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New-York, Coast Guards ; Major Dodge's bat- what will be the course of the Monitor and our talion of mounted rifles; and Capt. Follett's feet? Will they not follow the Merrimac and company (D) of the Fourth regular artillery. give her a fire in the rear? Gen. Wool and staff remained to superintend

NORFOLK, Sunday, May 11, 1862. the landing of the remainder of the force, all of Here I am in the city of Norfolk, over which whom were landed and off before noon. The floats the flag of the Union from the cupola of the President, accompanied by Secretary Stanton, Custom-House, which has been “repossessed and accompanied Gen. Wool and staff to the wharf, reöccupied” by the Government From the and then took a tug and proceeded to the Minne- masts of five noble vessels-of-war, ranged around sota, where the President was received by a na- the harbor, floats the same beautiful banner, tional salute. It is generally admitted that the whilst the flag of Com. Goldsborough floats from President and Secretary have infused new vigor the Susquehanna, which lies directly in the ceninto both naval and military operations here. The tre of this line of marine architecture. The guns President has declared that Norfolk must fall, are protruding from the ports of their long line the Merrimac must succumb to the naval power of wooden walls, which are flanked on the right by of the Union, and that the Government property the Monitor and the Naugatuck, which are moored at Norfolk must be repossessed, at whatever cost in front of old Fort Norfolk. But I must proceed it may require.

to give you a narrative as to how all these events The point at which we are landing, with the originated. aid of a half-dozen canal-boats, furnishes quite a In my last letter I stated that a force had been fine harbor, and the troops and horses are land- landed at Point Pleasant, eight miles in the rear ing with great facility. The beach is fine and of Norfolk, under command of Major-Gen. Wool, sloping, and a woods of thick cedar lines the with Brig.-Generals Mansfield, Max Weber, and shores. A good road starts from here direct to Viele. The first division of the troops landed at Norfolk, which is distant only seven miles, and the Point, (the Twentieth New-York, under Max at noon our infantry advance had accomplished Weber,) immediately started forward, accomhalf the distance without obstruction of any kind, panied by the Independent Lowell artillery comwhere they halted for the arrival of the artillery pany of Capt. Davis, equipped and acting as inand cavalry. They will, of course, proceed more fantry. They continued the vance for five cautiously for the remainder of the route ; but miles without any obstructions. On approaching appearances would indicate that the evacuation of the bridge over Tanner's Creek, the rebels reNorfolk is steadily progressing.

treated across, set it on fire, and with three small I just learn that Gen. Max Weber has ad- howitzers opened a fire on our advance, which vanced to within three miles of Norfolk without was returned with rifles, without "anybody bemeeting with any serious opposition. At Tan- ing hurt” on either side. The bridge being ner's Creek a small picket was stationed, with a nearly a quarter of a mile long, so soon as it was howitzer, and a slight skirmish took place with in flames, and pursuit foiled, the rebels fled toout any damage on either side. The rebels fled ward Norfolk. in great haste across the bridge, which they de- A halt was here ordered, and the men rested stroyed. Two prisoners were taken, who stated until Major-Gen. Wool and staff

, with Gens. Viele there would be no resistance at Norfolk, which and Mansfield, came up with Major Dodge's comwas being evacuated, and that the determination pany of mounted rifles, acting as the commanding was not to make the “last ditch” at Norfolk. General's body-guard. A "native," who was Fires were burning all around the country, prin- found on the road, was questioned as to the roads cipally the destruction of barracks and camps. to Norfolk, and it was ascertained that the city FORTRESS MONROE, May 10, 1862.

could be reached by the Princess Anne road, I have just returned from Point Pleasant. around the head of Tanner's Creek, by a march Large reënforcements of cavalry, infantry, and of eight miles. On obtaining this information, artillery are being sent over, and we will soon Gen. Wool ordered an advance, and, taking the have quite a respectable force in the rear of Nor- head of the column, the veteran soldier, with folk to repulse the enemy if he should dispute Secretary Chase riding by his side as a volunteer the possession of the city.

aid, proceeded forward in line of march by the Whilst all these active movements are progress- new route, sending skirmishers in advance. ing toward Norfolk by the mainland, there is the Nothing of interest occurred on the line of utmost quiet observable on the sea side. The march until the troops reached within three miles iron monster, the Merrimac, still remains moored of the city, when all the approaches were observed under the shore of the Craney Island battery, and to be extensively fortified by lines of earthworks has not apparently budged a peg for the last full three miles in length, mounted with heavy twenty-four hours. The Monitor has also re- guns. These works could have been defended mained quietly all day at her usual anchorage, by five thousand men against an army of forty and our vessels of war. The quiet that now pre- thousand, but not a man was found within these vails must, however, be the prelude to a sudden ramparts, and all the guns were spiked. The storm. If Norfolk should be evacuated and ammunition from these works had mostly been possessed by our troops, what will become of the removed, and probably taken to Norfolk. Gen. Merrimac? if the troops should reach the city Viele was the first to enter, followed by the skir. and the Merrimac should go back to shell them, I mishers and body-guard and staff of Gen. Wool. Shortly after passing these harmless obstruc- that the engine and pump belonging to it were tions in their pathway, the line of march for the removed to Richmond. city was again taken up, the spires and prominent Whilst the Union men of Norfolk are reserved points of which could be occasionally seen through and fearful, those of Portsmouth, on the contrary, the thick foliage of the trees. When about a gave the most enthusiastic testiinony on Sunday mile from the suburbs, Mayor Lamb, of Norfolk, in behalf of the faith that is in them. The deaccompanied by one of the city councilmen, ap- struction of the navy-yard has given great dissatproached the advancing column, bearing a flag isfaction, and as we steamed along the wharves of truce, when a halt took place,

quite a number of flags could be seen suspended The Mayor informed Gen. Wool that Gen. Hu- from private residences. Small boys were parad. ger and the rebel troops had evacuated the city ing the streets with flags, evidently manufactured and restored the civil authorities; that there were by their mothers, and there was every evidence no troops at that time within some miles of Nor- that with a better supply of bunting there will folk or Portsmouth; and that, under all circum- be no lack of the disposition and determination stances, he was prepared, on the part of the peo- to give it to the breeze. The possession of a conple, to give to the Federal troops quiet and peace- cealed Federal flag was deemed an act of treason able possession; all that he asked in return was by the rebel authorities-all that could be found that private property should be respected, and were destroyed; hence the present scarcity among peaceably disposed citizens allowed to follow the people. their usual vocations.

While the navy-yard was being destroyed on A halt was then called, and the men bivou- Saturday night another party was engaged in acked on the field for the night, outside of the going around and firing the shipping and steamlimits of the city, and Gen. Wool, accompanied boats in the harbor. Among these was the Baltiby Secretary Chase, and Gen. Viele and his staff more steamer William Selden, stolen at the comand mounted body-guard, with a corps of gentle- mencement of the war, the Cayuga, the Pilot Boy, men of the press, advanced to the city with the and other small craft.' There were also two ironMayor, and found a large throng of citizens as- clad gunboats, which were unfinished, set on fire sembled at the Court-House. Here the Mayor and floated over towards Norfolk, probably for stated to the people the subject of his interview the purpose of destroying the city. The firemen, with Gen. Wool, and repeated the assurance that however, towed them out and extinguished them. he had given him of protection to personal rights

This work of destruction was accomplished on and private property. This assurance was re- Saturday night, after the Federal troops had occeived with cheers by the people—not very en cupied Norfolk; and the incendiaries could be thusiastic, but nevertheless cheers.

seen moving about in the darkness, with their The harbor of Norfolk looked most beautiful, pitch-pine flambeaux, like so many diabolical visiand the green foliage of the trees gave a summer | tants. The scene strongly reminded the spectaaspect to the whole landscape, as we lay on the tor of the panorama of the burning of Moscow, broad expanse of water between the two cities. and with the immense flame that it threw forth After cruising about for some time among the made the scene one of terrible grandeur. fleet we landed at the wharf, and took a stroll through the city. It being Sunday, of course all

LETTER FROM GENERAL WOOL. places of business were closed, and the city pre- In a private letter to a friend in New York, sented a quiet aspect. The wharves were crowd. Gen. Wool wrote: ed with blacks, male and female, and a goodly The whole affair of the capture of Norfolk was number of working people, with their wives and done in twenty-seven hours. My course was by children, were strolling about. Soldiers were water twelve miles, and by land thirty-six, on stationed on the wharves, and picketed through horseback. My friend D- will tell you I am the city, whilst the flag of the Union floated in a hard rider. I do not think he will care to ride triumph from the cupola of the Custom-House. with me again to Hampton and back. The houses through the city were generally closed, I found by examination, on Friday morning, especially most of those of the wealthier classes. that I could land troops without much trouble at

The President lay off in the steamer Baltimore Ocean View, six miles from Fortress Monroe. for about an hour in front of the city, and then The Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Chase, and steamed back to the Fortress. Secretary Chase my aid-de-camp, Col. Cram, were with me. We returned with him, whilst Secretary Stanton re- returned to the fort at two o'clock. I immedimained until a late hour for consultation with ately organized a force of less than six thousand Gen. Viele and Gen. Wool.

men, and embarked them during the night under True to the spirit of secession, the fire, which the direction of Col. Cram. threw a broad glare across the heavens on Satur- The Colonel constructed a bridge of boats, and day night, proceeded from the destruction of the landed the troops at the point named early on Portsmouth navy-yard, which was done by order Saturday morning. As fast as they could form, of the rebel commandant. It is now almost a I put them in motion for Norfolk. Our route mass of ruins, scarcely anything being left but was by the New Bridge. On approaching the black walls and tall chimneys. Even the im- bridge the troops were fired on from a battery of mense stone dry-dock, which cost nearly a million three six-pounders. of dollars, was mined and damaged, and it is said The necessary halt enabled the enemy to fire

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the bridge. At this moment I arrived at the Point battery ; and I left immediately with the head of the column, and by a countermarch pro- Virginia to defend it. ceeded by the old road to Norfolk, where I arrived We found six of the enemy's vessels, including safe at five o'clock, when the Mayor and Common the iron-clad steamers Monitor and Naugatuck, Council met me and surrendered the city. shelling the battery. We passed the battery,

The enemy, three thousand strong, with Gen. and stood directly for the enemy, for the purpose Huger, had fled but a short time before my ar- of engaging him, and I thought an action certain, rival.

particularly as the Minnesota and Vanderbilt

, The intrenchments through which I passed which were anchored below Fortress Monroe, got had twenty-one guns mounted, which, properly under way and stood up to that point apparently manned, might have made an effective defence. with the intention of joining their squadron in

I turned the command over to Brig.-Gen. Viele, the Roads. Before, however, we got within gunand appointed him Military Governor of the city, shot, the enemy ceased firing, and retired with and then returned to the fort and reported to the all speed under the protection of the guns of the President and Secretary of War.

fortress, followed by the Virginia, until the shells I think it a fair inference that the occupation from the Rip Raps passed over her. of Norfolk caused the blowing up of the "dreaded The Virginia was then placed at her moorings Merrimac," and thus secured to us the free use near Sewell's Point, and I returned to Norfolk to of the James River. The army may, therefore, hold the conference referred to. claim at least some share of this much-desired It was held on the ninth, and the officers presnaval success.

sent were, Col. Anderson and Capt. — of I have given you a hasty sketch of this move the army, selected by Gen. Huger, who was too ment, thinking it would be interesting to my unwell to attend himself; and of the navy, myfriends in New-York.

self, Com. Hollins, and Capts. Sterrett and Lee, In great haste, most truly yours, Commander Richard L. Jones, and Lieuts. Ap JOHN E. WOOL. Catesby Jones and J. Pembroke Jones.

The opinion was unanimous that the Virginia

was then employed to the best advantage, and Doc. 12.

that she should continue, for the present, to pro

tect Norfolk, and thus afford time to remove the THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MERRIMAC. public property.

On the next day, at ten o'clock A.M., we observed OFFICIAL REPORT OF COMMODORE TATNALL.

from the Virginia that the flag was not flying on

RICHMOND, May 14, 1862. the Sewell's Point battery, and that it appeared Sır: In detailing to you the circumstances to have been abandoned. I despatched Lieut. J. which caused the destruction of the confederate P. Jones, the Flag-Lieutenant, to Craney Island, States steamer Virginia, and her movements a where the confederate flag was still flying, and few days previous to that event, I begin with he there learned that a large force of the enemy your telegraphic despatches to me of the fourth had landed on Bay Shore, and were marching and fifth instant, directing me to take such a rapidly on Norfolk; that Sewell's Point battery position in the James River as would entirely was abandoned, and our troops were retreating. prevent the enemy's ascending it.

I then despatched the same officer to Norfolk, to Gen. Huger, commanding at Norfolk, on learn- confer with Gen. Huger and Capt. Lee. He found ing that I had received this order, called on me the navy-yard in flames, and that all its officers and declared that its execution would oblige him had left by railroad. On reaching Norfolk he to abandon immediately his forts on Craney Is- found that Gen. Huger and all the other officers land, at Sewell's Point, and their guns to the of the army had also left, that the enemy were enemy. I informed him that, as the order was within half a mile of the city, and that the Mayor imperative, I must execute it, but stated that he was treating for its surrender. should telegraph you and state the consequences. On returning to the ship, he found that Craney He did so, and on the sixth instant you tele- Island and all the other batteries on the river had graphed me to endeavor to afford protection to been abandoned. Norfolk as well as the James River, which re- It was now seven o'clock in the evening, and placed me in my original position. I then ar- this unexpected confirmation rendered prompt ranged with the General that he should notify measures necessary for the safety of the Virginia

. me when his preparations for the evacuation of The pilots had assured me that they could take Norfolk were sufficiently advanced to enable me the ship, with a draft of eighteen feet, to within to act independently.

forty miles of Richmond. On the seventh instant Com. Hollins reached This the chief pilot, Mr. Parrish, and his chief Norfolk, with orders from you to communicate assistant, Mr. Wright, had asserted again and with me and such officers as I might select in re- again; and on the afternoon of the seventh, in gard to the best disposition to be made of the my cabin, in the presence of Com. Hollins and Virginia, under the present aspect of things. Capt. Sterrett, in reply to a question of mine,

We had arranged the conference for the next they both emphatically declared their ability to day, the eighth ; but, on that day, before the do so. hour appointed the enemy attacked the Sewell's Confiding in these assurances, and, after con

this

gew.

sulting with the first and flag-lieutenants, and landing the crew were left to him, and everything learning that the officers generally thought it the was conducted with the most perfect order. most judicious course, I determined to lighten To the other officers of the ship, generally, I the ship at once, and run up the river for the am also thankful for the great zeal they displayed protection of Richmond.

throughout. All hands having been called on deck, I stated The Virginia no longer exists, but three hunto them the condition of things, and my hope dred brave and skilful officers and seamen are that, by getting up the river before the enemy saved to the Confederacy. could be made aware of our designs, we might I presume that a Court of Inquiry will be orcapture his vessels which had ascended it, and dered to examine into all the circumstances I render efficient aid in the defence of Richmond; have narrated, and I earnestly solicit it. Public but that to effect this would require all their en- opinion will never be put right without it. ergy in lightening the ship. They replied with I am, sir, with great respect, your ob't servant,

: three cheers, and went to work at once. The

Josial TATNALL, pilots were on deck and heard address to the

Flag-Officer Commanding. Hon. S. R. MALLORY,

Secretary of Navy. Being quite unwell, I had retired to bed. Between one and two o'clock in the morning the

FINDINGS OF THE COURT OF INQUIRY. fint lieutenant reported to me that, after the

C. 8. NAVY DEPARTMENT, RICHMOND, June 11. crew had worked for five or six hours, and lifted The Court of Inquiry convoked by the order of the ship so as to render her unfit for action, the this Department of the twentieth ultimo, whereof pilots bad declared their inability to carry eight- French Forrest, Captain in the navy of the coneen feet above the Jamestown Flats, up to which federate States, is president, and which court point the shore on cach side was occupied by the convened at the city of Richmond on the twentyenemy.

second day of May, 1862, to investigate and “inOn demanding from the chief pilot, Mr. Par-quire into the destruction of the steamer Virginia, rish, an explanation of this palpable deception, and report the same, together with their opinion he replied that eighteen feet could be carried as to the necessity of destroying her, and particu. after the prevalence of easterly winds, and that larly whether any, and what disposition could the wind for the last two days had been westerly. have been made of the vessel," have found as

I had no time to lose. The ship was not in follows: condition for battle, even with an enemy of equal The court, having heard the statement read force, and their force was overwhelming. I submitted by Flag Officer Tatnall, was cleared therefore determined, with the concurrence of the for deliberation, and, after mature consideration, first and flag-lieutenants, to save the crew for fu- adopted the following report: ture service by landing them at Craney Island, The court, after a full and careful examination the only road for retreat open to us, and to de- and investigation of the evidence connected with stroy the ship, to prevent her falling into the the destruction by fire of the confederate States hands of the enemy. I may add that, although Steamer Virginia, on the morning of May eleventh, not formally consulted, the course was approved 1862, near Craney Island, respectfully report that by every commissioned officer in the ship. it was effected by the order and under the super

There is no dissenting opinion. The ship was vision of Flag-Officer Tatnall, after her draft had accordingly put on shore as near the mainland in been reduced to twenty feet six inches, and on the vicinity of Craney Island as possible, and the the representations of the pilots that in consecrew landed. She was then fired, and after quence of recent prevalent westerly winds, she burning fiercely fore and aft for upward of an could not be taken with a draft of eighteen feet hour, blew up a little before five on the morning as high as Westover, near Harrison's Bar, in of the eleventh.

James River, (whither he designed to take her,) We marched for Suffolk, twenty-two miles, which they previously stated they could do. and reached it in the evening, and from thence 1. The destruction of the Virginia was, in the camo by railroad to this city.

opinion of the court, unnecessary at the time It will be asked what motives the pilots could and place it was effected. have had to deceive me. The only imaginable 2. It being clearly in evidence that Norfolk one is that they wished to avoid going into battle being evacuated, and Flag Officer Tatnall having

Had the ship not have been lifted so as to ren- been instructed to prevent the enemy from asder her unfit for action, a desperate contest must cending James River, the Virginia, with very little have ensued with a force against us too great more, if any, lessening of draft, after lightening to justify much hope of success, and as battle is her to twenty feet six inches aft, with her iron not their occupation, they adopted this deceitful sheathing still extending three feet under water, course to avoid it. I cannot imagine another could have been taken up to Hog Island in James motive, for I had scen no reason to distrust their River, (where the channel is narrow,) and could good faith to the Confederacy.

then have prevented the larger vessels and trans My acknowledgments are due to the First ports of the enemy from ascending. The court Lieutenant, Ap Catesby Jones, for his untiring ex- is of opinion that such disposition ought to have ertions and for the aid he rendered me in all been made of her, and if it should be ascertained things. The details for firing for the ship and that her .provisions could have been replenished

COM. PORTER'S OFFICIAL REPORT.

when those on hand were exhausted, then the mostly in ashes. Without communicating with proper time would have arrived to take into con- the Fort, I proceeded to the town of Pensacola, sideration the expediency or practicability of strik- where I found that Gen. Arnold had already sent ing a last blow at the enemy or destroying her. Capt. Jackson, of the army, in the schooner Wood,

In conclusion, the court is of opinion that the to call upon the town to surrender. I sent for evacuation of Norfolk, the destruction of the the Mayor on board the Harriet Lane, who promNavy-Yard and other public property, added to ised that the citizens would behave themselves the hasty retreat of the military under General peacefully. Huger, leaving the batteries unmanned and un- I found that the rebels evacuated the place on protected, no doubt conspired to produce in the hearing that our steainers, the day before, were minds of the officers of the Virginia the necessity going to run into Mobile Bay, and the squadron of her destruction at the time, as, in their opinion, and mortar fotilla would soon follow them. . the only means left of preventing her from falling thousand rebels were encamped five miles outinto the hands of the enemy; and seems to have side of Mobile. They had destroyed everything precluded the consideration of the possibility of that time would permit. Fort Barrancas, the getting her up James River to the point or points Marine Barracks, Muster-Office in the yard, one indicated.

new stone building, the smithery, I believe, and The Court of Inquiry, of which Captain F. the shears, are still in a fair state of preservation. Forrest is president, is hereby dissolved. The yard was so hot that I did not go into it.

S. R. Mallory, Gen. Arnold having no steamer at command,
Secretary of the Navy. and no means of transportation, I placed the

Harriet Lane at his service, and at three o'clock

had four hundred men, two pieces of artillery, Doc. 13.

and horses and some luggage-carts on the other THE EVACUATION OF PENSACOLA.

side, when the troops took possession and hoisted
once more the United States flag on the forts and

Navy-Yard so long occupied by the rebels.
U. S. STEAMER HARRIET LANE,

We land nine hundred more men on the other PENSACOLA, May 10, 1562. side to-night, when I shall proceed to hunt up Sire On the seventh instant I left Ship Island, some steamers for Gen. Arnold to keep open with the steamers belonging to the mortar flotilla communication between the United States troops and the Sachem, for Mobile Bar, for the purpose and to cover them if attacked. He is without of fixing on a place for the mortar vessels to lie, any support of this kind, so necessary to a genand to plant buoys for the ships to run in by eral in his position. David D. PORTER, when they should arrive. Great excitement

Commanding Flotllla. seemed to exist within the forts on the appear

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of Nary. ance of our steamers. I have reason to think that Fort Gaines was evacuated, and some were

BOSTON "JOURNAL" ACCOUNT. of opinion that the troops were leaving Fort Mor- About half-past eleven o'clock on the night of gan, but I think that they were reënforcing it the ninth of May, the garrison of Pickens and from Fort Gaines.

the troops encamped on the island were startled One of our steamers, the Clifton, got ashore by the report of two hundred muskets, which the under the guns of Fort Morgan, which opened rebel picket-guard on the opposite shore fired in fire on her, and when they had got her range rapid succession. These were followed by two beautifully, and were throwing the shot over, volleys of musketry, when signal-lights were sent they stopped firing. Lieut. Commanding Bald- up from McRae to Pensacola, and the work of win went to work coolly, and got his vessel off destruction commenced. The rebels set fire to just as I sent him assistance, and while I had to the combustible material in the water-battery becover him from Commander Randolph's gunboats, low McRae, and immediately after flames burst which were contemplating an attack on him. out from that Fort, the Light-House, the Marine Thinking better of it, the Commodore went up to Hospital, and the Navy-Yard; the villages of WarMobile.

rington and Woolsey, all the buildings between The weather being bad, I sent the steamers McRae and the yard, and from an extensive oil. back to Ship Island, and staid myself to relieve factory in the outskirts of Pensacola. The vanLieut. Commanding Febiger, while he went to dals had made every preparation for the execuShip Island to coal. I cruised that night in shore tion of their infamous design, intending to make to the eastward, in hopes of picking up some ves- a clean sweep of everything that had the stamp sel trying to run the blockade.

U. S. upon it, as well as the town of Pensacola At two A.M.,

brilliant light illuminated the itself and all the confederate steamers which sky, and I discovered that the Navy-Yard at they could not remove beyond our reach. Pensacola, Fort McRea, the Naval Hospital, War- When the sentinels discharged their pieces, the rington, and some parts of Pensacola, were in officers at Santa Rosa thought the confederates flames. Fort Pickens, bombarding with shell, had gained a victory, and took this method to we stood for, and when light would permit

, en- manifest their joy. But when the flames leaped tered the harbor of Pensacola. I found all the up at all the well-known points, within a radius above-mentioned places burning fiercely, and l of ten miles, their doubts were quickly dispelled,

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