Sheffield and Rotherham Independent from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England on December 2, 1861 · 4
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Sheffield and Rotherham Independent from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England · 4

Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Issue Date:
Monday, December 2, 1861
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Spirit of tije $rtss. THE SEIZURE OF THE CONFEDERATE COMMISSIONERS. OUR DUTY. (From the Economist.) The forcible seizure of certain Confederate gentlemen on board a regular English packet by a Federal man-of-war is an act contrary to the usage of civilised nations, which the Federal Government must be called on to disavow, and is, if it be not promptly apologised for and disowned, a cams beUi that a stem duty will not permit HE to disregard. The subject may be easily perplexed by needles verbiage ; but the essential consideiations mv be simply stated, and in few words. The dutv of self-exculpation, at the outset, lies with the Federal Government. An armed vessel of theirs has taken from an unarmed vessel of ours, under irritating circumstances, certain passengers whom our ship had received on board at the port of a neutral nation in the usual course of business, and with no fraudulent intent Those passengers claimed our protection and appealed to the inviolable sanctity of the British flag. They claimed the right of asylum which we have boasted that we oner, on our ships and on our soil, to the weaker partv of all countries ; they asked no aid and no favour from us ; they simply sought the ordinary safeguard of our laws, and the common assurance of our hospitality. It is no light matter that a foreign Govern-uhould presume to touch with the tip of a finger men in uch circumstances. The honour of England is tarnished by the ill-treatment of our guests ; the security of our commerce is impaired by the violation of our Yessel. The Americans may be able to justify their conduct ; but they have done an act of very serious consequences, and needing very conclusive exculpation. First, it will be alleged that the captured persons were " contraband of war." This barbarous term is properly applicable to any munitions or implements of war to any soldiers or sailors on active service to any despatches from the belli perent Government to its subordinates and implies that these men and articles are liable to seizure for contravening the peculiar laws of war, just as smuggled goods are likewise liable to it for contravening the common laws of commerce. The ground of this doctrine is the ground of necessity. Neutral nations, and the Americans above all, have been active and anxious for many years to inclose it within rigid bounds. If it were not stringently confined, alf trade might be stopped ; for all trade strengthens the trader, and the more commerce any belligerent enjovs, the longer he will be able to protract the war. Defined regulations have, therefore, been agreed en by the mutual consent of nations, and we have only to ask wbether the act of the Captain of the San Jacinto be within those rules. Beyond all question it is not. The captain of a man-of-war has no power to adjudicate on such questions as the present. Naval officers on remote stations, with passions and without books, are not fit to adjudicate on important and anxious questions. The worst rule regularly adjudicated upon by a competent court of law would be better than the best administered by a sea-captain. It is certain that the act of the Federal commander was one which )ie, at all events, had no right to do. And if the case had been brought before a regular Prize Court, even an American Prize Court, it would have been doubtless decided that the act now done was illegal. When the news first arrived, it was argned that as the Federals would have a right to intercept a despatch of the Confederates, they would also have a right to intercept an envoy, who was only an " animated despatch." Bat this ingenious suggestion fails for two reasons. First, the American Government would have no right to seize a despatch which was addressed to a neutral. The design of the rule which allows the capture of despatches is the prevention of the military measure.- of one belligerent by another. This design is presumably promoted by the capture of depatches fioin the belligerent government to its subordinates, or from those subordinates to the belligerent government, for these probably rebr.e more or less to the conduct f the war. But it is not presumably promoted by the capture of a despatch from a belligerent to a neutral. " The presumption," says Kent, the first American, perhaps the first existing, authority on the subject, '' is, that the neutral preserves its integrity." " The neutral countrv has a right to preserve its relations with the enemy, and it does not necessarily follow that the communications are of a hostile nature." If England were at war, by any unfortunate chance, with Holland, what insignificant proportion of the despatches of the English Government to other nations would have a material bearing on the fortunes of the war? W should not be asking their aid, nor would they be requesting us to accept it. No judge has ever decided that an Envoy could be seized, even in circumstances where written despatches might be intercepted. The object of the man is almost always, as here, uncertain that of the letters manifest ; and it is too much, therefore, for the Americans to contend that they could arrest an Envoy where they could not even seize a despatch. If this first technical ground of justification fail the Americans, the second is yet more shadowy and unsubstantial. We have, at various times, claimed to impress our own seamen on board foreign vessels, on the ground that we had a right to claim the military aid of all our subjects, whenever or wherever they may be found by us. But it would be a monstrous insult to common sense to say that these Envoys were impressed by the Federal captain to serve in the Northern fleet against their countrymen in the South. They are infinitely more likely to be hanged as rebels than to be trusted as auxiliaries. The defence, too, would be inconsistent with the entire bearing of the Federal captain, who throughout acted as if he were apprehending rebels, not as if he were impressing seamen. These are the only two technical justifications of the American outrage, and, as they both fail, it is left without excuse and without defence. It appears that the Americans seized certain foreigners claiming English protection and in an English asylum; and ve should be shrinking from the sacred duties of hospitality, and abandoning one of the highest privileges of a great nation, if we permitted such an act. Why the Americans have so acted it is impossible to say. At times we acknowledge we have inclined to tlie belief that there was a deliberate intention to insult this country. We remembered the antecedents of Mr. Seward ; his language as to Canada ; his circular to the several States, requesting them to fortify themselves on the North, and, therefore, against England ; we thought of the many recent occasions in which a studious distinction has been drawn between the French and ourselves, in which they have been treated with studious respect, and we, at least, with rudeness; we called to mind the ignorance, not so much of the conspicuous American politicians as of the low " President-makers" and pot-house patrons on whom they depend ; we fancied that seme vague scheme of remedying shame within by insult witiumt, might float in turbid minds. But we will hope not. The highest authorities in this country, we understand, hope not. They believe that this insane outrage was caused rather by enmity to the South than by insolence to us. Our duty is clear. We must demand moderately, but firmly, apology for the insult, and reparation to the injured. We must require that the gentlemen who have been seized should be at once set at liberty, and that regret should be expressed for the dishonour of our national flag and for tbe violation of the sacred right of asylum ; and we must intimate that if they refuse we we have no alternative save war. The calamity is great, but the obligation is greater. (From the Saturday Review.) We may be reasonably proud of the manner in which the news of the seizure oi the Confederate Commissioners, while under the protection of the British flag, has been received in England. There has been the most 6erious determination to uphold our rights, and the keenest jealousy of our national honour ; but there has been an honest wish to abide patiently by the rules of law, and to accept the law from those whose official duty it is to advise the Government at such a crisis. We only want to know what England ought to do in justice to others and to herself. If she has to put up with an act offensive in manner, but legal in character, she will know how to bear the burthen with dignity. IS she has a claim to make, the refusal of which may lead to war, she is sure to fight hard and stoutly enough when the time for fighting comes. The best way to put the question of law is this. If the Commissioners are asserted to have been liable to seizure, as what is technically termed contraband, then the Trent itself had committed a breach of neutrality, and might have been condemned as lawful prize bv a competent tribunal. The onlv case known to international law m whick fc conveyance of persons can thus affect the character of the carrying vessel, is that of the conveyance of military persons concerned in the actual operations of the enemy. The reason whv this IS a breach of neutrality is plain. It is 0f the greatest service to a belligerent that its military officers should be transported safely to the place where thev are intended to serve. A vessel that renders this service, as clearly takes part in a war as if it were endeavouring to land shot and shell in a port of a belligerent. On the other hand, the private subjects of a belligerent State-may always be safely carried on board a neutral vessel. It is part of her ordinary carrying trade, from which she is no more to be debarred in time of war than from the carriage of silks or ccttans to an open port of a belligerent. It is true that the Commissioners were something more than private citizens of the belligerent SHEFFIELD AND Power. They were envoys despatched on s special mission to neutral Powers. But this only throws over them an additional protection. If a neutral flag will shelter a private. man, muchmore wl i shelter a man who is invested with a decree of ambassadorial sanctity, I and makes a special appeal. to its protection by the very character 01 nis.oiuce. - """Ps""" -u,, mo nf tbfi Commissioners is to be treated as an fractioiont?aUtyJpialogou to that jpf jQarrying munitions oi aa. j-h . - " things on board it, held to be contraband, ought to have been carried into tbe jurisdiction of a regular Court of Prize, and the question ought there to have been submitted to the scrutiny of a strict legal investigation. International law would be a nullity if every commander of a man-of-war were to constitute himself in the first instance a plenary judge, and condemn as contraband whatever he might like to seize on. The case for the Americans is so weak, if the seizure of the Commissioners is justified on any other ground than that of the vessel being tainted with a belligerent character by carriage of contraband, that the points scarcely deserve discussion. The Americans cannot say that these Commissioners are not belligerents but rebel?, for it is for the neutral to impress the belligerent character on one or both of two contending parties in a civil war ; and we have exercised our right, and declared that the South, so far as we are concerned, is a belligerent power. Even if we had not done so, we should not dream of surrendering political rebels to any power on earth. Nor is there any real analogy between the position of the American captors and that which we assumed in exercising the right of search in order to reclaim our military and naval deserters. Perhaps this deniaud was a stretch of the powers of a feelligereHt, but at any rate the cases are quite different. We claimed our men because, by the nature of the engagement they had formed, they belonged in a special way to the English Crown. These Commissioners are not bound in a special way to the American Government. By the mere fact of recognising the belligerent rights of their Government, we have treated them, not as rebels, but as combatants on a fair ground. Still less can they be seized as ambassadors of the enemy. A belligerent may seize his enemy's ambassador on his own ground, but certainly not on neutral ground. There is no more justification for Captain Wilks carrying off Mr. Slidell as an enemy's ambassador from an English ship, than there would be in the commander of the Nashville trying to kidnap Mr. Adams in London. There can be little doubt that the Cabinet will act in conformity with the opinion of its advisers, and we may be quite sure that the country will abide by its decision ; and if the Queen's Government demands what it is natural it should demand the restoration of the captured Commissioners, and the disavowal by the American Cabinet of the act of Captain Wilks, we shall all of us be perfectly ready to see that the demand is not made in vain. But we none of us wish that the demand should be put in any but a conciliatory way. We remember that we have ridden roughshod over neutrals in our time, and that we have done acts as belligerents which, if legal ingenuity has justified them, the common sense of modern times would condemn. Mr. Seward's conceptions of policy since his accession to office are known to have been so wildly extravagant, that there is scarcely any conceivable piece of folly from which we can confidently exonerate him without inquiry. Yet, unless all judgment has left him, he can hardly have given such orders as Captain Wilks has acted upon, if orders he had. The Secretary of State formed the project of uniting South and North in an attack on Canada ; yet, in his most eccentric dreams, we cannot suppose him capable of believing that the South would join the North in a war with Great Britain, provoked by the capture of its own Commissioners. Until, too, the contrary is proved, we are bound to assume that every serious act of a powerful Government is intended in some way to promote its own advantage. What could be the object of the United States in thus capturing the Confederate Commissioners ? To prevent their eloquence, doubtless, from carrying away European audiences, and their persuasions from taking effect on European Governments. But, by violating the deck of the Trent, they have endowed these gentlemen with more hortatory power than Peter the Hermit, and more diplomatic persuasiveness than Talleyrand. Though Mr. Mason had spoken with the tongue of an angel, he could not have stirred all the meetings that could have been called in all England to a tithe of the depth to which every English family was moved by Thursday morning's news ; nor could Mr. Slidell have urged anything at the Tuileries, or his colleague in Downing street, which could be compared for effectiveness to the intelligence which carries with it an intimation that the Government of the United States is ready at any moment to offer an insult to England. (From the London Review.) This journal contends that the seizure of the Southern Commissioners was a lawful act : " The English have always maintained, and the Americans have always denied, the right of a belligerent ship to search for and take its own subjects out of a neutral vessel. If the Federal Government chose to regard the Southern Commissioners as their own subjects, then they could only justify their act by insisting en the doctrine which their Government have always denied. And the English Government can only complain of the transaction by repudiating the view of the law for which we have always contended ; and for the maintenance of which, indeed, in 1812, we went to war with the United States. This certainly would not be a creditable position for either Government to occupy. But it is not on this ground, probably, that the Americans will rest their defeuce. There is another principle to which they may possibly appeal with success. It is quite clear that the neutral flag cannot be used to cover either property or persons who are devoted to the purpose of promoting the hostile views and preparations of one of the belligerents. It is admitted, even by those who have contended most strenuously for the privileges of the neutral flag, that it cannot protect either goods which are contraband of war, or persons engaged in the land or naval service of one of the belligerents, or emissaries carrying instructions or despatches. The question is, whether the principle, which makes such persons and goods liable to capture even under a neutral flag, applies to individuals in the position of the Southern Commissioners. It may be said, on the one hand, that they are not occupied in the land or naval service of the belligerent, and that no despatches were in fact found upon them. But, on the other hand, it may be argued with much force, that their very title and occupation connects them sufficiently closely with the forwarding of hostile operations to justify their capture. Whether tbe Southern Commissioners who had just run the blockade were actually occupied in the business of the war against the United States, is a question of fact rather than of law, the decision of which would probably be materially influenced by the nature of the tribunal which had to adjudicate on it. But, in truth, the great difficulty in the way of the captors has been in 'fact removed by the confession of the individuals captured. From the moment that Mr. Slidell and his friends acknowledged themselves to be Commissioners, i.e., emissaries from one of the belligerent parties, their seizure became lawful. In ordinary cases the proof is made by the discovery of despatches on the partv seized. ' But if the character of the persons is clearly established, j as in this case, by their own confession, all need for proof by despatches is superseded. It certainly would j be a strange doctrine, that while you are at liberty to I seize the despatches, you are hound to set free the messenger, who probably carries their contents in his memory. A man may carry instructions in his head just as well as in written papers. And such a man is, in fact, neither more nor less than a living despatch." The Fellneb Mcrder Case. We gave last week particulars of this mysterious affair. The District Attorney of Monmouth County, N.J., has visited that city for the purpose of giving the detectives some additional facts relative to the actors in this terrible homicide, and also for the further purpose of conveying Mrs. Marks to New Jersey, where it is believed the murder was committed. Since the attempt of this woman to commit suicide in the Eighth Ward Station-house on Monday last, she has been very low, and at times has appeared to be dying. On Wednesday her condition seemed so critical that additionel medical aid was called in, and it was only after much effort on the part of the physicians that she was restored to consciousness. On Thursday she was in a Btate of delirium most of the time, constantly bewailing her fate, and imploring the officers not to put her to death for the crime of her brother. It was with much difficulty that the New Jersey officials succeeded in getting her into the carriage. Sebioi-s Gas Explosion at Woolwich Dockyard. On Thursday afternoon, about four o'clock, much alarm was occasioned throughout Woolwich dockyard by the loud report of an explosion which proceeded from the gas-house, and it was soon ascertained that the building had been blown up, and one man severely injured. Such was the force of the explosion, that portions of the debris of the building were found at a distance of 150 feet from the scene of the accident, and it is certainly extraordinary that several persons were not injured. It appears that at the time, a man named Geo. Sawyer, who has been employed for many years as lamp-lighter at the dockyard, was taking his usual round for the purpose of lighting the lamps, when he somewhat incautiously entered the gas-house with a light, the room being then filled with gas which had escaped, and instantly ignited, causing the explosion. Sawyer was severely burnt, and is now under the care of Dr. Jameson. It is stated that the room which was filled with gas was not properly ventilated in the ROTHERHAM INDEPENDENT, MONDAY, DECEMBER 1861. AMERICAN DETAILS. Liverpool, Friday. The Jura (as), from Quebec, arrived here this morning. THE -BATTLE OF PORT ROYAL BAY. The New York Times, of the 14th, gives a very graphic description of the bombardment of Beaufort and the fight in the Bay of Port Royal. " The day," says the correspondence of the Times, " itself was more beautiful, if anything, than the finest with which we had been favoured since our arrival at Port Royal. The wind, blowing gently from the north-east, scarcely caused a ripple npon the water, and the sky was only flushed here and there with a feathery cloud. Early in the morning (the 8th November), the rebel gunboats took up the position which they had occupied on the other days, at the entrance of the bay, while as many as seven large river steamers, coming from behind the headlands, passed backward and forward in the offing, occasionally approaching the fortifications on either side, and communicating, by means of a row boat, with those on shore. Some of these vessels had brought reinforcements from Charleston, but the larger number were crowded with excursionists from all the country round who had come to see the " Yankees" and the destruction of their fleet. One of the steamers is believed to have had the Consuls of England and France on board, for she displayed the flags of those nations, as well as the rebel ensign, and taking a position beyond the reach of danger, remained until the victory was won. At nine o'clock, the fleet signalled from the Wabash to raise anchor, and in rather more than half an, hour afterwards, all the vessels were in motion. They moved slowly forward, arranged in two columns, the first being led by the flag-ship, and the second by the Bienville. The first column composed the Wabash, Susquehana, Mohican, Seminole, Pawnee, Unadilla, Ottawa, Pembina, and Vandalia, in tow of the Isaac Smith. The gunboats Penguin, Augusta, Curlew, Senecca, and R. B. Forbes, followed in the track of the Bienville. It was well understood that the Commodore intended to fight at close quarters, and as the fleet moved majestically on towards the foe, the few minutes consumed in getting within range of the batteries, seemed dreadfully long to the spectators, who watched in deep suspense for the commencement of the fight. At length precisely at five minutes before ten o'clock the Bay Point battery opened its fire upon the Wabash, and that at Hilton Head followed almost within a second. The ships were then nearly midway between the hostile guns, and scarcely within range. For a minute they made no reply ; but presently the Wabash began. Then grandly she poured from both her massive sides a terrible rain of metal, which fell with frightful rapidity upon either shore. The other vessels were not slow in following her example, and the battle was fairly-begun. From my point of observation, on board the Atlantic, which had been taken as close to the combatants as was consistent with safety, in order that General Sherman might witness the proceedings, it was apparent that few of the shells had burst within the fortifications. The guns had too great an elevation, and their iron messengers went crashing among the tree tops, a mile or two beyond the batteries. The same was the case with the rebels, whose shot passed between the masts and above our vessels. The frigates and gunboats each having delivered her fire, which mainly in this point was directed against Bay Point, passed within the bay, indifferent alike to the bursting shells, humming projectiles, and hot round-shot which the rebels furiously discharged, breaking the water into foaming columns ev?rywhere around them. It was, I believe, part of the plan of battle to engage the batteries alternately, and the vessels, preserving their relative positions, were to move in circles before the enemy. This mode of procedure was necessarily decided upon, because the current sets swiftly on the straits between the fortifications, which are about two miles and three-quarters apart, and it was impossible, even had it been desirable for the vessels to remain stationary long enough, to silence one battery before attacking the other. The Wabash was brought as near Hilton Head battery as the depth of water permitted. When within a distance of 900 yards from the rebel guns, the Wabash threw in her fiery messengers, while the other frigates, no further away, participated in the deadly strife ; and the gun-" boats, from their sheltered nook in a cove, about a mile's distance to the left from the fortifications of Hilton Head, raked the ramparts frightfully. Thus the Sre of about 50 guns was concentrated every moment upon the enemy, who worked heroically, never wavering in her reply, except when the Wabash was using her batteries directly in port of her. Then it was too hot for flesh and blood to endure. Shells fell almost as rapidly as hail-drops within and for a mile-and-a-half beyond the batten : as they struck and plunged into the earth a dense pillar of sand would shoot upward, totally hiding the fortification, and driving the blinded gunners from their pieces. In describing their circuit and delivering their fire the vessels consumed rather more than an hour for each round. Little more than half this time, however, was spent in getting into position, and as each vessel returned she repeated from her starboard battery the devastating fire. Each vessel discharged her broadside at the shortest possible range-loading, and firing again and again, with all the coolness and precision exercised in target practice before she passed the battery. But the enemy was by no means inactive. He offered a stubborn a heroic resistance. Looking through a powerful telescope, I saw when the ships were approaching the battery the second time, the men wearing red shirts. They had been particularly active, and now sat at the muzzle of a gun, apparently exhausted, and waiting for ammunition. This terrible fire from the fleet was falling all around them, but they moved not, and I doubted if they were alive. Finally, they sprang up and loaded their piece a shell at that instant burst near them, and they disappeared doubtless blown to atoms. I heard frequently during the hottest of the fight most unqualified expressions of approval of the manner in which the rebels served their guns. That their marksmanship was good, the torn hulls and cut rigging of our vessels, rather than the number of killed on board, furnish full evidence. After the second round had been brilliantly fought on both sides, the Wabash gave the signal to the vessels which had been most actively engaged to cease firing and give refreshments to their men. Then it was that the gunboats did their most efficient cannonading. Their shell and round shot flew straight across the parapet of the fortification, driving the men from their guns, and makin dreadful havoc. The little steam-tug Mercury, Commander Martin, gallantly steamed into 8 shallow to the left of the fort, not more than a mile distant, and opened upon them with her 30-pounder Parrott, which was fired rapidly and with good effect. From her proximity to the fart, Captain Martin was probably the first to see that the rebels were preparing to evacuate the place. In rear of the fortification, extending about three-fourths of a mile, is a broad meadow, bounded by dense woods. Across this open space, the enemy was carrying their dead and wounded, and waggons were hurriedly removing the equipage of the camp. The Mercury steaming close to the shore, found that the battery had been deserted, and immediately took news to the flag-ship, which by this time, with her sister vessels, was coming up like a destroying angel to renew the conflict ; and while the Commodore was listening to the words of the messenger, the rebels struck their flag. The signal to cease firing was at once hoisted, and it being precisely a quarter to three o'clock, the bombardment had been "nearly five hours in progress. The American ensign was shortly afterwards hoisted on the deserted ramparts by the Federal forces who took possession of the " rebel soil of South Carolina, in the majesty of the United States." Commodore Tatnall, the Confederate commander, and his gunboats, disappeared in the early part of the engagement. He sent a few shots towards the fleet, but, as usual, his boats were not near enough to do us any injury. The writer next describes the condition of the fort after its abandonment. Evidences of the wild confusion nay, the abject terror in which the rebels had left the fort, were abundant everywhere. There were 23 guns in the work, only three of which had been dismounted by our fire, and not one of the remainder had been spiked ; while the magazines, of which there were three in the fort, contained ammunition enough to withstand a very long siege. The encampment, consisting of about 80 tents to the left of the fortifications, indicated, if anything, more plainly than the fort, how hurriedly its late occupants had decamped. Most of the tents had been undisturbed. Officers' furniture uniforms and other clothing, dress swords, small stores, with here and there an article which told that even in camp the warriors had not been whelly bereft of the society of their wives, mothers, and sisters. On the meadow were scattered blankets, knapsacks, bavonets &c, in vast numbers. The remainder of the South Carolinians were interred in as respectable a way as circumstances permitted, and the episcopal service was read by the Chaplain of the Wabash." As to the injury sustained by the Federal war ships, the correspondent says, without mincing matters : M Every vessel engaged in action was more or less cut up, although none was injured so badly as to make it necessary to return home for repairs. The Wabash was struck by thirty-four shots. Her mainmast was badly damaged, as was likewise her starboard quarter. Her rigging was considerably injured aud her spanker boom shot away." He then enumerates six other vessels, all of whom were much damaged, one, the Pemberi, being completely disabled by a round shot going through her steam chest, Slaves continued to flock into the Federal lines at Port Royal, and the Times adds " The nonsense of the readiness of the slaves to fight for theii masters is for ever ended." The same paper says : " The preparations for other expeditions to the Southern eosst are progressing rapidly. 1 We learn from Boston that about Thursday of next weak, 3000 men of General Butler's New England Division will embark in the new steamer Constitution, and other transports, for some destination not announced. The troops now collecting at Annapolis, who are understood to be under the command of General Burnside, are also expected to take their departure soon. Our Southern friends will be likely to be kept busy during the coming cool season." After the capture of the forts, the whole army, abeut 15,000 men, were safely landed and established on shore. The day after the fight, there was only one white man in Beaufort and he was drunk. General Sherman, in an official report to the Adjutant-General, says : " I deem it an imperative duty to say that the firing and lnanceuvring of our fleet against that of the rebels and their formidable land batteries, was a masterpiece of activity and professional skill that must have elicited the applause of the rebels themselves as a tactical operation. I think that too much praise cannot be awarded to the science and skill exhibited by the flag officer of the naval squadron, and the officers connected with his ships. I deem the performance a masterly one, and ought to have been seen to be fully appreciated. After the works were reduced, I took possession of them with the land forces. The beautifully constructed work on Hilton's Head was severely crippled, and many of the guns dismounted. Much slaughter had evidently been made there, many bodies having been buried in the fort, and some 20 or 30 were found some half a mile distant. The land for many miles was found strewed with army accoutrements and baggage Of the rebels, which they threw away in their hasty retreat. We have also come into possession of about 40 pieces of ordnance, most of which is of the heaviest calibre and of the most approved makes, and a large quantity of ammunition and camp equipage." The following is the despatch of the naval officer in command, to the Secretary of the Navy : "Flagship Wabash, off Hilton Head, Port Royal Harbour, Nov. 8. " Sir, I have the honourto inform you that yesterday I attacked the batteries of the enemy on Bay Point and Hilton Head, and Forts Walker and Beauregard, and succeeded in silencing them after an engagement of four hours' duration, and driving away the squadron of rebel steamers under Commander Tatnall. The reconnaissance of yesterday made us satisfied with the superiority of Fort Walker, and to that I directed my special efforts, engaging it at a distance of 800, and afterwards at 600 yards. But the plan of attack brought the squadron sufficiently near Fort Beauregard to receive the fire, and the ships were frequently fighting the batteries on both sides at the same time. The action was begun on my part at 20 minutes after nine, and at half-past two the American ensign was hoisted on the flagstaff of Fort Walker, and this morning at sunrise on that of Fort Beauregard. The defeat of the enemy terminated in their utter rout and confusion. Their quarters and encampment were abandoned without an attempt to carry away either public or private property. The ground over which they fled was strewn with the arms of private soldiers, and the officers retired in too much haste to submit to the encumbrance of their swords. Landing my marines and a company of seamen, I took possession of the deserted ground, and held tne torts on Hilton Mead till the arrival of General Sherman, to whom I had the honour to transfer their command. We have captured 43 pieces of cannon, most ot the heaviest calibre and of the imnrovp.1 description. The bearer of these despatches will have the honour to carry with him the captured flags, and two small brass fieldpieces, lately belonging to the State of South Carolina, which are sent home as trophies of the success of the? day. I enclose herewith a copy of the general order which is to be read in the fleet to-morrow morning at muster. A detailed account of this battle will be submitted hereafter. "I have, fec, " S. F. DUPON'T. ( " P.S. The bearer of despatches will also carry with him the first American ensign raised upon the soil of South Carolina since the rebellion broke out." Commander Dupont also writes thus to a friend : ' When they (the enemy) once broke, the stampedo was intense, and not a gun was spiked. In truth, I never conceived of such a fire as that of this ship, on her second turn, and I am told that its effect upon the spectators outside of her was intense. I learn that when they saw a flag flying on shore, our troops were powerless to cheer, but wept. Gen. Sherman was deeply affected, and the soldiers are loud and unstinting of their admiration and gratitude. The works are most scientifically constructed, and there is nothing like Fort Walker on the Potomac. I did not allow the victory to check our ardour, but despatched some vessels under Captain Gilles over to the side to-day. I sent an expedition to Beaufort to save the fight vessels, but they were fired instantly after the surrender. Beaufort is deserted. The negroes are wild with delight and revenge. Thev have been shot down, they say, like dogs, because they would not go off with their masters. I have already a boat at Sewell creek, and the communication between Savannah and Charleston is cut off." It was reported to the New York Associated Press that the storm encountered by the naval expedition was extremely severe, and caused much alarm as well as considerable loss. The steamer Winfield Scott reached the rendezvous on the evening of the 3rd, with loss of masts and bows stove in. She threw overboard her three rifled cannon and all her freight, the muskets and equipments of all her 500 men, everything but rations, to keep her from sinking ; and but for the labour of the soldiers in baling, her fires would have been put out, and nothing then would have saved her. The steamer Beinville went to l1Pr rolipf hv .W'.. his assistant, and thirteen of her crew, jumped on board the Beinville, leaving the Scott to her fate. Their action nearly created a panic among the soldiers, who gave up all tor lost ; but the captain of the Winfield Scott put the chief engineer in irons, and brought him and the recreant portion of his crew back, when things went on better. The gale was terrible, the vessel a mere shell, the men terrified by the cracking of her timbers as the masts went overboard, and despair seized them when it was discovered that she leaked badly, to which succeeded a panic, when the crew attempted to escape. The Winfield Scott was taken in tow bv the Vanderbilt, which had cut clear of the Great Republic in the gale. The steamer Governor went down with 20 men, the Pembina taking off all who could escape. THE IRISH " FAMINE." ALLEGED EXAGGERATIONS. The habit of exaggeration which is prevalent in Ireland, especially upon subjects affecting the classes religiously and politically denominated " the people." is occasionally productive ot the most mischievous results, even to those wnom it is often designed to serve. No sooner did the Roman Catholic clergy, for instance, Degin to utter awtul prophecies about the horrors which the winter months would produce, and to reiterate that the potato crop was " wholly " lost, than experience prompted many persons to raise the finger of caution, and warn the public to receive such state- tttIV, cnTv,i V,nn;ini.' XT .1 li i l ments with some hesitation. Had matters turned out quite as bad as these clerical alarmists represented, and the peasantry suffered severely by the doubt thus inculcated, these zealous persons would be morally answerable for the result ; but, happily, every day is now dispelling the dismal fears which they partly created, and confidence is restored in the capability of the landlords with possibly some aid from public contributions to shield the people from want and hunger through the next few months. It appears that a member of the Dublin Corporation wrote to some gentlemen in the south, to ask for their testimony as to the prevalence of destitution in their respective districts. One of these was Mr. Dobbyn, Mayor of Sligo, who wrote that he could not do better than repeat the substance of the address recently presented by the Corporation of that town to the Chief Secretary. Accordingly, the Mayor's letter is almost word for word the same as that address, and such portions of it as favoured the views only of the speaker in the Corporation of Dublin were read by him. The publication of this letter in full is now called for as a matter of justice to the Mayor, who must feel indignant as being so craftily misrepresented. After alluding to this transaction, a morning journal concludes by declaring that if the letter of the Mayor of Sligo was so daringly garbled, it is almost fair to conclude that the other cir-munications read during the debate in our local cor- ; porauen met with the same treatment. The truth is that the lay portion of the Ultramontane faction are en- I deavounng to carry out the agitation which the Chief Secretary compelled Dr. Cullen to at least publicly abandon. At the same time no sensible person denies that the people of the rest are suffering, and will suffer, great distress this winter. Post's Correspondent. The Treasure in the Wreptt rp p-o-.r Chaster. A few months ago, the wreck of the screw steamer, Royal Charter, lost on the coast of Wales, on her passage from Melbourne to Liverpool, was offered I for sale by auction, on account of the underwriters ; ' and, as an inducement to bidders, a stipulation was in-i serted in the conditions of sale that the purchaser , would have the right to the ship's safe, which contained I 7000 sovereigns. No offer was made, and the wreck J was bought in for the underwriters for 4000. Messrs Gibbs, Bright, ahd Co., shipowners, then beeame the j purchasers, and commenced operations on the wreck I md on Friday they succeeded in raising part of the hull, and the safe was shortlv afterwards brought up bv the divers, with the 700U sovereigns ia it. THE MEXICAN QUESTION. The Morning Post says : " We are glad to be able to inform our readers that the Mexican Government is fully alive to the urgency of our claims and the necessity of at once accepting them. We understand that Government has received by the last mail information of the agreement of Mexico to a convention by which our requirements are one and all fully conceded. Sir Charles Wyke, powerfully seconded, no doubt, by the rumours of our intentions, which must have crossed the Atlantic, has been able to negotiate and conclude terms by which full satisfaction is given to us ; and the Mexican Government, alarmed, in all probability, for the consequences of its own conduct, has complied with the demands which we had hitherto addressed In vain to its sense of justice, and which we had sent out a naval expedition to enforce. This capitulation on the part of the Government of Mexico is, we understand, unequivocal and complete. " We are to have compensation for outrages, the repayment of money stolen, and the fulfilment of the engagements which the Mexican Government has by treaty stipulated towards the bondholders. The certainty that the wrongs and insults which we have so long endured at the hands of the Mexican people would at last provoke vigorous measures of retaliation has dawned upon Juarez and his colleagues, just in time to induce an attempt to arre3t the blow which was about to fall upon them. The change wliich has now taken place in Mexican counsels is, perhaps, the more satisfactory that it has been brought about only by the apprehension, and not by the fact, of military interference. " But the attempt to stave off our active interference and to separate us from our allies is in vain. We shall not accept the proffered satisfaction ; and our fleet, with those of France and Spain, will proceed to seize upon the ports and custom duties of Mexico. We shall not trust the faith of Mexicans, not even when they bring peace-offerings. The intervention in the affairs of the Republic will therefore pursue its course, and we shall make assurance doubly sure. We cannot afford to play fast and loose in a matter in which we have taken so certain a determination, and in which we are acting with other Powers in the name of common civilisation as against outrageous perfidy. We must adjust these matters once for all. We have a great commercial stake in Mexico ; we impert much of the produce of her mines ; and she reciprocally imports a considerable portion of our own manufactures. In times of peace there is no doubt that the total of this trade would prove very large ; and there are very few countries of the American continent whose commerce is exercised on the spot by representatives of so ninny European nations. These considerations render it of great importance to the three Powers who signed the recent Convention to determine for the future the social and political security of their respective subjects. "By Mexico we have long been treated with the worst ingratitude. We succoured her in her struggle for independence ; we lent her money, to the extent of some ten millions sterling, to establish her Government, and she repaid us by a long suspension of the claims of British bondholders to dividends, by the deliberate robbery of their money that lay under the seal of our Legation, and by the ill-usage of British residents in her territory. For all these wrongs substantial and ample inaemnities will now be given and we hoDe the time has arrived at which we may look upon Mexico from a different point of view. We may safely expect that, upon the arrival of the fleets and the seizure of the ports, we snaii ootam material guarantees for all which is now so readily offered, but which we decline to accept upon the mere faith of a Mexican Government bound only by its signature of a treaty. The prompt adjustment of our claims against this Republic will be, at this juncture, the more opportune, in that it will allow us to divert our Mexican squadron towards whatever duties the hostile conduct of the Government of Washington may require us to perform in the waters of the Northern Atlantic." PRUSSIA. (From the Correspondent of the Standard at Berlin.) The three classes of primitive electors of Berlin have elected their representatives, who will, on the Hth of December, elect the deputies for the Second Chamber. The result is, that the party of progress i.e., the strictly constitutional Liberals have come out victorious throughout the country, and that we may look with certainty for a determined, constitutionally progressive Chamber of Deputies, an anti-ministerial House of Commons in spite of themselves. The Ministry have, in addition to their disavowal of the party of progress, given their opinion in the official Allgemeine PreusvUche Zeitung that they feel mortified at the results of the primitive election. That looks unpromising for the approaching session, the more so as the party of progress, after having sacrificed and dropped everything calculated to embarrass the Ministry, and having done everything in their constitutional duties to harmonise with the " New Era" programme of the Ministers, seem to be firmly resolved on maintaining what they have made up their minds to consider indispensable for the constitutional development of Prussia, the safety, honour, and power of Germany. These impressions have been derived from the numerous district meetings of the "election men," where they hear, examine, aiid cross-examine their nominated candidates. In the electorate of Hesse the elections for a Second Chamber have turned out with a decided majority in favour of the constitution of 1831. No candidate has a chance of being elected by the "election men" unless he pledges himself to claim the restitution of this con stitution, which, after having been annulled by force, Prussia undertook, in 1849, to restore, but has as yet I failed to redeem her pledge. V'1 is not 7 ' resume this task. She seems, her New . Policy." to be doomed to oppose all schemes for reforminir the contemutihla German Confederacy. The plea of the Grand Duke of Baden, though he be personally and by marriage related to the Court of Prussia, has had the same fate here as that of the Duke of Coburg-Gotha. This plan aims at a central power for the administration of German affairs, unification of military administration and of the repre-tation of a united Germany abroad ; the central power to be constitutionally under the control of a German Parliament. Important Decision for Railway Travellers. At the Edinburgh Small Debt Court, held on Wednesday, Sheriff Jameson awarded to Mr. Robert Riddell, of Blair park, Ferry road, Bonnington, solatium and damages to the amount of five guineas, with expenses, against the Edinburgh, Perth, and Dundee Railway Company, under the following circumstances: On the 6th inst., Mr. Riddell, along with five friends, purcnasea nrst-ciass tickets at the Bonninfrton station I lor Edinburgh, but on the train from Leith reaching ouuiuugiou siauon, no nrst-ciass accommodation could be had, and the party had to occupy a second-class carriage. Several of the party having often of late had to travel in second-class carriages with first-class tickets, Mr. Riddell agreed to try the question of right to repayment of the difference of fare from the company in such circumstances, and to enforce it"bv 1 le ., . . " " J law if necessary, in the hope of securing increased first- class accommodation for Bonnington passengers. On the arrival of the train at Scotland street station, Mr. Riddell exhibited his first-class ticket to the ticket-collector, but declined either to give it up without payment of the difference of fare, or to come out of the train until the end of his journey. On this the station-master and the ticket-collector entered the carriage and forcibly dragged Mr. Riddell out of it (in the course of which one of his hands was sprained and seriously injured), detained him at Scotland street station for upwards of a quarter of an hour, failed to convey him to his destination, and refused to repay the overcharge. The Sheriff held that Mr. Riddell was quite entitled to repayment of the difference between the price of the ticket purchased by him and the class of accommodation .supplied, just as the company was entitled to additional fare where a passenger used a higher class than his ticket warranted ; that Mr. Riddell was justified in retaining his ticket, as evidence of his over-payment, until the difference was repaid ; that the company was responsible for the official actings of their station-master and ticket-collector ; that the forcible ejection and detention of Mr. Riddell by these officials were illegal, especially before the end of the journey, and to I a genueman well known to them, and a frequent tra-I veller on the line ; and that the company were thus- clearly liable to Mr. Riddell in substantial latium an 1 uamages, which he modified as abeve. Hwtsman. Dr. de Jonsh's Light-Baowa Coo Liver Oil improves the functions of digestion and assimilatiou, and is borne with facility by stomachs which are disturbed by the ordinary Oils. The distinguished Physician, Dr. Granville, F.R.S., observes "that Dr. d J-ongh's Ligbi-Erown Cod Liver Oil produces the desired efia:t in a shorter time than others, and that it does not cause the nausea ana indigestion too ofien consequent on ihe administration oi the Pale Oil." Dr. de Jongb'a Light-Brown Cod Liver Oil is sold only in capsuled Imperial Half-Pints, is. t L ; Piuts, U. 'Jd. ; uaTta, Us. ; by hi Sole Consignees, Acsar. Harford, k Co.' 77, Strand, London, and by respectable Chemists. Agent bj appointment at Sheffield, Mr. G. D. Wreaks, Pharma-ceutical chemist, 3, Angel street, and Glossop road. Intelligence from Jedclo informs us that the Government of Japan intends to send this winter an embassy to France. The embassy is to be composed of 300 persons, and will be eharged to offer magnificent presents to the principal sovereigns of Europe ; it is expected to arrive in France about the month of May and will afterwurds visit England, Holland, and Ru&stii. ' THE TWfl VP AD nrnn AND A PEEP AT PROBABLE WmfJj 1862. AERs Por In a few days, our correspondent whose turf tions have been of so reliable a character ,prelic-mence a series of articles on the running ,J jj m more especially with regard to the twoyear throw out such suggestions which, if ctei ' ultimately prove most beneficial to those u' terest in the great races of 1862. NEW ZEALAND Sl'EKl In the Basinghall street Court of Bank Friday, a petition for winding up the TW nu'J- and Iron Company (dented) c-anie h etflr.-. t. 'WJl missioner Holroyd The petitioners ta.. . va. Van Gheluwe, of 7, Catherine court, T.iWt)r 'vn taa chant; F. Holdway, I, Brunswick plHl. S" bush, coach maker; aud B. Studer () mI..'. '"urd'a Berkeley square, merchant. The petition dlf. j'rf:et' the Company was formed in March, Ijjqjj or", ''t pose of carrying into effect an agreement to V ar iron, sand, &c, in New Zealand, aud to . n" , !ur same into marketable iron or steel for exportut ' 'Je export for sale the said iron, sand, .fee., in its'"'0'0 share. The petitioner Gheluwe held yjfln """"rai Holdway held a similar number, and Stiuler 1. ea shares. The petition further alleged that ;l,r,"- m of the capital had been lost. -itha Mr. Bagley appeared in support of the petiu.,,, , Roxburgh opposed it. 1 Jr- It appearing that the position of the conn, reference to the alleged loss of capital bad tj? U' clearly ascertained, an adjournment was fiieoA call had been made by the company, but it tunji to be invalid, and the directors were now a. again addressing the shareholders. Adjourn, u -' " cordingly. ORDNANCE FRAUDS IN IRELAND The trial of Hamilton Connolly, clerk in nance Office, and John M'llwaine, builder suj, ,. tor, for frauds jointly committed by cousp,','.'" forgery on the Ordnance Deparnieut," iinioiuuin,,' . , ., i li i iv It is Priibiv. in l.h Cnnrt. nf Mnuon'a i. i , 1 Q ac.cioi muuNuiu pouuus, was eomrriericvd nrisonnrs strtt miiiillA.atroil on. I n( , ... lu 7" . " jiji f iuuiin. B.j i caot:ui,auie 'ppear- The Attorney-General, the Soliei:or-Gen. rid ;s.n Sullivan, Mr. Charles Barry, and Jfe O'Hagan appeared for the Crown. Mr. Macdonough, Q.C., Mr. Curran, and 5Jr VJ uey, instructed by Mr. G. A. Enms, appeared prisoner John M'llwaine. Mr. Dowse and Mr. Hamill, instructed bj Jfc -Fitzgerald, appeared tor the prisoner HanuUm, nolly. The Attorney-General then stated the case, n prisoners were persons of consideration iu Dublin j its neighbourhood ; both held respectable p.ti, Hamilton Connolly for many years was ehiei the office of the District Commanding Liiijiijer'r 'Q Dublin. John M'llwaine was for a great" nntnW of years a contractor. He did on otmifct bj ness. He had triennial contracts for Cvrtais barracks in Ireland amongst them Island Bridge tod Richmond Barracks. During periods of three fearslu had to execute necessary works in ihe barracks, mtti, ing to certain schedule prices which he hud contacted for. The amount of work which the eontatotoi eft. cuted at any barrack during a period of three mOBtha wa3 examined by the local clerk of works then Ctttfflnj by the district commanding engineer and the claim f the contractor for the work done being checked ,nf U the schedule prices, it was then returned to the ' which Hamilton Connolly was chief clerk, to be tram, mitted by him to the aocountaiit-geni rai'g oiliee, a London, who thereupon sent back an authority toC.n-nolly to draw bills for the payment of the amount. duplicate of the contractor's eluiru, aud .t the cfirtS. cates of the proper officers was presented. It was impossible to imagine any machinery more perfect than this to prevent fraud upon the part of the contractor. Wheu he furnished his claim for work done he ihoaid have that clam examined by the local clerk, j,'aiu by the District Commanding Engineer, then by the beam in London all this was done before the order for payment was made. Only in one way was it possible to 'ie-feat that machinery by complicity between some truatol servants of the Crown and the contractor. Dp u (be time the District Commanding Engineer signed thftcott ticate it was impossible to attempt a fraud. But .vlien the certificate was sent back to the office the oppnrtu-nity for fraud was given. Before it went into th oflke the claim was perfectly trne and good it ropjfniented work actually done, and bore the genuine ain itur. s it the officials certifying it. In Mr. Connolly's office, however, the claim of the contractor was altered the columns were altered in some instances by interpolji-ing items that were never there before in other In changing the figures that were iu the columns to refirv-sent larger amounts. In this way extensive frauds were carried on by the prisoners the changing of the claioU being done in every case by the prisoner Connolly himself. During six months M-llwame's true chum for ivurlc done at tin Barracks was 1 117. Thut was theumonnt of the claim examined and certified bv the Clerk i Works and the District Commanding Engineer, fx sum fraudulently claimed and received wns CK, leaving a profit to those concerned in tbe frauds oi 1111 during the six months. Evidence of the in.-: conclusive character under the hands of the partk themselves would be given to prove thut Couuullv altered the claims, and that M'llwaine conspired wi& him iu the frauds. Wheu Connolly was aonreated iu Ua office, the police took possession of his pa had any opportunity of meddling with them. Bom-ments were fouud having entries on them which fffflS, in fact, a history of the frauds already disclosed, itii i division of the spoil, all in the handwriting of Connolly' Under the figures which represent the historv : claim upon winch there was a gain of 304 Ins., there was a balance struck in this way : Under 304, (fliitb represented the sum, was put '200, and the balance wU brought out 10410, or 104 lUs. That was the divwoa of the profits on that transaction. Upon .toother "i the transactions, which gave a profit of 6224 IBs balance was struck by the figures 22d lo 2, under Inch were put 150, the balance" then brought U Iti i, 74 los. 2d. There again was the tivisou of the jpflil in Connolly 's handwriting. The claim ot Mil li was altered, as had been staged, to fc.'iTtV Is. ' id. by erasing the true figures and substituting false flgrtro. Tbe true figures, 271 ILs. 51. , were signed" KJir-William Dunford," the name of the district e lumund,' engineer. The substituted figures, L'o7 L. "j;d, boa the initials " E. W. D.," and, of course, being LbB apparently certified by the officer whose geuuiuc',' written name appeared where the other flgunw Sift passed at the office in London as all right. AtUOOgSt the papers of MTlwaiue were found some beariM calculations of the kind found in Conaolly'n bout and this was evidence of the conspiracy bet'-veen ti prisoners. Three documents found iu M u'dn1 desk should be read. Two were letters from lioSOO Oue a private letter from Connolly to M'llwanie, ' VJ July, 1861, in these words l My Dear M. I bai ' pay 300 in three weeks from this date ; there is escape from it. As you cannot help me without 1 you to do so, I have arranged matters according enclosed dockeis. When you get the amount oi ' bills you can pay me M00. Yen. also owe me a trance of 277 which I hope you will soon he aUe J clear off, and then I promise y m there will be uo moK transactions of this nature." Inclosed in that letter a slip of paper having in Connolly's hand wriun : following calculations -'L B., 22 L Ilia. 2d., li Ifiri. 8d.T 224. 0s. bL" "I. B." stood for Islu-bridge, and the figures represented the true claim, --fraudulent claim, and the profit realised. Then undt.' the 22 4. 0s. od. was put loO, with the words "1 me," and the balance vas brought out 7 I. (is., ku-the words " for you." A second calculation was t.I.i ' Rich." 368; 'Js. 3d-, 501. os. 'Jd., 232. U "c " Rich" meant Richmond Barracks and the figure-, th true, the false claims, and the gain. Thus under uj. 232. 17s. 6d. were put " 150." with the word-; ' ;! me," and the balance was brought out 82. l. ' !-with the words " for you." There was the dttvisBW ' the spoil under the hand of Connolly himself, wbu Used ou the two transactions the 300, which h & letter he said he r-Huired. It would be proved. ' that on the 30th JrJy, M'Uwahai drew a cheu"' 1 loOin favour of Conno'ly. This wad the outli' 1 the case of the pro tecutieu. It would be sustain' 1 even- part by documenfiiry evhienee, about tfhH could be no mistake. Joseph Cooper Scott, Clerk of Works, at BSdH0' ,J Barracks and Island Bridge ; Col. Kdwd. Willi a ford. Commander of the Rovil Eu dueers in th. 0 -J district, and W. H. Hambly, iu theoffice of CoL Hu) Commanding Engineers in Ireland, gaTfi eoniii " '- evidence, provmfg various forgeries, iuterpobuoiis, l sures, aud a'aWrations by the prisoners, aoddW" their collusiox and guilt. The case was adjuunicih " Under thk Rost:." The proverhiJ " under tli rose'- is derived from the eoaftwk '"; Kti..- ..1 i . I. -in Ml 15 mrug Oinays uiacie umier me aval"0"- rose. limilder. ' 1 .", ht bnuiej ana Published i No. 1 ... 1 uuiaui Kfc no, 4 , HftOX SU't Lr.AU EH, Junior, mtdMS ' OUJ" , 7. h-I ahefflaU, JOHN DANIKt. LRAD K . , w" " toert, 3hfflald,) aad KUBKRT HLfcDON LKAU Bti. 'JT

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