Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Rebel News via Norfolk

BALTIMORE, April 2. – The following intelligence is from the special correspondent at Fort Monroe, of the Baltimore American:

The number of rebels in Fort Pulaski, as reported by deserters is five hundred.

Two German regiments at Fort Pulaski, had revolted and were in custody.

Gen. Sherman’s mortars and siege guns were so stationed that the guns of the Fort cold not reach them.

The rebels have withdrawn all their troops from the coast and abandoned their earth works, previously removing their cannon to Savannah.

The city of Savannah, however, is understood to be very strongly fortified, and all the approaches to it.  The force there is variously estimated, by refugees, at from twenty to fifty thousand men, probably 20,000, is more nearly correct.

A great despondency existed among the people and troops at Charleston.  The fall of Newbern created the greatest consternation.  The fire-eaters ridiculed the North Carolina troops, charging them with cowardice.

The shop keepers and bankers in Charleston had refused to receive North Carolina money, and there being two North Carolina regiments there at the time, a revolt was the consequence, and the shops were broken open, and the troops helped themselves.  These regiments refused to serve any longer, and were allowed to return home.

No information of the abandonment of Pensacola by the rebels has yet been received, but it was generally believed that our troops had crossed over from Santa Rosa Island and occupied the place.

The latest advices received from Norfolk by the underground railroad leaves no room to doubt that the Merrimac was thoroughly repaired and in commission and ready for another expedition against the wooden walls of the federal navy and river transports lying in the Roads. – The delay of the Merrimac in towing out is believed to be that she is waiting for ammunition for the heavy guns that have been placed on board her, and also for some infernal machines being constructed by bombasto Mallory.

The rebel steamers Jamestown and Yorktown were also getting strengthened and more thoroughly clad with iron to accompany the Merrimac.  There is also a rumor that two other steamers are being clad with iron at Richmond to join in the expedition.

As to the loss of life on the Merrimac in her conflict with the Monitor, we have now what is claimed to be positive information.  One of the recently arrived contrabands states that he was a nurse in the general hospital in Norfolk, and that before his departure he helped to shroud 32 of the crew of the Merrimac, and that both commander Buchanan and Lieut. Meyer are dead.  There are still a number of the wounded surviving.

The contraband also states that the last two shots of the Monitor were represented to be the only ones that seriously injured the Merrimac; those were thrown under her hold at the moment she attempted to run the Monitor down.

The military stationed at Norfolk from the Gulf States have been very severe on the Virginians.  Since their defeat at Roanoke Island even the Richmond Blues, the very pink of chivalry, have fallen in public estimation too.  All award bravery to Jennings Wise, but his father has so fallen in public estimation that he is proclaimed in Norfolk as a coward and poltroon.  In his escape from Nags Head he rode thirty miles on horse back, notwithstanding he had previously reported himself too ill to remain at Roanoke Island, at the head of his command.  Wise and Floyd now rank as the fleet footed.  My informant says that Wise would be hooted if he were to appear in the streets of Norfolk or Richmond.  He has retired to his farm in Princess Ann county.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 5, 1862, p. 3

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