(From the London Times’ Southampton Correspondent, Jan. 9th, 10th and 11th, and telegrams of the 12th.)
Southampton is in a state of blockade. The federal screw sloop-of-war Tuscarora is moored at the entrance of the Itchen Creek, just at its confluence with the Southampton water, about a mile from the dock mouth. She has her fires banked up, and lies with two springs to her cable, ready to slip another and start at a moment’s notice. The Nashville, which vessel the Tuscarora has come over to take specially under her watchful care and protection, still remains berthed in the dock. The Tuscarora is armed with nine heavy guns, while the Nashville is stated to have only two guns of somewhat inferior caliber. As soon as the Tuscarora arrived, Captain Craven communicated with the captain of the frigate Dauntless, which lies off Netley, expressing the regret he felt at hearing of the death of Prince Albert, and asking if there would be any objection to his firing a salute of twenty-one minute guns in respect to his memory. Capt. Heath replied that in consequence of Her Majesty having requested that no guns should be fired in the vicinity of Osborne, the compliment, which he fully appreciated, could not be accepted.
On Wednesday evening the American Consul went on board the Tuscarora, and it may be presumed, made such arrangements as will render it a matter of impossibility for the Nashville to make her escape. The Tuscarora, it is said, is to be followed by one or two other ships of the Federal navy, to protect their flag in the English Channel. With regard to the Nashville there is no doubt that the expected arrival of the Tuscarora, was received by Capt. Pegram some days ago, and every effort has been made to get her ready for sea as expeditiously as possible. – The British Government has observed the strictest neutrality in regard to the repairs, &c., effected in this ship. Nothing has been done but what was absolutely necessary to make her sea worthy, and such repairs only have been executed as are always permitted, as an act of humanity, to any vessel in distress. In proof of this, it may be mentioned that the shipwright who is engaged to repair her, attempting to put in some heavy pieces of oak to strengthen the decks, to enable her to carry guns, the Government authorities absolutely refused their permission for the timber to go on board, and it still lies on the deck quay. She has not been allowed to ship any powder, a small quantity which was on board when she arrived here, and which was permitted to be removed to shore, has been reshipped. No guns or munitions of war have been put on board, and, in fact, has been allowed to be executed but ordinary repairs. The Tuscarora requires only coals, water and provisions, which are being supplied her.
A telegram, dated Southampton, Friday, says: “Three armed men and an officer from the Federal corvette Tuscarora were found last Tuesday night in the docks, watching the Southern privateer Nashville. They were discovered by the Dock Superintendent close at Nashville’s bows. They had dark lanterns and combustibles for the purpose of signaling the Tuscarora should the Nashville attempt to leave the docks. The dock Superintendent stated that the docks were private property, that they had no right there for such a purpose and insisted on their leaving immediately, which they eventually did.
The Nashville is now getting up steam to leave the docks and to anchor near the Tuscarora. The Confederate war steamer Sumter is expected here. She has seven guns and one hundred and forty men.” Another telegram dated 10 A. M. yesterday, says: “A boat has just left the Tuscarora, and came on afterwards the docks, as if reconnoitering. The Nashville was getting steam up. The boat returned to the Tuscarora.”
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, February 8, 1862, p. 2