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Mobile Register

June 22, 1861

Page 1


Our Charleston Correspondence

            The Privateer Savannah—Capture of the Brig Hallie Jackson, of Savannah—The British Bark Edward—Departure of the Washington Mounted Artillery for Virginia—Reception of the Pulaski Guard of Savannah—Flying Rumors from Virginia—Narrow Escape of Mr. Trapmann, of Charleston—Captain Lartigue and “The Marion Men”—High Premium for Small Change—Small Bills—The New Postal Arrangements—Letter Writing an Expensive Amusement.

Charleston, June 17, 1861

            We have been for several days past in great anxiety about the fate of the crew of the privateer Savannah, which was fitted out at this port and carried a prize into Georgetown.  After disposing of her valuable burden, the Savannah, it is said, was captured by one of the blockading fleet, and her men confined on board the Minnesota.  The uncertainty attending the whole proceeding increases this anxiety on the part of numerous friends and relatives in this city, of the highest respectability, whose families were gallantly represented by young privateersmen on board the Savannah.

            On Friday afternoon H. B. M. Consul, Robert Bunch, went down in the steamer Aid to see after the British bark Edward, bound from Liverpool to Savannah, which, in trying to get into port got ashore on the Gaston Bank, became disabled and short of provisions and water.  Captain Bonneau, of the Howell Cobb, fell in with this vessel off St. Helena, and procured a steamer to tow her into port.  Meanwhile the U. S. Brig Perry came in sight and ordered her off, and when the Consul paid his visit he found that Edward had proceeded to New York.  He was also informed that the crew of the Savannah were on board the Minnesota, that one of them had been sent to New York and the rest would have to go there also for trial.  This may be a ruse on the part of the commander of the fleet to put a stop to privateering, or it may be true, that our brave young fellows have fallen a prey to the enemy.  Whether the madcaps will venture to carry out their desperate measures of revenge by treating them as pirates remains to be seen.  A single case of such atrocity will stir up a fever in the blood of every Southerner, which will never be assuaged, but by the most extreme retaliatory remedies.

            It is also reported that the Brig Hallie Jackson, of Savannah, has been taken as a prize by the Minnesota and sent to New York.

            The Washington Mounted Artillery left on Thursday evening for Columbia, on their way to Virginia.  They were escorted from their camp ground to the Military Hall, where a large crowd was in attendance to bid them farewell.  A handsome Artillery Guidon of the U. S. Army Regulations, size of 1837, made of white and red silk, bordered with red and white ribbon and rosettes, was presented to them at the Hall.  It bears the inscription “Right shall make Might,” “Hampton Legion—Washington Artillery.”  A Collation provided by the Washington Artillery closed the interesting exercises, after which the Volunteers marched to the cars and proceeded on their journey.

            The Pulaski Guard, of Savannah, a fine body of soldiery, came in by the Savannah train on Thursday evening on their way to Richmond.  The Charleston Mounted Guard escorted them to the Charleston Hotel, where they were welcomed by the citizens.  Captain Reed responded in a stirring address.  The company left on the same evening, at 11 o’clock, on the North Eastern Railroad.

            Flying rumors from Virginia have been agitating, and then leaving us in doubt and suspense daily.  The various conflicting reports about the battles at Bethel Church enable us to form no definite idea as to the exact loss of our side or of the enemy, although all agree that there was an immense disproportion.  Yesterday it was reported that Gen. Beauregard was killed in an attack upon Alexandria; also that one of our citizens, Wm. H. Trapmann, Esq., who left recently on his way to Europe with his young bride, came within an ace of being arrested in Washington, being suspected of being the bearer of dispatches from this city.  Next, we heard that the brave Gen. Lee had turned traitor, and that Governor Letcher had shown the cloven foot, and the noble Old Dominion was about to be hopelessly subjugated.  In such a chaos of startling and sensational news, we know not what to believe, and have resolved to believe nothing.  The next intelligence will perhaps make confusion worse confounded.  But our cause is in the hands of a Good Providence which has never yet deserted us on the Battlefield of Justice and Right.

            Captain G. B. Lartigue is raising a company of “Marion Men” for the War.  He has applications for four companies.  A part, and perhaps all, will be mounted.  Some will be provided with double barrelled guns.  They will act as scouts, as advanced guards, to attack and draw in outposts, harass the camps, attack the advancing army in the flank, make ambuscades—and annoy the enemy in every way.  They are destined for the border—for our own State or the enemy’s country—whichever may most require their services.  The camp equipage and baggage will consist of the mere necessities of life—the service being one of sacrifices and privations—such as Marion’s Men of the Revolution cheerfully endured in the forests and swamps, under the gallant leader whose name, “The Swamp Fox,” has become immortal.  They are to go into service for three years, should the war last so long.

            Specie is at a premium of 10 to 12 per cent.  I paid a broker a day or two ago a five dollar bill for $4.50 in silver, to spend at the Postoffice.   He counted it out to me in five cent pieces, and remarked that he had done a brisk business in that way during the morning.  Change is now so hard to be obtained that you can hardly buy anything with your pocket book full of bank bills.  Tickets are given in change, which pass current among the storekeepers.  Our new postal arrangements have gone into operation.  The very high rates of postage have already greatly reduced the business of letter writing.  A single letter in Mobile now costs ten cents.  The letter box is closed to prevent letters being deposited without paying the whole postage in advance.  I have my envelopes for letters for the Advertiser and Register stamped with the word “paid” beforehand, to save trouble and delay.



[Transcribed by Sharon Strout]


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