with rifles, pistols, revolvers, swords, &c. There are four row-boats on board the Chicora. We lay up in the Cooper River not quite as high as the receiving ship.
The Palmetto State, Charleston, and the Columbia are in the Charleston Harbor; they are all iron-clads. The Palmetto State has four guns, two 9-inch Dahlgren and two 7-inch Brooke rifles. The Charleston has six guns. I do not know their caliber; the two pivot guns are 7-inch. The Columbia is pierced for eight guns; she is not yet ready for sea. She is built so long that her bow and stern settle in the water and leave her middle high up. I do not think they will ever use her. These boats all lay up the Cooper River nearly opposite the Northeastern Railroad depot. One of these boats goes on picket every night between the city and Fort Johnson. The Charleston is the flag-ship. She is the fastest; she can steam about 4 miles an hour. The Palmetto State's boilers are out of order. She goes very slowly. The Chicora will sail about 3 miles an hour. On board the receiving-ship there are about 150 North Carolina conscripts. The blockade-runners are the Stag (she went in night before last), Fox, Druid, Syren. I heard that the General Whiting was sunk. There are, I think, about eight torpedo-boats, 8 feet in diameter and 50 feet long; they come to a point at either end and propelled by steam. These boats all have torpedoes, some 15 or 16 feet in front of the bow. The iron-clads all have torpedoes, with between 60 and 150 pounds of powder in each, placed in front of their bows. They carry four or five to each boat and keep them in their magazines, which is forward near the bow. The planting is of 2-inch plates all over except the deck, which is one-half inch. I heard on board my boat that they were going to fit out all the blockade-runners as privateers with two or three guns on each, and run the blockade and prey upon our commerce. The captain of the Chicora will have command of the Stag. Some nine or ten days ago the Tallahassee iran into Wilmington, N. C. They are fitting up al the blockade-runners there also. Captain Brown, of the Charleston, is going with several other officers to Wilmington, N. C., to take command of some of the vessels; if they get out, I think they will do something desperate. They also talk of making a raid to Point Lookout for the purpose of liberating their prisoners at that place.
Our rations are 14 ounces hard bread and 1 1/4 pounds fresh beef, sometimes salt beef. This last week we received 6 sacks each coffee and sugar. We have passes into the city once in awhile. I was there two weeks ago. I landed at Calhoun street wharf. There are no guns upon it; there was one, but it has been removed. The Blakely gun is on Frazer's wharf. On the battery or parade ground there are some six or eight guns. The shells from Cumming's Point are doing a good deal of damage.
I was born in Ireland; am twenty-five years of age; have been in this country fourteen years. I resided nine years in New York. I was on board a steam-boat on the Mississippi till all the boats stopped running, and then I came to Charleston and tried to run the blockade on the steamer Macaroni, but could not get out and they compelled me to enlist in the Navy about two years ago. I was never paid, but got a little money now and then. They think that if Lincoln is re-elected there will be a revolution in the West; if McClellan is elected they think he will recognize the Confederacy and there will be peace; that is their only hope. There is gun-boat up near Columbus, Ga., which they are trying to fit out. I think they