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Progress of the war.

Official report of the Loss of the Hatteras — her Commanders Account of the Affair.

The mystery of "who sunk the Hatteras" is at last decided. The Yankee papers contain the following highly interesting report by her commander of the capture of his vessel:

U. S. Consulate, Kingston Jamaica, January 21, 1863
To. Hon. Gidson Welles, Secretary of the Navy:

it is may painful duty to inform the Department of the destruction of the United States steamer Hatteras, recently under my command, by the rebel steamer Alabama on the night of the 11th inst., off the cost of Texas. The circumstances of the disaster are as follows:

On the afternoon of the 11th inst, at 3.50 o'clock, while at anchor in company with the fleet, with Commander Boll, of Galveston, I was ordered by signal from the flag ship Brooklyn to chase a sail to southward of eastward.

I got under way immediately, and steamed with all speed in the direction indicated. After some time a strange sail could be seen from the Hatteras, and which was ascertained to be a steamer, which fact I communicated to the flag ship by signal. I continued chase, and rapidly gained upon the suspicious vessel. When within about four miles of her I observed that she had cease to steam, and was lying broadside awaiting us. It was nearly 7 o'clock and quite dark; but notwithstanding the obscurity of the night, I felt assured, from the general character of the vessel, and her manœovering, that I would soon encounter the steamer Alabama.

Being able to work but four guns on the sides of the Hatteras--two short thirty-two pounders, one thirty-pounder rifled gun, and one twenty-pounder rifled gun — I concluded to close with her, that my guns might be as effective as possible. I earn witlessly speaking range, and, upon asking, "What steamer is that?" I received answer, "Her Britannic Majesty's ship Vexen." I replied I would send a boat aboard, and immediately gave the order.

In the meantime both vessels were changing their positions, the stranger endeavoring to gain a desirable position for a raking fire.

Almost simultaneously with piping away the boat the stranger replied: "We are the Confederate steamer Alabama" which was accompanied with a broadside. I at the same moment returned the fire and steered directly toward the Alabama, but she was enabled by her great speed, and by the foulness of the bottom of the Hatteras, and consequently her diminished speed, to thwart my attempt when I had gained a distance of but thirty yards from her.

At this range musketry and pistol shots were exchanged Firing continued with great vigor on both sides. At length a shell entered amidships into the hold, setting fire to it, and at the same instant a shell passed through the sick-bay, exploding in an adjoining compartment, also producing fire.--Another entered the cylinder, filling the engine room and deck with steam, and depriving me of any power to manœivre the vessel or to work the pumps, on which a reduction of the fire depended With the vessel on fire in two places, and beyond human power, a hopeless wreck, with her walking beam shot away and her engine rendered useless, I still maintained an active fire with the double hope of disabling the Alabama and attracting the attention of the fleet off Galveston, which was only 28 miles distant.

It was soon reported to me that shells had entered the Hatteras at water line, tearing off entire sheets of iron, and that water was rushing in rapidly, utterly defying every attempt to remedy the eval and that she was rapidly sinking. Learning this melancholy truth, and observing that the Alabama was on my port bows entirely beyond range of my guns, doubtless preparing for a raking fire of the deck, I felt I had no right to sacrifice uselessly, and without any desirable result, the lives of those under my command — To prevent the blowing up of the Hatteras from the fire which was making much progress. I ordered the magazine flooded and afterward a lee gun to be fired. The Alabama then asked If assistance was desired, to which an affirmative answer was given. The Hatteras was now going down. In order to save the lives of my officers and men I caused the armament on the port-side to be thrown overboard.

After considerable delay caused by the report that a steamer was seen coming from Galveston, the Alabama sent us assistance, and I have the pleasure of informing the Department that every living being was conveyed safely from the Hatteras to the Alabama. Ten minutes after leaving the Hatteras she went down bow first, with her pennant at her mast head, and with all her muskets and stores of every character, the enemy not being able, owing to her rapid sinking, to obtain a single weapon. The battery upon the Alabama brought into action against the steamer Hatteras numbered seven guns.

From the character of the contest, and the amount of damage done to the Alabama, I have no reason to believe that any officer failed in his duty. To the men of the Hatteras I cannot give too much praise. Their enthusiasm and bravery were of the highest order. I enclose the report of the Assistant Surgeon by which you will observe that five men were wounded and two killed.

I am, very respectfully,
R. C. Clarke,
Lieutenant Commanding.

Affairs in Washington.--Greeley's Plan for peace — the four Plunders of the Administration.

The Washington correspondent of the Chicago Times sends that paper an interesting letter, from which we make the following extracts:

‘ Prominent among the signs of the times is the recent extraordinary action of Horace Greeley and the New York Tribune Greeley has been in perfect accord with the President ever since the 22d of September. On that day Mr. Lincoln threw himself into the arms of the white-rooted philosopher, and ever since has been his obedient and docile pupil. Since that day Horace Greeley has been the master and leader of the Administration. He has been more than that. Since that fatal day Horace Greeley has been the master of the American people. Their rights, their liberties, the security of their persons and property have all been at his mercy. Whatever he commanded the President to do, that the President has done. The will of Horace Greeley has been made the supremes law of the land. For the President has been pleased to do whatever Horace willed him to do, and the Attorney General has declared. "whatever pleases the President, that is law."

Well, Horace now wills that the war shall stop. He has been here to see the President; he and his friend and co-laborer, Wendell Phillips. They have become convinced that the South cannot be conquered. Fearful, therefore that the conservatives will also become so convinced, and the latter, uniting with the conservatives of the South, will devise some measures to restore the Union, they have determined to avert that calamity (as they consider it) at all hazards and by every means.--Their followers here boast that Mr. Lincoln's ideas on the subject are the same as those of Mr. Greeley; that he, too, is convinced of the uselessness of prosecuting the war any longer; and that he will faithfully carry out Mr. Greeley's programme in May next, namely: a separation of the North from the South, and the recognition of the independence of the Southern Confederacy.

But the plots of Greeley and the radicals are not the only causes that are hastening the termination of the war. The national finances will not much longer bear the tremendous strain to which they have been subjected for the last twenty months.--No man in his senses can rise from a candid examination of the national finances without being convinced that the nation is on the verge of ruin. We are staggering under a load of financial embarrassments such as no nation ever before experienced All the schemes of Mr. Chase have been no more than the temporary shifts resorted to by spend thrifts who put off the evil day from time to time by raising loans on exorbitant and compound interest, and who find themselves at last bound hand and foot and at the mercy of their Marcile a creditors. The crash is approaching surely, but not slowly. It may come before the ides of March are past. And when it does come, the war is over.

Another cause that is hastening the termination of the war is the disgust of the people at the hideous complexion which it has assumed, and their indigestion at the revelation of the deceit which has been practiced upon them by their rulers — They never would have given their sous, their brothers, their husbands, to be butchered in a war the sole object of which it now disclosed to be the abolition of slavery and the extermination of the Southern people. They were assured by the administration, when the war began, that it was a war to restore the Union. They see now that it is a war to prevent the Union from being restored--Mr. Lincoln assured them that he had no desire, no intention, no power to interfere with slavery in the States where it exists. They now see him "proclaiming" away twelve hundred million dollars' worth of slave property. They have seen all the good Generals whom the war has produced smitten down, one after the other, by the hand of arbitrary power at Washington; and they have seen the conduct of the war committed to the hands of politicians, lawyers, charlatans, fanatics, and upstarts. Such a war they will not support.

The conservative statesmen here are in favor of bringing the war to an immediate termination. --They see that, in commencing the war at all, the Administration committed four great blunders:

  1. 1st In thinking that a revolution undertaken by twelve millions of people could he crushed as easily, and by the same means, as an ordinary indirection.
  2. 2d. In underrating the power and resources of the Southern people.
  3. 3d. In thinking that the people of the Northern States, when once entrapped into what they would believe to be a war for he Union, would he willing to continue it after it should become evident that it was really a war to prevent the reconstruction of the Union.
  4. 4th In forgetting that the internal tranquility of both France and England depends upon their full and regular supply of American cotton, and that these countries will not permit a war to continue long which would deprive them of it.
The conservative statesmen here also see that for reasons set forth at length in my letter of Jan.

February 31, the Union can never be restored as long as the war continues; while, on the other hand, as soon as the war is stopped and guarantees for their rights offered to the south, the Union will be restored. Anxious, therefore, to repair the blunders of the Administration and to restore the Union, the conservative statement here will oppose the further continuance of the war.

Mr. Conway, of Kansas, a Republican member of Congress, and heretofore a supporter of the Administration, made a speech in the House of Representatives on the 27th ultimo--a most able and eloquent effort — in which he set forth the doctrine that the war ought to be stopped at once. Mr. Vallandigham, of Ohio a Conservative member of Congress, and an opponent of the ruinous policy of the Administration, had made a speech in the same House on the 14th ultimo, even more eloquent and logical in which he, too, set forth the reasons why the war right to be stopped at once. The reasons for stopping the war, brought forward by the member from Ohio and the member from Kansas were widely different. But, when men of such opposite views both agree that the was must be stooped it indicates that the leaven of peace in at work.

But that is not all. The soldiers want the war to stop. Our brave soldiers are covered with glory. The wreath of victory has encircled their brows and their name willing be sounded with fame's loudest trumpet. But a wicked and imbecile Administration has turned their glory into dust, and made their victories barren of any good results.

They feel and know that they have been juggled and played with; that they have been made the unconscious instrument in the hands of a grinding despotism; and that now they are to be made the tools of the Abolitionists in lighting up the flames of servile insurrections. There is not a soldier to-night shivering in his "shelter" tent, or crouching over his fire, or pacing his lonely round, who does not sigh for peace. It is idle to think that the 300,000 troops whose time expires in May next will re-enlist. I have conversed with hundreds of them, and I know what I say. No offers of bounty will tempt them. They sigh for peace, and for the repose of their quiet firesides, and the latter, at least, they will have in May--as many of them as are alive. And how will their places be filled? Let the attempt now being made in Congress to raise 110,000 negro troops answer. Let the failure of the draft answer. Let the public meetings now being everywhere held answer. Let the resolutions offered by Mr. Walker in the Illinois Legislature answer. The beginning of the end is at hand.

Important from Tennessee--Rosecran Reinforced by Siegel's corps — the Plan of Operations.

Events of the highest importance to the Tennessee campaign are now transpiring. Forty-five transports, conveying troops to Nashville, have, within the past week, passed up the Cumberland river. The force is Gen. Franz Siegel entire corps, numbering 20,000 men, recently transported by rail from Virginia to the Ohio river, and sent thence in transports to Nashville, for the purpose of reinforcing Gen. Rosecrans at Murfreesboro'.--The entire corps has now reached Nashville, and the larger portion of it have been thrown out on the line of the Central Southern Railroad to Franklin, in the direction of this place and, as before stated, midway between the two latter points. Thus it will be seen that by a rapid and secret movement, 20,000 reinforcements have been skillfully placed at the disposal of Rosecrans, so that he may build his large army upon Bragg and crush him out; and, if successful in doing this, cross a large flanking army through the country via Corinth or Columbus, Mississippi, upon the rear of Vicksburg. A letter to the Savannah Republican, from Columbia, Tenn., commenting on the above facts, says:

‘ This movement is one of the highest importance, and, without it be properly met, may result most disastrously to our arms. The note of warning is barely in time, for by this day week there is every probability that Siegel will have formed a junction with Rosecrans, and give him the balance of power to wield against the army under command of Braxton Bra gr. There are but two ways to meet this Yankee movement successfully. The first is for Bragg to strike Rosecrans at once and before Siegel can come to his aid, thereby depriving him of the great advantage he is so desirous of obtaining — Without this be done, and done speedily, there will, in all probability, be a repetition of ShilohSiegel arriving to aid Rosecrans as Buell did to aid Grant — and, though an expensive victory be achieved to our arms, it will prove incomplete by the reinforcement of the defeated army, by which it will be able to hold its ground.

The other means of meeting this overwhelming assault is by reinforcing Bragg's army from Virginia. If Hooker can spare Siegel, Lee can dispense with Longstreet, and his army may be able to reach Tullahoma in time to participate in the great struggle for the Central Southern States and the connection of the East and West ends of the Confederacy. The aspect at this movement is not very favorable, but we trust to the foresight of Johnston and Bragg to meet the exigencies of the central campaign. In the meantime the greater portion of Vanhorn's cavalry have crossed Duck river, and in a few days the whole body will be over, striking at Siegel from every direction. It is possible for them to impede his roads, destroy his trains, cut off his detachments, and afford such annoyance and harass him so severely, that his junction will be no trifling matter. It is understood that two divisions of Siegel's advance are at Franklin, 23 miles distant, and that that place is defended by some thirty odd pieces of artillery. Were it not for the misfortune of two-thirds of Van-Dorn's ammunition having been destroyed by the heavy rains through which the command were recently forced to march, he would now be upon the enemy testing his strength and valor but it will necessarily take several days to replace the damaged ordnance stores and place the command ready for action. When these arrangements are completed I have little dou that for a month to come we will be repeatedly and constantly engaged with the foe at close quarters.

For what purpose this is intended I cannot conjecture unless it be that they contemplate throwing an additional bridge across the Cumberland at Nashville. It is possible, too, that it is intended for the passage of Duck river at this point. If the latter surmise prove correct, it is evidently the enemy's intention to throw this force upon our left flank at Shelbyville, where Gen. Folk is believed to command. It this prove to be the programme, he must now be waiting at Franklin for the arrival of his pontoons. A very few days will develops his plans, and the same length of time will precipitate Van Dorn, Wheeler, and Forrest upon him. As events transpire I will report them.

Citizens from the Cumberland report that the enemy are bringing a pontoon bridge from Cincinnati with them. You will have learned be fore this of five Yankee gunboats having ascended the Tennessee, nearly as high up as Florence, and having destroyed the town of Clifton, just below, and capturing about forty of Forrest's men and their horses. These boats, from their number, were evidently out upon an important reconnaissance, where a small body of the enemy would have been unable to have made such a successful scout. From the fact of Van Dorn's having crossed the river a day or two before their arrival, it is possible that they were sent there to prevent his passage and ascertain his whereabouts. Had they arrived a few days earlier they would have caused him much trouble and annoyance. It is possible, too, they were scouting a country through which it was intended to pass troops from Corinth to Murfreesboro'. Either of these suppositions are alike plausible, for it is evident that such a number of boats would not, at this particular time, be detached from the Yankee fleet and sent so far inland merely for the purpose of ravaging and devastating. A considerable force was left at Florence and Tuscumbia by Van Dorn for the protection of the railroad running to Huntsville and Decatur, and to guard the cotton factory at Florence, and this force has since been augmented.

The crushing of the Rebellion.

It is amusing to look back a little and see what the Yankees said about the crushing out of the rebellion at its commencement. The first sample is from the New York Times, edited by that remarkable military genius, Raymond, Says the Times:

‘ Let us make quick work, The "rebellion," as some people designate it, is yet an unborn tadpole. Let us not fail into the delusion, noted by Hallam, mistaking a "local commotion" for a revolution.--A strong, active "pull altogether" will do our work effectually in thirty days. We have only to send a column of twenty five thousand men across the Potomac to Richmond, and burn out the rats there; another column of twenty-five thousand to Cairo, seizing the cotton ports of the Mississippi; and retaining the remaining twenty-five thousand, included in Mr. Lincoln's call for 75,000 men, at Washington, not because there is any need for them there, but because we do not require their services elsewhere.

’ Rare military genius!

But the Tribune, (Greelay's paper,) ever ready, ever willing, to take a hand in any bragging or bullying, united with the Times in this wise:

We do not regard the Southern revolt as anything more nor less than the natural recourse of all mean-spirited and defeated tyrannies to rule or ruin making, of course, a wide destination between the will and the power, for the hanging of traitors is sure to begin before one month is over. The nations of Europe may rest assured that Jeff. Davis & Co will be swinging from the battlements at Washington at least by the 4th of July. We spit upon a later and longer deferred justice.

Philosopher Greeley has somewhat changed his tune. Indeed, as the war progressed, the air was changed to suit circumstance. For example, after the much anticipated 4th of July, we find Greeley speaking in such terms as these:

We were somewhat deceived in our general estimate of the strength of the rebels. We are now

assured that they are better equipped than we had at first supposed. But still a rapid and decreased advance on Richmond would settle the whole matter.

In the outset, the New York Herald it will be remembered was strongly Southern. It spokes differently and sensibly. Here is Bonnet's reply to the Times article above quoted:

‘ The "little villain" (Raymond of the Times) has turned General. He marks out a noble campaign. It will be observed, however, that be studiously avoids anything more than generalities, as well he may, for within thirty days, we now tell him and his whole gang of ruffians there will be heard such a howl as was never dreamed of. The South cannot be run over with 75,000 men. Two hundred thousand cannot more than reach Richmond.

’ But listen to what Forney, of the Philadelphia Press, said:

‘ No man of sense can for a moment doubt that this much-ado about nothing will end in a month. With such a man as Cameron in the War Department such another as Mr. Lincoln over the civil, and such Generals as we have, led by the "here of an hundred battles," we are simply invincible. The rebels.--a mere band of ragamuffins — will fly like chaff before the wind on our approach.

’ The Western Yankees were as violent as the Northern or Eastern. As a specimen of the "big talk" of the West we select a paragraph from the Chicago Tribune. Its was simple enough to believe that "Linois could whip the whole South by herself." That paper said:

‘ Let the East get out of the way — this is a war of the West. We can fight the battle and successfully, within two or three months at farthest. Illinois can whip the South herself. We insist on the matter being turned over to us.

’ The Cincinnati Commercial in commenting on the claims of the West, remarked that the "West ought to be made the vanguard of the war," and proceeded:

‘ We are akin by and geography with Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri and in sentiment to the noble Union patriots, who have a majority of three to one in all those States. An Ohio army would be received with joy in Nashville, and he welcomed in a speech of congratulation by Andrew Johnson. Crittenden and Frank Blair are keeping Kentucky and Missouri all right. The rebellion will be crushed out before the assemblage of Congress — no doubt of it.

Not a Yankee paper at that time had the remotest idea of the conflict — not one that rose to the emergencies of the occasion. All were filled with passion, rant, and bombast. From the Chief Executive down to the lowest subaltern, the raging idea of "wiping out the South, " "an easy conquest," and so on, went roaring, like a prairie on fire, from right to left, from left to right, consuming all before it. Even now they are not fully undeceived; but we do not despair of bringing them to their senses by a few more lessons.

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