[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Norfolk, Va., April 26, 1861
Everything is apparently calm and quiet here, but it may be compared to that calmness that often precedes the impending storm.
Our boys are ready and anxious to meet the foe. --There is, of course, a sad feeling in consequence of the state of affairs; but as to the word "fear,
" it is not known in this section.
I give you a few items of news, and will continue from day to day, as I become in possession of facts.
One hundred negroes, volunteers, arrived from Petersburg
yesterday, were sent down to Fort Norfolk in the steamer Wilson
, and are now quartered there.
The United Fire
and Artillery Company have charge of the guns at Fort Norfolk.--
These men will do fearful execution if necessity requires it. They number largely, and the most of them expert gunners, having seen actual service before this.
Ten guns, of the heaviest kind, have already been mounted at the Naval Hospital
, and are still being mounted as fast as possible — besides, the Hospital
itself is strongly garrisoned, and altogether this place is a strong point of defence.
There have been, also, guns mounted at Craney Island
and at Sandy Point
, just opposite Craney Island
, and about three miles be low the Hospital
The Norfolk county
Light Guard, numbering 76 members, went into service last Sunday and were ordered on scout duty.
They, with the Wise Dragoons
and Seaboard Rifle Company, (brave sets, all of them,) will do good duty in protecting our sea coast, from Willoughby's Point opposite Fortress Monroe
, all the way down to Cape Henry
, and below.
Three steamers with a brig in tow were reported as going up the bay last night.
They were supposed to be bound for Annapolis
, with troops.
With the exception of the Cumberland
, there are no steamers or vessels of any kind either in Hampton Roads
or the bay this morning.
There were at 5 o'clock this morning, on the wharf at Old point
, about three or four hundred barrels of beef or pork.
The steamer Chesapeake
was at the wharf, but it could not be ascertained whether she was landing or taking on board the barrels.
The Relief Fund for the benefit of families, whose heads have been, or may be, called into service, has met with the most generous subscriptions.
James H. Behan
, headed the list with $500--others have and will do the same.
notes of one, two, three, and four dollars are freely circulating in our city; also small notes issued by the city, which will afford a great relief to the community, in the way of making change, without being subjected to an enormous discount.
Our stores open at the usual hour in the morning, to accommodate the people from the country, and close at 5 P. M., to afford time to the employees to attend drill, &c.