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Text for Page 215 [01-29-1863]

              199
                      Tribune Letters.

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
prised at my relating it, especially as there is no
intrinsic improbability involved in the business;
only let it be definitely understood that I, myself,
assume the position of the pragmatic British Em-
bassador, who, writing from one of the petty Ger-
man Courts in the time of the first George, informed
St. James that �some say the Pretender is dead,
some that he is not;� adding, sagely, �for my part,
I believe neither of them.�
  You know that the little steamer S. W. Brown
has recently made a trip from this city across Lake
Pontchartrain to Confederate Dixie, conveying
thither a cargo of �registered enemies� to the
United States, principally in crinoline.  It also
brought back a few�I will not say enemies�but as
good friends to American unity as may be supposed
to exist in the dominions acknowledging the sway
of Jefferson Davis.  From them the following story
is derived.  I believe they told it originally to Col.
Clark, chief aid on Gen. Banks�s staff, a gentleman
whose gallantry toward them was rewarded, says
The Delta, by three cheers, subsequent to a similar
manifestation in honor of the arch Secessionist.  It
relates to the latter, and is as follows:
  On the first o the month and year, or the fifth�
for the date is variously stated�Jeff. Davis was at
Mobile.  It is known tht he has been visiting the
south-western portion of the �so-called Confederate
States� very recently, involving a look in at Vicks-
burg and Port Hudson, presently bringing up at the
best known city in Alabama, there to celebrate the
inception of 1863, and the beginning of the third
year of his reign.  While there he resolved on a
voyage of inspection to Forts Morgan and Gaines.
With him went his suite, Gen. Buckner and staff,
also Governor Brown, of Georgia, and a goodly
company of ladies and gentlemen, all as ardent Se-
cessionists as the majority of the population of the
town in which I write�I cannot think of a stronger
comparison.  These embarked on board the steamer
Florida, and steamed gallantly outwar, unmindful
or defiant of our blockading flotilla.
  Simultaneously�I would not add intentionally�
the captain of her Britannic Majesty�s frigate Vesu-
vius obtained permission of Commodore Hitchcock
to allow the English Consul to visit him, which was
accomplished by means of a small steamer, known
as the Crescent, belonging to Mobile.  During the
interview, the Florida�described as a big, black-
looking vessel, mounting half a dozen guns�neared
the blockading fleet.  Her machinery had got broken
�became unmanageable�and she was drifting,
helplessly outward, a prey to any who might choose
or dare to board her.  She came, indeed, close to the
flag-ship of our squadron�the Susquehanna�all
unwitting of the prize within her reach.
  Why was she no boarded�fired upon?  Well, the
British Consul�s steamer was in the way, and our
sailors could not be ungallant enough to avail them-
selves of a palpable accident, to the detriment of a
harmless party of ladies and gentlemen (and Jeff.
Davis!)  So the engineers of the Florida contrived
to reassert their mastery over the vessel, and to re-
turn in safety to the city.  Some say they displayed 
a flag of truce; others that the steamer was actually
boarded and allowed to retire scot free, of course in
ignorance of her contents.  I spare you other con-
flicting rumors.
  If this story be true, as may be the case for any-
thing I know to the contrary, here is a historical
might-have-been worthy of consideration.	T. B. G.

[newspaper clipping]
	The Rebel Forces up the River.
From Our Special Correspondent.
			New-Orleans, La., Jan. 28, 1863.
  I have obtained, from sources that should be
authentic, the following items relative to the Rebel
forces up the river.  I offer them as corrective of
and more recent than the details afforded in a recent
letter.
  At Vicksburg the Confederates muster from 60,000
to 70,000 men.  At Port Hudson they have but
35,000.  Of these, probably not more than 15,000
are well drilled regiments at the former place, and
5,000 at the latter.  The remainder consist of con-
scripts, now employed in drilling and brigading, and
represented to be but imperfectly armed.
  Gen. Francis Gardner, formerly of the U. S. 
Army, is now in command at Port Hudson, a very
efficient soldier, and son-in-law to Gov. Mouton of
this State.  Van Dorn and Lovell are Brigadier-
Generals under him.
  It is not improbable that the Rebels may attempt
a raid upon our troops at Baton Rouge, and still less
improbable that we may anticipate them.  Nothing
definite, however, can yet come of either.
  Gen. Augur is expected in New-Orleans to-mor-
row, to confer with Gen. Banks relative to future
operations.				T. B. G.

[newspaper clipping]
Returning �Registered Enemies� of the
  United States to Dixie, under a Flag
  of Truce�Expedition of the J. D.
  Brown from New-Orleans to Madison-
  ville, La.
From Our Special Correspondent.
		ST. CHARLES HOTEL, NEW-ORLEANS,}
					Feb. 4, 1863.}
  I have spoken in a previous letter of the steam-
boat J. D. Brown, which has made a trip or two
across Lake Pontchartrain to Madisonville, on its
northern shore, conveying such persons whose incli-
nations prompted them toward that destination, into
the realms of Dixie, under a flag of truce.  Two
days ago I was a passenger on board the steamer
during a smiliar expedition, thinking it of sufficient
interest to deserve some record in THE TRIBUNE.
Here are my experiences:
  I rose at the unnatural hour of 6 a. m., having
scribbling until 3 (for was not the Marion to depart
on the morrow with a mail for New-York), and just
after the sun had followed my example, effected a
hasty walk through the French quarter and the
dank morning to the depot of the Pontchartrain Rail-
road. Not that there was any necessity for doing
so, for the point of departure lay elsewhere, as soon
appeared, but relying on my fellow-creatures [words cut off]
deceived.  One of my two companions [words cut off]
misinformed; hence we found ourselves [words cut off]
of about twenty minutes, through a [words cut off]
swamp, at a point on the lake sh[words cut off]
miles eastward of the right one.  The [words cut off]
elderly Frenchman (who, in common with [words cut off]
his class in this vicinity, had a negro to [words cut off]
of the burden of carrying the tickets), [words cut off]
in broken English, that the J. D. Brown [words cut off]               
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