previous next

From Charleston

the defences of the city — Martial law — the Blockading fleet, &c.

[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]

Charleston, S. C., May 6th, 1862.
What shall be done to save Charleston from the grasp of the enemy? Can the approach to the city be so much obstructed as to prevent any gunboat advancing within, and deipit; the foots which now command it? These are the great questions which agitate the whole community, and have set the intelligence of our people to work, and the wrath of an impending fear to be prepared.

Charleston can be made secure against the assault of the Yankee fleet if energetic measures shall be soon inaugurated, and if it becomes necessary block up the entire channel from Sum'er to Sullivan's Island even though it may stop the evasions of the blockade which now are but the occasions for the gratification of individual cupidity. Resolutions of Governors and Councils, of Mayors and Aiderwen, avail nothing — are but idle wind — we are dependent upon our military superiors alone, and to them will be attributable any misfortune which may befall us. In a city like this, where the earnest will is not wanting, but whereby the knowledge of the how to do a thing, no enterprise is beyond their power, and from the planter to the poorest determination manifested wherever the same is shown in higher quarters.

Martial law has this day been declared, and, like submissive citizens, we only speculate upon the motives which inspired the Governor and Council with the brilliant idea. Apparently the only advantage which can be derived from it is the control of the markets, and the speculate a generally will not be touched. With that great veneration for time — honored usage and proscriptive right which has so nobly character and South. Carolina, they will provide that no impediment shall be placed in the way of their lawful and honest occupations. The proclamation will do good, for the General commanding in South Carolina, has neither to had the power in his hand, and could have exerted it at any moment, to seize whatsoever labor or other means necessary to the deforce of Charleston, the Legislature having invested him with it some months ago.

The whisper of the expected proclamation preceded the formal announcement, and was accepted here as a of the anger and dispof the august body, whom not a few of the members, of the Convention, and the citizens of Charleston have petitioned to remove.

We have had frequent reports of large fleets of vessels off our hertor — at one time thirty-three, at another forty-nine, had been counted but probably the glasses of the lookers saw quadruple the number, from some pecu in the glass. At least, no such number is off the harbor at present, and, as far as my observation went, after several examinations the past week, not more than ten or twelve were then off the bar.

In consequences of these reports, as well as other obvious preparations for the quartering of troops in the city, crowds are daily leaving — women and children occupy the cars, and mountains of furniture have barricaded the depot. Go where you will, enter a coach or a car, and the salutation is, ‘"Where are you off to?"’ ‘"Oh, looking for a home, of course"’ To Columbia, to Greenville, to Pendleton, to Anderson, and to Abbeville, indeed the entire upper portion of the State is now absorbing the population of the city; and should the General commanding so determine, he will be able to remove all those remaining in a short time, and give the enemy a severe struggle, or burn the city, or compel him to do that work himself, On every street, in every quarter, houses are closed and deserted, and none remain to take care of the promises but negroes, and those only which the owners have not been able to provide support for elsewhere, or who were not worth the trouble of transporting away.

Measures are to be taken to block up the approach to the city in a most effec way. I trust it may be done soon; not there existed any fear of immediate attack, but that the beginning shall be made as an earnest of the determination to complete it. I cannot believe that any attack will be made for two months yet, or even, more probably, until the fall. In the meantime, preparations proceed on the very quiet and even tenor of their way as usual.

A portion of the burnt district is being leveled, the walls demolished, and the ground rendered fit to receive a body of troops, who will, without doubt, be thrown into the city whenever the emergency demands. In conjunction with the debris and wrecks of the fire, and the unfilled vaults and cisterns which occupy a large section of the city and the the presenter of large bodies of troops sall send to create disease, which the favor circumstances existing with development yellow fever. This is very much feared, and under the present circumstances, will prove a dreadful courage.

It the enemy design to bold the city, we could wish them no better than is occupation during the visit of Yellow Jack.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Pendleton (1)
Jack (1)
J. R. Anderson (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 6th, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: