in breaching a wall. The shots which struck us proved to be from an eight inch columbiad. At six o'clock we got up anchor and steamed out to a safer anchorage, and then all hands began to find out that they were very tired and hungry. All begrimed and black with powder, our nostrils filled with smoke and heads nearly splitting from so much noise, we were glad enough to go below and take a little rest, as well as to try the effects of a little supper.

Our men have done nobly; too much cannot be said in their praise. When the rebel shots would come near us, they would grumble out a howl of derision, and when each shot was fired in return, it seemed as though every man of that particular gun's crew would shut his teeth in defiance, and his look fairly expressed, “take that, you cowardly skunks.” The most of our crew are old man-o‘--war's men, and were considered [423] a “picked crew” at the time the ship was commissioned to go to Japan, and at that time sailors were plenty. It is no kind of use for an officer to attempt to teach these men how to shoot. Just give them both a gun, and the man will beat the officer so badly that he will be very glad to resign.

After we had become well engaged in the fight, we hardly thought of or had time to look at Fort Pickens. Once in a while I would cast a glance that way, and I could see that the semicircle of batteries were keeping up a constant explosion of shell over loyal walls; while from out her sides there came a steady stream of white smoke, and I could see that the shots took good effect. We had already made two good holes in McRea, and Pickens had knocked a hole that a horse and part might enter in.

A letter dated November 23, says:

As I commence to write to-night, the whole sky is illuminated by the burning of the town of Warrington and the Navy Yard. The former has been burning since two P. M., but the latter has just taken fire. The sight is grand, sublime, any thing you choose to call it, only we are too tired to look at it. The forts and batteries have just ceased firing. Fort Pickens must have fired over one thousand shot and shell to-day.

All hands were on deck this morning as soon as it was light, and in the best of spirits, notwithstanding the change in the temperature. During the night there came up a heavy rainstorm, and the wind shifted from the southwest to the northwest, and now overcoats are quite comfortable to us who have lived so long in the tropics. The wind blew quite fresh, and as it was off shore, we feared it would blow the water seaward, so as to render it impossible for us to get our position of yesterday. Boats were sent in to sound, and we found we could get there, but there would be only ten inches of water under us. As the sea was very smooth, we determined to try it.

About sunrise, we saw a large body of men leave Fort McRea, and go towards the navy yard, and we conjectured, from the looks of the batteries, that they were a “relief,” who had been at work during the night. When our boat returned, the officer reported that he could see a new battery in the woods, and that higher embankments had been thrown up in front of the others.

All hands had a good warm breakfast, and at nine o'clock went to prayers. At half-past 9 signals were made to Fort Pickens, and at ten we weighed anchor and steamed in nearly to our position. The Richmond did not go in at all, as the flag-officer did not think her shot took sufficient effect to pay for being badly cut up. As soon as we approached, the new battery in the wood disclosed itself, and although it burst shell very near us, it could not do us much harm. The other battery in the wood now consists of two pieces. Fort Pickens opened fire a little after ten. We came to anchor at ten forty, and fired the first gun at ten forty-five. At this time all the batteries were hard at work. There were between forty and fifty guns playing into Fort Pickens. As we expected, masked batteries had disclosed themselves all along the beach.

Our firing was very slow, owing to our inability to reach them, except with the rifled gun. The wind, which was quite strong, was directly against us, and very much in favor of the rebels. The charges of powder were increased from fifteen to seventeen pounds, and still our shots fell short. About a dozen of their shells have exploded quite near enough for comfort. The men seem to have taken matters quite coolly to-day. The commodore, in his address this morning, told them he did not want so many lookers — on to be on deck. Said he, “One watch go below and sleep, and be ready to relieve the other when wanted.”

As I passed along the berth-deck, I saw many of them stretched out, fast asleep, and not a few playing backgammon and checkers. Finding that all our shots fell short, we weighed anchor at half-past 2, and moved in a little closer. Hardly had we dropped it, before a shot went whizzing in between our smoke pipes, and dropped in the water half a mile the other side of us. Immediately there came another, and then another, and while they came over us, thick and fast, our guns returned the compliment. But it was no use; our shot all fell short. The wind was too strong, and our ship was dangerously near the bottom.

The charges of powder were increased to twenty pounds, five more than the regular charge, and finding that that did us no good, we weighed anchor and stood out. Even after we had moved out a long distance, several of the shots of this new gun came directly over our quarter. It could have been no other than a ten-inch columbiad, or else one of the rifled 120-pounders said to have been brought over by the Bermuda. One of our men says he could hear it say, “Secesh-secesh-secesh, sechong,” as it landed in the water. Had one of the secesh villains hit us, it would have bored us through and through.

We got out of their reach at last, and then we had the satisfaction of watching the grand conflagration. If the wind changes and we can get in, we shall give them an opportunity to try their guns again on Monday. We have fired about seventy-five shells to-day. No one has been hurt on our ship. News has come from Fort Pickens, and we learn that they are in excellent spirits. That rebel friend of ours was turned upon the fort, and managed to partially dismount a ten-inch gun, wounding six men, one of whom is fatally injured. No other casualties. The gun was soon remounted. Col. Brown says he shall not open fire to-morrow unless they first fire upon him, so that altogether likely the Sabbath will indeed be a day of rest. Some may think it foolishness, but I do not believe we shall lose any thing. [424]

A letter dated November 25, says:

During Saturday and Sunday nights we could see the camp-fires of two or three parties on shore, who are doubtless engaged in erecting batteries for our reception, but I do not think it is the commodore's intention to engage them. They have strewed their fortifications all along the beach, and contain only one or two guns in each, while at the same time they are protected by the woods. To silence such fellows, it is necessary to have a ship for each one, and even then I doubt if it could be accomplished. It requires a landing party, and a force sufficient to take possession of the whole place.

The Richmond received a serious damage in the action of Friday, although at the time it was not considered to be much. A shot struck her just about the water-line and penetrated the side, landing in one of the purser's storerooms. Yesterday she gained three feet of water, notwithstanding the steam pumps were kept in operation constantly. It will be necessary to send her to Key West, and as she goes to-day, I hasten to send you this letter, in hopes it may reach you at an early date.

I question whether Col. Brown will attempt to do much more. He has effected his purpose — that of destroying the winter-quarters of the rebels, and although they succeeded in putting out the fire in the Navy Yard, he has shown them that it will be a very unsafe operation to commence work there again, as he can and will set fire to it again, if they make the attempt.

Secession accounts.

A correspondent of the Mobile Register, says:

This morning, (Nov. 22,) at precisely ten o'clock by my time-piece, without warning or intimation, the guns of Fort Pickens opened on the gunboat Nelms, steamer Time, and the little Cushman —— the two latter lying at the foot of Central wharf, the Nelms in the basin of the dry dock.

The Federals fired a number of guns before our batteries replied; when they opened, under the joint explosions, the earth and water seemed agitated at their terrible voices. The houses of Pensacola shook at the earthquake voices of innumerable batteries, and soon the buildings by the water side, the sandy beach and the long wharves, projecting far into the bay, were thronged with soldiers, citizens, strangers and ladies, under such excitement as only war's dangers and alarms could produce.

The gunboat Nelms, in command of Lieut. Munston, of the Louisiana infantry, quit the basin under a shower of shot and shell, and proceeded in the direction of the Floridians, who are stationed at or near Town Point, on the main land, and opposite the city. From a front position on the bay, we witnessed her departure from the yard; the enemy for many minutes devoted their whole energies to her destruction, bomb-shells and rifle balls falling like autumn leaves over and around her. Once we thought a bomb had fallen on her deck. She was almost hid from view by smoke; fortunately it overreached her, causing only a slight disfiguration of her railing. She fired from her little piece two shots at Billy Wilson's batteries, and proceeded on to the Florida camp.

eleven O'clock A. M.--The Nelms has arrived at her wharf, and Capt. Keys reports the facts as above stated, except that he is not certain whether it was the sand-batteries or Fort Pickens opened the ball. Whether Billy or Brown, they were in dead earnest. The steamer Time still occupies her position, apparently unhurt. Had the effort been made, it is thought by those on the Nelms she might have got out and come to the city. Of this we will probably learn more when Capt. Wingate comes up.

The fleet, consisting of the Colorado and Niagara, it is thought, and a gunboat, have moved down from Wilson's camp to the mouth of the bar, and are, as well as we can discern, delivering broadsides at Fort McRae. Up to this hour, we had no messenger from the yard, save a little newsboy, who, according to his own story, “cut stick” at the first gun.

twelve O'clock.--Fort Pickens and the island batteries are answering our guns with ferocity. Our forts and batteries replied with equal alacrity — we trust to God with killing effect. There is no abatement in the city excitement, and every now and then a shout from citizens and soldiers falls on the ear. Preparations are making by some to send their sick families up the road. No fears are entertained of the enemy's success.

two O'clock.--Mr. Myers has arrived; he left the yard at eleven o'clock. The steamer Time, it is thought, is not much injured, but under range of the enemy's big guns. Her loss just now is unbearable; steam power in the bay is quite limited. Capts. Lanier and Crump have all their teams strung out, and communication with the lines will be kept up by wagon trains. The Colorado and Niagara are still thundering away at the Barrancas and Fort McRae.

five O'clock.--Another gentleman from just below says that it was reported among the outer camps that the wife of a sergeant-major had been killed in the yard.

A despatch says our guns and batteries have suffered no injury.

The firing is still heavy on both sides.

The frigates have changed their position, and are not discernible from the city.

Pensacola, Saturday noon, Nov. 23, 1861.
The bombardment commenced again this morning from the enemy's side at eleven o'clock. Our batteries instantly replied, and ever since there has been incessant firing, but with what effect we are unable to ascertain, as there has been no reliable messenger from the yard. Of course there are rumors, and absurd ones at that, flying in every direction.

Our loss up to the present time is only five [425] killed and twelve wounded. The loss has been generally at Fort McRae. Col. Villipigue, of the Georgia and Mississippi Regiment, is among the latter; his wound is slight.

The steamer Time was spirited away last night from the yard; the Yankees knew nothing of her escape until this morning. She has marks of being rather roughly handled, though not severely damaged. Several rifle shots passed through her upper works. Her machinery is uninjured. She had on board a large quantity of commissary and quartermaster stores, which are unharmed.

A gentleman from Warrington and the Navy Yard has just come up. He left at three o'clock, and reports that one or two persons had been killed at the yard, and that some of the buildings had been materially injured. A long train of government wagons had just entered the yard when the firing commenced. A number of animals were killed — the darkies quit their teams, and such a scramble for safe places was never witnessed since that of Bull Run.

At two o'clock, some houses in the yard, or below it, are on fire. The enemy are throwing hot shot. There are but few wooden buildings in the yard. It is said a number of them are slightly injured.

The fleet have been pretty much all day paying their respects to the yard and the batteries at Warrington.

Gen. Bragg visited the batteries yesterday after the action commenced. He expresses himself delighted with men and guns, and is confident of success.

Several sail of vessels are in sight--one of them a large steam frigate.

I have just learned by the glass that the fire in Warrington is the Baptist Church.

P. S.--The Episcopal Church and the new marine barracks are on fire, as well as we can make out with the glass.

I forgot to mention in the proper place that the enemy ceased firing yesterday evening at six o'clock. Gen. Bragg stopped only on account of a severe storm of rain and wind.

Pensacola, Monday, Nov. 25.
Every thing is unusually quiet. The enemy's shipping keep beyond our range. No additional fleet has arrived. Our killed and wounded on Friday, by the caving in of the magazine at Fort McRae, numbered eleven persons. No casualties since.

The Pensacola Observer says of the fight: While we are not able to give the full particulars of the casualties, &c., of the fight, we are prepared to correct some errors we were led into by Madame Rumor. It was not the Niagara, but the Colorado, that was injured in the engagement, and she has “hauled off,” a silenced old wreck, having learned by experience that

Little boats must keep near shore,
But larger ones may venture more

Nearly the whole of Warrington has been reduced to ashes by the enemy's shot and shell. None of our batteries are injured, and among the buildings destroyed are the St. John's and the Catholic churches. The houses occupied by the officers are only slightly damaged. As to the injury done the enemy, any report made is all speculation, and no reliable or truthful statements have come from there yet. All our batteries have been worked with great credit to those in charge of them. On yesterday there were thirteen of Abe's vessels in sight, but from their tardiness in commencing the fight this morning we are led to believe that “somebody is hurt.” A gentleman just from Warrington confirms the report that the firing of the enemy is very bad, and of very little effect. He says he counted over twenty shells lying there on a street, none of them having exploded.

The correspondent of the Columbus (Ga.) Sun says: General Bragg says he cannot make out what old Brown is after. He has been firing for eighteen hours consecutively, and has done us no injury. Not a soul was hurt yesterday, and no damage was done to our works. General Bragg thinks Brown's firing yesterday was ridiculous. One-half of their shells would not explode, and the Navy Yard is piled with them. You can walk over them, they are so thick. We cannot ascertain what damage we have done. Our aim was deliberate and our fire slow. Every gun did execution, and our shells burst always just over Fort Pickens. Our boys would fire a big gun and then jump on it and give cheers. They are perfectly delighted at the fun. The force engaged has been McCrae's and Wheat's, and another battery, all from Louisiana and Mississippi. The enemy attempted a landing at Perdido River on Sunday night, but were most signally repulsed by our gallant troops there. A negro wagon driver was at McRae this morning when the firing commenced, and said he would drive his team to headquarters if Pickens killed him and every mule he had. A shot killed one of his mules; he cut it loose and drove the remainder safely through. General Bragg says he intends to mention him in his report to the Government.

Another correspondent writes: The bombardment was kept up nearly all last night, and, from all the information I can gather, with very little damage to our side. It is said that there are three breaches in Pickens, and the Niagara attempted to run in yesterday, but received a heavy shot in her bow, and turned round, when she was raked in the stern, and it is supposed she is disabled. The general impression is that Bragg is fighting slowly, but safely and surely — not wasting a shot, and holding batteries in reserve that they know nothing of.

--Richmond Examiner, Dec. 2.


Congratulatory order of Gen. Bragg.

General order no. 130:

Headquarters army of Pensacola, Near Pensacola, Fla., Nov. 25, 1861.
The signal success which has crowned our forty hours conflict with the arrogant and confident enemy — whose government, it seems, is hourly looking for an announcement of his success in capturing our position — should fill our hearts with gratitude to a merciful Providence. This terrific bombardment of more than a hundred guns of the heaviest calibre-causing the very earth to tremble around us — has, from the wild firing of the enemy, resulted in the loss of only seven lives, with eight wounded; but two of them seriously--five of the deaths from an accident, and but two from the enemy's shot. We have crippled their ships and driven them off, and forced the garrison of Fort Pickens, in its impotent rage, to slake its revenge by firing on our hospital, and burning the habitations of our innocent women and children, who have been driven therefrom by an unannounced storm of shot and shell. For the coolness, devotion, and conspicuous gallantry of the troops, the General tenders his cordial thanks; but for the precision of their firing, in this their first practice, which would have done credit to veterans, he is unable to express his admiration. Their country and their enemy will both remember the 22d and 23d of November.

By command of Major-General Bragg,

Geo. G. Garner, Ass't Adj't-General.

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