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Letter from Portsmouth

[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Portsmouth, Dec. 11, 1862.
that a few lines from this place would ptable to you, I have concluded to what few items of intelligence I them on.

are living here is more than I can say thing, and that is about all. Yankee the rule of the tyrant, and we are suf that in a degree that is scarcely heara that the General placed over us is as the poltroon Butler and his natural may incline him to neglect the more odious orders given him by his master; is not back ward in imposing restrictions that to freemen as they are disgraceful and his Government. Were he, however, to be and his royal master to tolerate his magnanimity, the tory around him would keep up such an ever that the infernal regions would be a in comparison. Give these miserable and of humanity license to work and man, woman, or child with Southern would not be allowed the poor privi this tainted atmosphere but a short time. As an example of the fiendish malice with their victims, their conduct in re small pittance given by the city authorize to the ing women and children whose husbands and fathers are in the C. S. service, may be that even this portion of our population should be spared, these unfeeling hounds invented for Washington ears and a report went down an order that not another cent should be given to these poor suffering creatures.--The operators in this diabolical and inhuman business are not positively known, but sus places it upon the shoulders of a lawyer and both recently returned from the While believing these suspicious to be well I withhold their names, because there is nothing positive, and I am unwilling to do even to two such unprincipled and un traitors as these are known to be.

for an election of a member to represent the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth and the counties of Norfolk, Flansemond, Princess Anne and Isle of Wight in the present Yankee Congress is out. The voting is to be a test of alle and those refusing to vote are to be subject pains and penalties" to which disloyal and people are liable. Among the candidates mentioned for this seat of infamy, I may mention those of L. C. P. Cowper and John O' Lawrence. The first of this brace of worthies is a lawyer of city, who rendered himself infamously by voting for Lincoln; and then, to escape the indignation of the people, (which, by the way, threatened something more than words) published a card, declaring his love for his native South and his determination to dedicate to her service two nephews, then under his charge. He is now a boasting, brazen faced traitor, and has received a portion of the reward of his treason in the appointment of one of these very nephews to a place in the Federal navy. Thus has he brought down a promising young man to his own base level. The other — John O'Lawrence — was the former Mayor of this city, as conceited a little specimen of

mortality, and as rank an offshoot of toryism, as you will encounter in a year's journey. He is very small. That either of these representatives of all that is mean and contemptible will be selected is not yet known, as a call for a ‘"mass meeting" ’ to select a candidate, signed by some twenty tories, appeared in the Union of yesterday. Appropriate to the subject of this election is an extract from the Philadelphia Sunday Mercury, which I give:

‘ "A New Dodge.--The Administration, having lost its strength in Congress by the late elections, has determined to make it up by manufacturing Representatives from the seceded States. They, of course, will represent nobody but themselves; but their votes will serve Mr. Lincoln and his party quite as well, and that is all that is desired or intended by the movement."

All persons doing business in Norfolk or Portsmouth are commanded to take out license by the 15th of the present month, and no license will be granted to any refusing to take the oath. That there will be a general suspension of business you may well believe. This mandate of the foolish but detested tyrant will, like all others emanating from him, fail of its purpose. Those aimed at by this order are too firm of purpose, devoted to the South, and constant in their attachment to the cause, to be driven by any such despotic means, or any other, to swear allegiance to the faithless, corrupt, and rotten concern known as the United States Government.

There is much suffering among the poor class of our population, and, with the prospect of a severe winter before us, God only knows what is to become of them. The wives of our brave and gallant soldiers are, in many cases, in a state of absolute destitution. Cut off from every means of supply from those upon whom they have the right to call, in the midst of heartless speculators and extortioners, prices for previsions at the most exorbitant rates, nothing by which to realize one cent, and surrounded by a ruthless and implacable enemy, their condition is one to call forth the warmest sympathies of the Government and claims relief at its shends. Means can and should be devised by those in authority to mitigate the horrors of their situation. How can a soldier fight when he knows that his wife and little ones are at home crying for bread? And this many of them do know; and in justice to those who are fighting its battles; in Justice to the services of those who have fallen in its defence, leaving widows and orphans helpless upon the world; in justice to itself, the country should do something for these suffering unfortunates. Our City Council applied for a pass to visit Richmond in behalf of these poor and destitute creatures; but it was denied and nothing has yet been done for them.

A heavy force is being concentrated on the line of the Blackwater; transports are constantly arriving, laden with the Yankee vandals, who are immediately forwarded on the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad. That an advance from that quarter is intended there can scarce be a doubt.

Some three or four regiments are quartered in this section, and, from the appearance of the material it will be well to keep them out of the way of danger. Norfolk has been the scene of one or two riots lately — all, however, among the Yankees. One of these took place at the theatre the other night, in which Gen. Vicle was rather roughly handled--one blow bring given him — and his better half tightly squeezed. Many arrests were made, and the offenders will doubtless be severely punished. Desertions are numerous and request, and there are 150 in Fort Norfolk at this time who have been caught. Some boldly declare that there would be but few here could they reach home by land.

We are blessed in this city with an Abolition Provost--one Major Hoovey. Of course wool is in the ascendant. But, then, Major Hoovey is a brave man, as the little girls in this region can testify. Rather a sharp war has been going on between his valiant soldiers and the female juveniles. The latter have been vanquished, and the trophies of victory now adorn the Provost's office in the shape of numerous little hoops ornamented with those peaceful colors — white and red. Surely, the ‘ "rebellion"’ will be crushed.

I understand that the Seaboard Road is to be turn up as far as Suffolk, the iron to be used for some other purpose.

The depredations upon the property of our citizens is going on as usual, receiving the countenance and support of Yankee officials. Negroes and Unionists — I name the blacks first as being the best of the two--are unrestricted in cutting wood, and hordes of these lazy and dishonest creatures are engaged in an indiscriminate onslaught upon the forests surrounding the city. The destruction is terrible. Thus is the ‘"promise to protect private property "’ realized.

Yankee news is all that we get have, a Richmond or any other Southern paper not reaching us once in three months. Of course we are comparatively in the dark. Occasionally however we receive an item even from this source conveying a morsel of comfort, and now and then an article from a Northern pen which shows at least a spark of independence among that down- trodden and besotted people. Of this character is the article from the Philadelphia Sunday Mercury, which I enclose


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