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Progress of the war.

Accounts from the Florida and Alabama — prizes made by the Florida — the seeking of the Hatteras.

the C. S. Steamer Florida sailed from Mobile on the 16th of January last, and for nearly eight months has been a terror to Yankee commerce. She has now a much larger crew than she had when she sailed. It is composed of picked men. The discipline on board is perfect, and indeed severe, but no more so than is necessary for a man of war. The officers are universally esteemed. The service is arduous in many respects, and rendered doubly so by the disadvantages which they suffer from the anomalous position of the Confederate navy, and the privileges from which they are debarred. When coaling from a prize the labor is continuous until the bunkers are filled, and sometimes occupies several days and nights without intermission. Applications for berth by the crews of prizes are numerous, but by no means always successful. There is a splendid fortune for every one, and it comes in a few short months. It is estimated that each ordinary seaman's share of prize money amounts to upwards of 50,000 in hard cash — all this in six months! the officers must have amassed princely fortunes. Had they had the privilege of taking their prizes into port for sale, each man would now be almost a millionaire.

Here is the Florida the estimated total value of prizes in $000. this is exclusive of specie obtained aboard, which in one case, the Ben Hoxie, amounted to $500,000. many of the prizes are rich China, East India, and California ships:

  • January 19, brig Estelle, Boston, $138,000.
  • January 22, brig Windward, Portland, $50,000.
  • January 22, brig Corie Ann, Philadelphia, $30,000.
  • February 12, ship Jacob Bell, New York, $2,000,000.
  • March 6, ship Star of Peace, Boston, $640,000.
  • March 13, schooner Aldebanan, New York, $40,000.
  • March 28, bark Lanwing, Boston, $80,000.
  • March 30, bark M J Colcold, New York, $80,000.
  • April 13, ship Kate Dyer, Hamburg, $40,000.
  • April 17, Commonwealth, New York, $400,000.
  • April 28, bark Henrietta, Baltimore $50,000.
  • April 24, ship O ned a, New York, $750,000.
  • May 6, brig Clarence, Baltimore, $50,000.
  • May 13, ship Crown Point, New York, $300,000.
  • June 6, ship Red Guantlet, Boston, $100,000.
  • June 14, ship Southern Cross, New York, $35,000.
  • June 16, ship B F Hoxie, California, $600,000.
  • June 27, schr. V H Hill, Province Town, $10,000.
  • July 7, ship Sunries, New York, $60,000.
  • July 8, brig W B Nash, New York.
  • July 8, schr Rienzi, Province Town.
These vessels are exclusive of the twenty-seven prizes made by Lieut. Reed, of the Tacony, which was detached from the Florida and which of course must be placed to her account. It is stated that Captain Semmes, late of the Alabama, has taken command of the "Mississippi, " a new and formidable, craft, carrying 24 guns — not the Georgia as has been published. The following are some extracts from a private letter from an officer on board the Florida:

Bermuda, July 16th.
We arrived at this place last evening, but falling to communicate with the Governor before dark, we were not allowed to enter the harbor until this morning. We will probably remain here two or three days, as our engines need a few repairs.

We have been to the northward, and when within ninety miles of New York, met the Yankee gunboat Ericsson; we called to quarter and cleared the ship for action, intending to fight her. She came down to within a half mile of us, when we hoisted the Confederate colors and opened on her. As soon as she received the first broad side a thick fog came on and obscured her. When it cleared up we discovered the Yankee about four miles ahead steaming for New York as hard as she was able. We could not raise steam sufficient to overtake her, as our furnaces were full of hard coal, and they were built for soft. We had the painful mortification of her getting away from he, but the satisfaction of burning two prizes that night, which I am sure she must have seen, as she was but ten miles off. Our men behaved exceedingly well, and seemed anxious for the fight. The Yankee did not return our fire.

I have just returned from the funeral of Assistant Paymaster J. J. Lynch, who died three days ago of consumption. Our Passed Assistant Surgeon, J. D. Grafton, was drowned on the South American coast by the upsetting of a boat, while going ashore.

July 17.
Our reception here was all that could be desired. To-day, for the first time, the Confederate flag was saluted by a foreign nation. We heard that the military authorities wished us to salute; our agent wrote to the Governor, saying that we would salute if it would be returned. The Governor answered: ‘"The salute will be returned, gun for gun."’ At 10 A. M. we hoisted the English ensign at the "fore," and fired the national salute of twenty one guns. As soon as we had finished the fort returned, with the same number.

The Captain and all the Lieutenants are dining at the English officers' mess, and I am left in charge of the vessel. At first the Captain declined the invitation, on the plea that the officers were not uniformed. They said they would be glad to receive us in our shirt sleeves. We are received with open arms wherever we go.

July 22d.
The --expects to leave in a few hours, and I must close this letter. The coal has arrived, and we will probably get off by to morrow night. We have received the news of the fall of Vicksburg, the attack upon Charleston, and Lee's retreat. This news has depressed us very much. Let us hope that the next will be more encouraging.

The following extract from a report of Captain Raphael Semmes, commanding C. S. steamer Alabama, to the Secretary of the Navy, gives a correct statement of the action between the Alabama and the Hatteras:

C. S. Steamer Alabama,

Bahia, May 12th, 1863
* * * * * I arrived off Galveston, (under sail,) on the 11th of January, and just before nightfall made the enemy's fleet lying off the bar, consisting of five ships of war. One of the steamers was soon after perceived to get underway, and steer in our direction. I ordered steam to be got up, but kept sail on the ship as a decoy, that I might entice the enemy's ship sufficiently far from the fleet to offer her battle. I wore ship, and stood away from the bar, permitting the enemy to approach me by slow degrees.--When the enemy had approached sufficiently near, I took in all sail, and wearing short around, ran up within hall. It was now dark, it being about 7 o'clock. The enemy hailed, "what ship is that? " We responded, "Her Majesty's steamer Petral." The reply was "I will send a boat on board!" We now hailed in turn, to know who the enemy was, and when we had received the reply, that he was the "United States steamer Hatteras," we again hailed him, and informed him that we were the Confederate steamer Alabama; and at the same time I directed the First Lieutenant to open fire upon him. Our fire was promptly returned, and a brick action ensued, which lasted, however, only thirteen minutes, as at the end of that time the enemy fired an oil gun and showed a fight; and upon being hailed by us, to know if he had surrendered, he replied that he had, and that he was in a sinking condition. I immediately dispatched beats to his assistance, and had just time to remove the crew when the ship went down.--The casualties were slight on both sides; although the action was fought at a distance of from one hundred and fifty to four hundred yards. Our shot all told on his hull about the water line, and hence the small number of killed and wounded on the part of the enemy--two of the former and three of the letter. We had none killed, and only one wounded. The Hatteras mounted eight guns, and had a crew of 13 officers and 108 men. The Alabama also mounted eight guns, (with a small captured piece, a 24 pounder, too light to be of any service,) and had a crew of men, ex- clusive of officers. Four of the Hatteras's guns. were 32 pounders — the same calibre as our broadside guns, but our pivot guns were heavier than here — this being the only disparity between the two ships.

We received a few shot holes from the enemy, doing no material damage. The Jeremy's steamer Brooklyn and another steamer steamed out in pursuit of us soon after the action commenced, but missed us in the darkness of the night. Being embarrassed with a large number of prisoners, I steamed directly for Jamaica, where I arrived on the 20th of January. Here I landed my prisoners, repaired damage, coaled ship, and on the 25th of January I proceeded to sea again. On the 28th of January I touched at the city of St. Domingo, in the island of the same name, and landed the crews of two of the enemy's ships which I had burned. I called again on the next day, and made my way to--, thence to the island of --, and thence to this place, where I arrived yesterday — burning, bonding, and destroying enemy's ships as per list enclosed.

* * * *

I have the honor, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. Semilles, Commander.
Hon. S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy, Richmond, Va.

Lincoln's Cabinet — Denial of the Herald's peace Story.

The Washington correspondent of the New York Tribune, under date of 25th July, says:

‘ The late famous, or in- famous attempt to belie the Cabinet in the Herald was, probably, the most aboard pronunciaments pawned off upon the public, and just here I am authorized by a member of the Cabinet, who suffered the writer to reiterate a few of its points in his hearing, to deny its truthfulness fully and conclusively. The Cabinet, under no circumstances, have ever discussed in public session the idea of offering peace, on any basis, to rebels in arms. There has been no serious division in the Cabinet on the subject of peace or slavery, and far from truth is the report, that there has been a Cabinet imbroglio. Furthermore, the Cabinet will not entertain or discuss propositions of peace while a rebel is in arms against the Government.

The hottest discussion the present Cabinet ever indulged in was on the wording of the emancipation proclamation, and on this occasion the President was the conservative party. Mr. Seward urged on this occasion that no restrictions should be made in the application of the proclamation, but that its application should be universal. Secretaries Chase and Stanton urged the same wording, but the President chose to restrict Norfolk and numerous other districts, thereby confining the proclamation to districts in open rebellion against the Union.

On the subject of slavery and its ultimate fate at the end of the war the Cabinet is a unit — only differing as to the means by which its annihilation shall be brought about. Messrs. Chase, Stanton, Welles, and Usher, are of opinion that slavery should cease in all sections, whether covered by the proclamation or not, at the end of the war; while Messrs. Blair, Seward, and Bates, claim that it would be impolitic to make such a radical change; that the interests of political economy demand that emancipation should be gradual. To this effect these gentlemen favor the idea that all colored people remaining in slavery at the end of the war shall be gradually freed by special enactment. No member harhers for a moment the idea of reconstructing the Union on a basis of slavery, and no flag of tines has been or will be entertained from disheartened rebel leaders which foreshadows an idea in conflict with the emancipation proclamation.

A Yankee opinion of Gen. Lee's retreat.

The New Orleans Delia (Yankee) has the following editorial upon Gen. Lee retiring from Pennsylvania with all his plunder and spits:

‘ The ridiculous nonsense so copiously shed over the country by the Northern press since the sanguinary battle of Gettysburg has at last had its explosion; for Lee is neither annihilated in battle, drowned with his host, like Pharaoh of old, nor "bagged," horse, foot, and dragoon, as the newspaper prophets so confidently, and, as the result shows, veraciously vaticinated. He has arrived, minus some thousands of invaluable soldiers, on the south side of the Potomac, bag and baggage, supply trains, flocks and herds, and miscellaneous plunder generally, and finds the road "on to Richmond" free from encumbrance and obstructions. The purpose of the invasion of Pennsylvania will be found to resolve itself, in our opinion, into a mere calculation of its foreign effect, and as an effect to substantial losses then apprehended at Richmond doubtless as inevitable upon the Mississippi in that connection. By the movement and the unaccountable apathy of Hecker in its presence, Lee was enabled to accomplish for the object we think he had in view two very important results--first, he invaded, without impediment, a fruitful and important portion of the great middle State, the Keystone of the Federal arch, destroying or carrying off on his eastern advance property exceeding in value, it is allowable to estimate, of twenty millions of dollars, although Northern journals speak of it as being worth more than twice that sum; second, her freed Eastern Virginia at the same time and by the same operation, of the large, well appointed, efficient, and reliable army that had so long occupied the line of the Rappahannock with the ultimate design steadily in view of covering Washington while capturing Richmond.

He likewise has furnished the Confederate cause in Europe new boasts; for by establishing his ability to carry the war into Pennsylvania--to fight one of the fiercest battles of this slaughter house war upon its soil, not without discomfiture, it is true, but without detriment to the prestige of his troops and his own military honor, and to withdraw his army again within his own frontier, over a river swollen to the highest stage of flood, with defective transportation and no pontoon train — it will be made to appear that his short but not resultless campaign has only partially miscarried, if it be admitted by Confederate cities that it miscarried in any sense at all. That Meads, who, as we may truthfully say, was extemporized for the occasion, should have so rapidly and efficiently confronted Lee at Gettysburg, wresting from him the key to the position, and forcing battle upon the great Confederate tactician strategist under peculiarly unfavorable circumstances to the latter, is a marvel indeed, and contrasts highly to his advantage with the paralyzation of the Army of the Potomac under his predecessor, so extravagantly besmeared with praise as the special fighter of the American army.

Meade accomplished wonders; and that his powerful and intelligent adversary escaped from him finally, without serious damage to his retreating columns, is accounted for satisfactorily by the fearful record of the three days butchery at Gettysburg. Neither army was in a condition to renew the combat, and it required much time and anxious efforts to restore their lost organization and morals.

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