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Castle of Vera Cruz.
An officer of ihe U. S. ship Albany,
which vessel forms one of the blockading
Squadron ofTVera Cruz, has furnished the
N. Y. Tribune with the following notes in
reference to the Castle t
The Castle of Vera Cruz is no more
what it was when France carried it, than
you are now what you were a nursling- in
your mother's arms. Then there were no
guns above the calibre of 24 pounds?and
but few of them?most miserably served.?
The magazines unarched were not bombproof
; the powder was of such inierior character
that not a shot penetrated the side of
a French ship, but at the close of the engagement
were struck about the sides of
the shipping like so many balls of mud ;
and in addition to rill this, the commanding
officer having been instructed not to fire the
first gun, permitted the French Squadron
to come up and take its position as quietly
as though mooring to pass the Winter season.
Now let us see what a changed time and
- . w.w .VWKWt. MM*v V IAUVVVU III lino sa 11IC
.r- castle. There are at present mounted
within its periphery nearly 300 cannons,
and these ail 32s, 42s and 10 inch Puixhan,
there being.a very large number of the latter
; and wherever it lias been possible to
train a gun upon the channel of approach,
they are planted "en barbette"?so that a
fleet moving up to the attack must be exposed
to the concentrated fire of 70 cannons,
over a distance of two miles, before it can
get into a position to return a single shot.
The Castle of " San Juan" fronts the
city at a distance of about three eighths ol a
mile; and is supported by a water battery,
at the north west angle of the town offil'y
32 and 42 uound guns. all of which with
those of the Castle commanding ihe channel,
would enfilade the spuadron passing up,
boics on, from ihe moment it arrived within
range of the shot until its anchors were
down, with springs upon the cablt-s, within
the reach of musket shoi. Judge, then,
what a force would be required lor any
promise of success and at what an immense
sacrifice it would be accomplished, if at all.
The garrison at this moment is composed
of 2,000 men. In the event of an attack
they would with the most perlect safety
retire within the casemates (which arc as
impervious to shot as the sides of Mount
Orizaba) until the ammunition of the assail
ing lorce was expended, when they would
return to their guns arid sweep the waters
before them with the most terrific, destructive
effect. The officer commanding the
Castle lately sent official word ''that if the
Commodore would bring his fleet up, he
might fire until there was not a shot lel't in
the locker, and he would promise him not
to return a gun until he was done firing."
It is very easy to batter down the Castle
of Vera Cruz by a few mathematical lines
upon a piece of while p:iper, and it is still
easier to harrangue a curious giddy crowd
at the corner of a street; to such a tune
old women may prattle over their quiet
firesides about our glorious fleets razing
San Juan de Ulloa to the ground by a single
broad side, and young bucks and heroes, I
pressing through a fierce moustache and
imperial, may heap invectives upon what is
called the u masterly inactivity ' of Com.
Conner?but send these gentry down here,
and if they have not less brains than beard,
thr?v will snnn kpr th? fnllv nfsiifVi -fjinfurn.
nude, and perhaps in the ordinary hard service
attending the blockade only, be th?; first
to cry out, "Give me some drink, Titinius,
or I die 1" for there is not a sin?]? officer on
this station who would not very much prefer
service. with the Army, with some remote
probability of a fight, the annoyance
and privation ol a vigorous blackadeot Vera
Cru2 during the Winter month, on an allowance
of water, with salt provisions increasing
the thirst lor it, a change of time
as far between as angel's visits, with gale
after gale sweeping dark o'er the main.?
There is no enterprise, with a tolerable
promise of. carrying it, that would not be
preierame to it.
,THe City of Vera Cruz, containing some
7,000 inhabitants, and wailed in with a
rampart constructed of coral and mud, is
seated directly upon the strand) a low sandy
beach. swelling slowly into ranges of hillocks
Gfsaod, which flank the city inland, and
seem to break up the surface entirely between
the mountains, (which Tear their lofty
heads heaven-wards in the distance of some
30or,4Q miles,) and the sea. The intermediate
space is poisoned with swarms of
stagnant pools and marshes, which engender
.the fatal rriia?ma. so destuclive to life
during the rainy seasons.
In a subsequent letter the' same writer
thus alludes to the new plan of campaign
which is now bejng carried into execution
. "An army of ab?ut 8,000 men i* to be
immediately collected nnd put in motion
from various points for Vera Cruz?3,000
^ regfttlafs areto embark from Tampico as
^n ns bo draivn; in ifromthe upw\H
*v'olunteer? "is said
rdeTk! ft0ir<irytfrom the u'Siates'
would preclude the possibility of its being
either checked or annoyed -by the fire of the
Castle. The tremendous strength and impenetrable
defences of San Juan place it
wholly beyond the pale of any successful
attack by &ea, and the impression is that the
onnlitro r\ ? ill ! _ V I ~
vuptutw VI it mil UWLUSIUli lilt: IUCVUUU1U
necessity of destroying it totally, as the
unhealthiness of Vera Cruz would make
it untenable for our troops?and to advance
into the interior from Vera Cruz, which is
believed to be the fixed policy of our Government,
it must be destroyed, or garrisoned,
for the safely of the Army, in the event
of its sustaining any decisive reverses.?
Besides, in the citadel of Vera Cruz lies the
whole strength and pride of the Mexican
Republic, as well as the safety of the city
of Mexico. Raze it, and I doubt not that
Mexico will be humbled at once into a suit
for peace. It is quite impossible to say
what will be done as everything depends
upon the " denouement at Saltillo.
uecunaiion o] Major General Bevton.
The National Intelligencer of Wednes*
day has the following announcement:?
We understand that the Hon. Thomas H.
Benton, declines the appointment of Major
General in the Army, tendered to him by
the President and Senate.
For this step a variety of causes are assigned
; but generally concurring that difficulty
has arisen in relation to the powers
with which Mr. Benton should he invested.
The Baltimore Patriot gives a somewhat
highly colored sketch of the manner of
the would-be generalissimo.
These are the rumors and reports from
Washington. We hear from gentlemen
who were there yesterday, that there is much
dissatisfaction felt in the War Department
at the manner in which Major Gen. Benton
bore himself. Mr. Marcy was really at a
loss how to conduct himself towards the
" D.UiTUst nftrsonacrp." jinH ovnn
0 j Q?7 wTvit ITS;. I UltV
could ill conceal his uneasiness whenever
the newly made General entered the White
House. Those who have seen him " marching,"
along Pennsylvania avenue, say it is a
"sight" which would justify all who are curious
in such to go to Washington to see.
The " swaer.ornr." the strut of consonuo.nnp.
OO ' IT-.SV-j
the patronizing air, and the grand dignity,
which are all blended in him, show that he
feels he has united in his person all the
" powers" and all the " airs" which belong
or attach to a high plenipotentiary. The
Mexican generals have a high reputation in
such things, but from what is said, it is very
certain that Major General Benton is a
match for them, in all that constitutes pomposity.
An interview between him and
Ampudia would be a rare sight.
But there are whispers that if the new
General does not get oft* soon, he may never
go. He carries matters now so high that
another feather in his hat, or an extra button
on his coat, may cause a general revolt,
j A letter says : "You must not be surprised
if there is a * flate up' between gen. Benton
iiid Mr. Polk. The former acts if he
were the President, and the latter seems to
be afraid of crossing him in any thing. 41
must have powers, sir. My plan requires it,
sir; and it must be carried out just as it is
set down.' This is what is reported the
new Major General saps to the President,
and all other functionaries, and unless they
all yield to him, there is no getting along
with him. The prediction now is, that if
Benton does not get off before the close of
the week, he will not go at all!"
A correspondent ot the Baltimore Sun,
j who is generally au fait as to the State De
(mruneiii, any a;
The true General, in this matter, I apprehend,
will be the Secretary of State, who
has already so far out-generaled the wfe.xi-'
cans, that nothing is left for them to do but
to make peace and sell, on reasonable terms,
what they can no longer hope to re-conquer
by force of arms. But Major General
Benton insists, as I understand, on being
commissioner?or rather minister plenipotentiary
and the envoy extraordinary to
Mexico, in order to make a treaty of peace
and amity with Mexico; and he may sue*
ceed in obtaining such an appointment. But it
would rather more than charitv in Mr.
Buchanan, were he to allow Mr. Benton to
finish "solitary and alone," what Mr.
Buchanan has so happily began?the aim
he has had constantly in view, and to obtain
which he has taxed all his ingenuity,
forecast and power. Mr. Buchanan has
been the mediator all along in this matter?
long before Mr. Benton came to the support
of the administration?and it is but proper
that the honor of making peace and an
advantageous treaty shall be given to whom
it is due?TWm cuique.
And again I
Mr. Benton, I believe, has not yet fully
made up his mind to accept the Major Generalship
tendered him by the President, In a
irutj spirit ui pcaw( iiianmg iu iuuic tiitiii
one respect. - The fact is, he couples so many
conditions to bis acceptance that it is
difficult to comply with them in justice to
other claims. Were the war but beginning
how, Col. Benton would undoubtedly
be one or the best appointtnents that could
be made; but in its present stage, when the
President and his Cabinet have alr&idy
Ayrt iOipuch tobring ittoa happyfclwe?
ABBEVILLE C. H., S. C.
Wednesday, march 17, 1847.
Charleston March the 12th from 10 to 11
1-2. Hamburg, March 13th, from 9 to 11
A BOY some 14 or 15 years of age of
steady industrious habits can get a situation
in this office by applying immediately.
Jl^ Our Court commenced its session
on Monday last, Judge Withers presiding.
The return to this Court we learn, is quite
small which speaks well for the prosperity
of our people and district.
We barn by the Charleston Patriot, that
the editor has received a copy of a letter addressed
to the Hon. I. E. Holmes, by Senator
Beaton, informing him. of his refusal to
accept the appointment of Major General.
We approve highly of this Senators course
for doubtless there are hundreds in this
country better qualified, and more worthy
of that post than himself.
In this week's paper will be found further
particulars from our Regiment,which is now
at Lobos Island. It appears that the plan
ofoperalions of this division is not yet defini
ely known among the volunteers, but it is
still the opinion that Vera Cruz will be attacked
as soon as preparations can be made
for it. The rumor of this important post
having been abandoned by the Mexicans,
is not confirmed by the latest dates, and is
no doubt false. Should such however be the
IVIpvifnn vnlnr muct Via of ?i Ia?? ?vu
WI liiugk WU Ub ** IVU CUU
indeed, for if our troops were in possession
of that city and castle, it certainly would do
more to intimidata Mexico, and bring her
to terms of peace, than any measure that
hus yet been accomplished.
The rumor of a battle having been
fought recently near Saltillo, between the
forces of Gen. Taylor and >Santa Anna*
still wants confirmation. The correspondents
of La Patria from Tampico. says:?
" The report of the battle between Santa
Anna and Taylor-near Saltillo, is altogether
improbable, as Santa Anna at the last
accounts, which are. verv recent, was at
San Louis, engaged in arranging his forces.
When the American forces leave for Vera
Cruz, it is said that General Urrea will
march from Tula with a column of 8000 or
9000 men against Tampico. Gen. Urrea's
force is composed one third part of Cavalry,
with two battalions of Artillery. It is his
intention to attack Tampico simultaneous
with the American attack on Vera Cruz.
This officer is also prepared with a force of
4000 men to march on to Matamoras. Gen.
Arista is still in the city of Mexico, await
ing his trial on charges relating to
his conduct at the battle of the 8th
and 9th of May."
(Correspondence of the Banner.)
Prom our Volunteers*
Island of Lobos, Camp Winfield, )
February iOth, 1847. )
Friend Allen :?The second detachment
composed of the Sumpter, Abbeville and
Lancaster volunteers, sailed on the 30th
ult., under the command of Lieut. Colonel
Dickinson, with sealed orders. When the
pilot was discharged the seals were broken
ii ? ? i* ? It l -
open, ine orders puoiisneo, ana we were 01rccted
to land at the Island of Lobos, which
lies in lat. 21 26 long. 97.
I mustered, on board, eighty-three men
rank and file, and all in good health. Before
leaving Mobile, I applied to our Col.
for funds to bring on my sick, which were
left at Hamburg, Atlanta, and Lagrange:
The amount forwarded back was $140,
which was considered amply sufficient to
bring them oil to Mobile, where they woull
. '. II il. * At* * 1
remain unui me aageneia ana iNewberry
companies would arrive, and then all would
come on and join their respective companies.
is no mode of travelling to land*
luW^era, which ^ we ^ aU^
were on dry land. So thoroughly satisfied
with sea voyages, are some of my men, that
they have resolved when they return home,
to head the Mississippi. We loft Mobile
Bay with a fair wind and steerd, S. W. by
S. half S., and it Was truly interesting to see
how eager the men crowded to the stern of
our ship, to catch the last glimse of our native
shore, and perhaps the last forever for
some of us : but under the care of a kind
Providence, we hope to serve oUr country
(Q lilifiillif nn/1
Auitiuuiij uitu ii/iui il ill UUU SUU8UI1 10 our
On Tuesday night at 11 o'clock we Were
aroused from our births by the cry of fire.
All on deck rushed to where the smoke was
seen issuing from the side of the galley.
The first impression was that the ship Was
on fire between decks, which if it had been
the fact, would have been inevitable destruction
; but it was soon discovered that the
side of the galley was on fire, caused by
the overheating of a temporary brick-stove,
which had been erected for the accommodation
of the volunteers. A few buckets of
water soon allayed our fears ; but, imagine
fnr o If ? ? ' '
>? " uiuniciii juuiacii, mree iiunurcu miles
from land, circumscribed by the narrow limits
of a vessel, and aroused from your bed
in the dead of night, by the cry of- fire ; you
then can imagine what our feelings were.
The cry of fire 011 land carries terror with
the sound, but on sea beyond the reach of
hope, it is appalling. I have not the least
doubt that, that alarm was the salvation of
our ship ; with the exception of a severe
gale on last Tuesday, we had a delightful
passage the balance of our trip.
Here we are once more upon Term
Firma, the Island of Lobos, one of the loveliest
spots I have ever seen. The Island
would be more properly called, Coral Island
as its entire formation as far as we have
dug, is of Coral shell. It is covered by an
evergreen growth of Orange, Lemon. Fig,
Banyan, Fir, and it appears a hundred different
kinds of vines hanging with fruit. In
clearing up our camp ground, my company
cut down a grove of the finest Lemon trees
I have ever seen; and on the same tree
you will see the blossom half grown, and
ripe Lemon. So well pleased are some of
my company with this lovely spot, that they
have determined to settle here after the war
is over, and all they want to make it a perfact
elyseum is Carolina wives; but wo
have a duty before U3 of more importance,
to our country, than to think of Colonizing
Santa Anna's Islands. A treaty of peace
is to be conquered, sealed, with, oar bloo l.
When we arrived here, we found one Battalion
of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment,
six companies of the Louisiana Regiment,
and the first detachment of the South Carolina
volunteers under the command of Major
Gladden. Up to this time there has
arrived one battalion of the Mississippi Regiment,
one of the 2d Pennsylvania Regiment,
a portion of Gen. Worth's command
and above all the 3d detachment of the
South Carolina volunteers under the command
of Col. Butler. Our Regiment is
the only complete Regiment on the Island,
and it makes our hearts proud to see the
Banner of our beloved State nrmwllv urdrinn
^ r J
over an enemy's soil, and we hope in a short
lime to see it fanned by the breezes that
waft over the city of Vera Cruz. A force
of twelve thousand men is ordered to rendezvous
here by the 20th, and in four weeks
you may pxpect to hear of a hard fought
battle; in short, our destinatination is Vera
Cruz; and if we succeed in capturing that
city, of which I have not the least doubt under
such officers as Generals Scott and
Worth. Our course is then for the " Halls
of tfw Montezumas." We have just learn*
ed that a bearer of despatches and his
guard from Gen. Scott to Tatlob^ infor
ming him of his intended movement upon
the city of Vera Cruz, was cut off to a man
by the Mexicans. The heart of the bearer
was cut out and hung upon a tree, and noSv
we have no doubt our. movements will be
anticipated by Santa Anna, with a large
force, to defeat our grand entry in the city
of Vera Cruz. Our Regiment is in fine
spirits, and with ten more days drilling we
will be ready for the field, and if an opportunity
offers, I have no doubt we will give a
good account of ourselves.
- It affords me much pleasure to irtfortn
you that the Abbeville volunteers are inex
cellent spirits, and enjoying good health;
with the exception of tat cases of mumps,
^ one of fever, Lieut. *
MT here, th?t we ?re much todebfed Wour
prfnte Surg<Km, Dr. Aomtw, for the 1
y ' -v-iT
V . ' A ~ '1 ; "* -
& " * '' * ** .-' >.i* i* *
;v. .'s ' . ' . .
nies have been prostrated, and one third of
their men thrown into the hospital. By
having him with us I manage to keep my
men from going to the hospital, which is very
desirable, as every mess can attend to
We have sunk a good many wells on
the Island in search of fresh water, but all
as yet prove brackish. Our drinking water
is from the Mississippi. We have here,
what would be called in Carolina, delightful
May weather, the Thermometer standing
in the shade at 78 degrees, and above all,
the greatest luxury we have yet enjoyed, sea
bathing at night and morning. It would be
arausing^tQour friends to see the boys with
their suspcnciers Ited around their waist,
standing over their camp kettles washing
their clothes. With some it went
rather hard at first; and as money is of no
service in the washing lino, they now can
flatten the side of a fir tree, hue a balling
stick out of orange, and hang on the lemen i
bush a pretty fair shirt, in quick time.
Truly yours, J. Foster Marshall.
We are indebted to a friend for the
following letter, and although somewhat
lengthy will be read with interest.
camr Wingfeld, Isle of Lobos, )
Feb. 13, 1847. $
On the 27th of January, wc took passage
on the steamer Creole. On the evening
of the same dayt we boarded the ship
Oregon off from Mobile point. This was
the transport employed by the Government
to carry us we knew not then where. On
the 28th we had a severe gale, which compelled
us to remain at anchor during the
entire day. The day following we still re
nvuincd at anchor, in consequence of the
roughness of the sea. On the 30th we set
sail, and under a fine wind, were soon out of
the sight of land. This was my first day
at sea, and I never enjoyed any thing more
in my life. The weather was pleasant and
the wind favorable, and our good ship went
bravely on. The day went off finely ; we
were all full of life and enjoyment. About
10 o'clock at night, however, the appearance
of things underwent quite a change,
for a little while at least, we were aroused
from our slumbers by the cry of fire. The
fore cabin of our vessel was discovered in
flames 1 Wfl hnH nn KnnrH a larnm onrt?\l?
of ordnance, which was stored away in the
magazine between decks, with the fire
burning just above. This rendered our situation
very precarious. We knew if the
fire raged foY many minutes our ship would
be blown up. You know a soldier should
have no fear. I will not say that the officers
and men on deck were frightened?oh!
no; they were brave men. But I did see
many a pale face, and many a trembling
lip; and if 1 mistake not, some breathed a
prayer that night who had seldom prayed
before. For myself, I confess I have no
desire ever again to be on board a burning
ship out of the sight of land. In a short
time, however, we succeeded in extinguish- #
ing the flame, which, if it had remained *
i: i i? r r__ ?:??? i
uuuiotuvcjcu uiiij lux a icw miuuica iuugcrt
would have defied all our exertions.
The next day was clear and fair, and
we wcfit on finely, taking the precaution
always to look well to our fires. In the
evening of this day, we have enjoyed one
of the most magnificent sights I have ever
witnessed. A sunset on sea followed immediately
by the rising of the full mood.
From one side of the vessel we watched the
sun as he gradually sunk doiyjt into a bed
apparently of liquid flame. From the
other aide Of the ship we saw the moon
slowly emerge from the waves and cast her
silver light around. The fiery rays of thft
sun, contrasted with the soft mellow light
of the moon, addetl to the beauty of the scene. .
T t nrrta rrrn n f\ Kpvnnrl nil itatorintinn.
?? MW uvj VMV* UVOVIA|i>lVM??
The following day was dark and gloomy
as the proceeding one bad been bright and!
clear- At nighu wo had a severe northcry
and learned by experience something of the
term of a storm at sea. This 1 feel wholly
incompetent to describe, and wiH, not Attempt
it. The roaring of tfye wirtd-^the
repeated and.vivid flashes of lightning, folio
wed by peal after pea I ofthunder^the
lashing of the waves/the tostfrig of the ship
?ihe midnight darkness-rail tarkerr Together;
form a scene of terrific grandeur whicfc
you can better imagine than I describe- M
After the *?Arrrt ritnuk ha? f3fc'