From the Richmond Dispatch, 5/15/1862, p. 3, c. 1
The War News.
During the day of yesterday the greatest anxiety was manifested by our citizens with reference to the approach of the enemy's gunboats to this city. Early in the day the annexed dispatch was posted upon the bulletin, and read by hundreds interested in the fate of the city, who earnestly long for its deliverance from the fate which has befallen some of our sister Southern cities:
WILSON, (James River,) 10 ½ A. M.,
May 14th, 1862
Three of the gunboats have stopped about three miles below the obstructions. They threw a shell at half-past 9 o'clock, which fell short, and a solid shot a few minutes later, which passed over and beyond the fort. Three guns in the fort and five in pits are ready for them when they get within reach.
The men are all anxious for a fight.
The Thos. Jefferson, the Northampton, and the Curtis Peck, have been sunk, also the Roanoke and several canal boats. The obstructions are not so complete as could be desired, but if the gunners do their duty, the enemy cannot pass.
No one doubts that the gallant gunners will do their duty faithfully, and if upon them depends the fate of our loved capital, we have reason to hope that Richmond is secure.
Late last evening we were informed that three gunboats were within three miles of the obstructions in the James river, with a steamer in front, apparently feeling the way. Last night they lay at anchor. It was thought that two of the vessels below were transports, but it could not be determined whether or not they had thrown but one shell and three solid shot at our batteries.
From Gen. Johnston's army we have nothing new. Rumor stated that a fight commenced yesterday between the opposing forces, but up to 10 o'clock last night there was no confirmation of this rumor.