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From Norfolk.

the late conflagration in Charleston — the duty of Assisting them in their distress — the increased demand for the "Dispatch"-- "Heavy Firing," &c.

[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]

Norfolk, Dec. 14, 1861.
The painful intelligence of the stupendous conflagration in the beautiful city of Charleston elicits the profound sympathy of a large number of our citizens. The destruction of splendid public buildings, and of beautiful and costly private residences by the hundred--whole streets of valuable property amounting to millions, rendering many hundreds of people penniless and shelterless, are great calamines, and well calculated to call forth the sincerest commiseration of every man whose heart beats with sympathetic emotion for the woes, allocations and losses of his fellow-men. But Norfolk and Portsmouth are largely indebted to Charleston, whose whole-souled and noble-spirited citizens so promptly sent aid of the most valuable kind as soon as the cry for help went forth from the stricken cities Physicians of distinction; gentlemen of character, talent, and wealth, nurses, servants, medicines, sweetmeats, delicacies, and gold, came quickly from that handsome, enterprising, and hospitable, though now afflicted city of the Sunny South. Now large numbers of her people are rendered destitute by the sea of fire that has swept in terrific waves of flame through a rich and beautiful part of the metropolis. They ask not yet for help in their deep distress, though men, women, and little children are without food and covering in winter time. The chivalrous State of South Carolina will promptly aid her chief city; other States, too, and the Confederacy will doubtless help those whom the flames have hurried from their homes at the midnight hour and deprived of every comfort; but a special obligation rests upon these seaboard cities of Virginia, and I doubt not judicious and early action will be taken by those in authority to give the citizens an opportunity to show, in a substantial way, their appreciation of past and inestimable favors. Indeed, the ball is already in motion. Mr. Newton, the worthy and gentlemanly proprietor of the Atlantic Hotel, has commenced a subscription list with a liberal sum; and the Mayor of Portsmouth publishes a notice in the Day Book calling a meeting of the citizens to take measures for the relief of the Charleston sufferers.

The Richmond Dispatch is still sought after by a large number of our citizens, eager to obtain the latest news from every quarter, and Mr. Wise, the worthy and enterprising proprietor of the News Depot, on Main street, has as much as he and his active assistants can attend to for some time after the arrival of the Petersburg train.

The discharge of heavy ordnance was distinctly heard here this morning, continuing till about 11 o'clock I have not heard the cause of the firing. Probably the capacity of the guns at some of the batteries was being tested for a special occasion soon to occur.

The weather continues fine, and our streets to day present a brilliant array of fashion and beauty.

War news scarce.

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South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (1)
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Annie E. Wise (1)
Newton (1)
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December 14th, 1861 AD (1)
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