[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
another Yankee story Proved false.
Middlssex County, Va., February 6, 1862.
Having seen in your paper of Saturday last an article taken from the Philadelphia Inquirer
, headed ‘"Fight at the mouth of the Rappahannock river
--Confederate schooner burned,"’ written by an officer on board of one of the steamers blockading the Rappahannock river
, and knowing that no such schooner has either been burned or captured, I deem it proper to make known through your paper to the public the facts of the case.
The circumstances connected with the fight are simply theses: During the week preceding the engagement the Yankees
had landed in Middlesex
, and wantonly burned a private dwelling; and as it was supposed that similar depredations would be attempted, Captain Fleet.
of the Middlesex artillery, with three guns and a portion of his company, proceeded to a point opposite to which the blockading steamers were lying, and there planted his cannon.
On the 15th of January, Captain Fleet, finding it necessary for some purpose, directed a yacht which was in the vicinity to be removed from one point to another.
, having caught a glimpse of the yacht, immediately started in pursuit with the larger steamer.
This rendered it necessary that the yacht.
in order to escape and reach a place of safety, should run into Sturgeon
's creek, where the men who were in her went ashore.
When the steamer came up opposite to the mouth of the creek, two boats, with about 20 men in each, were dispatched for the purpose of capturing the yacht, while she continued to shell the shore for a mile up and down, in order to protect her boats; which, having advanced within 300 yards of the nearest cannon, Capt.
Fleet opened fire on them with canister; whereupon they immediately wheeled about and returned with the utmost precipitation to the steamer, which now resumed her fire with redoubled efforts.
Fleet then gave the signal to Lieutenant Hardy
to open fire on the steamer with the other two guns, which were at some distance below.
This he did with great promptness and effect in the mean time, the small steamer having come to the aid of the large one, they both kept up for some time a furious cannenade.
But, after a few well directed fires of our guns, they with drew, amid the repeated cheers of our men. Out of fifteen shots, which were all that were fired at the steamers, the large one was struck three times, and the small one twice.
, as well as most of those who were present on the occassion, saw five shots strike the steamers, though with what effect they could not positively determine, They were no doubt seriously injured, as, instead of lying at the mouth of the river as formerly, they now lie out in the bay, and have never ventured to come up the river since.
N. W. P.