Manlius, May 24.
Oswego. - I have just returned from that devoted village, having gone out with my fellow-citizens on the alarm of Tuesday last. Nothing can equal the despondency and distress which pervades that once flourishing and beautiful place. The bustle of business has ceased, and the voice of the workman is heard there no more! Such is the sand effect of war - of a war, declared without preparation, and prosecuted without skill or energy.
The late alarm was occasioned by the arrival of the enemy's fleet at Oswego on Monday of last week. No attempt, however, was made to land - A flag was sent on shore for the purpose of ascertaining whether any public property had been received at that place since their last visit - none being found, the citizens were not molest. On Thursday morning last, Mr. Vaughan arrived at Oswego from Sacket's Harbor, which place he left at 10 o'clock the evening before, in a row boat. He informed that the British fleet were lying near Stony Island, 7 or 8 miles from the Harbor. It appears that the enemy have stationed their gun boats and other small craft in such a manner between Oswego at Sacket's Harbor, that it is impossible for loaded boats to pass down. A boat, loaded with flour, belonging to Mr. Lee, was surprised and taken by one of the enemy's armed boats on Tuesday last about eight miles below Oswego; - since which none have attempted to go out.
A great part of the guns and rigging for our new ships at the Harbor is no lying upon the Seneca River. In what manner they were intended to be conveyed, would be improper to communicate, was it known. At any rate, their transportation will be a work of great difficulty. Col. Mitchel, with his regular force, and about 200 Indians are at present stationed at the Falls. It is stated by two of the citizens who were taken from Oswego by the enemy, and returned with the flag which was sent in last week, they were permitted to view a ship nearly completed in Kingston Harbor, which was supposed would rate as high as 80 guns. The British sailors called her a 120 gun ship. If our fleet should be detained in port until this large ship gets out, there can be no doubt of the enemy's keeping command of the lake through the season. Such is the information received, and the prospect is indeed gloomy.