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November 2.

The British brig Ariel arrived at Philadelphia, Pa., in charge of a prize crew. She was from Liverpool, bound to Charleston, with a cargo of salt. She was captured off Frying Pan Shoals, while trying to run the blockade of Charleston, by the gunboat Gemsbok.--Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 4.

General McClellan was presented with a sword by the city councils of Philadelphia to-day, at his residence in Washington. In responding to the presentation address General McClellan said:

I ask you, sir, to give my warmest and deep thanks to the honorable body you represent for this entirely unmerited compliment. I could thank you better if I thought that I deserved it, but I do not feel that I do. Nothing that I have yet accomplished would warrant this high compliment. It is for the future to determine whether I shall realize the expectations and hopes that have been centred in me. I trust and feel that the day is not far distant when I shall return to the place dearest of all others to me, there to spend the balance of my life among the people from whom I have received this beautiful gift. The war cannot last long. It may be desperate. I ask in the future, forbearance, patience, and confidence. With these we can accomplish all; and while I know that, in the great drama which may have our hearts' blood, Pennsylvania will not play the least, I trust that, on the other hand, she will play the highest and noblest part.

I again thank you, and ask you to convey to the councils my most sincere thanks for the sword. Say to them that it will be my ambition to deserve it hereafter. I know I do not now.

The Twenty-seventh Massachusetts regiment, under the command of Colonel H. C. Lee, left Springfield at two o'clock to-day for Hudson, where they took the steamer Connecticut for New York, at seven o'clock in the evening.--Springfield Republican, Nov. 4.

The British steamer Bermuda, with a cargo of eighteen hundred bales of cotton, ran the blockade from Savannah, Ga. About eight o'clock she weighed anchor, proceeded down the stream, and finding all things favorable, made a clear and triumphant exit over the bar. She cleared for Havre.--Savannah Republican, Nov. 4.

The Charleston (S. C.) Mercury, of this date, says: The trial of our privateersmen for piracy, in New York and Philadelphia, our readers have noticed, among other intelligence published. It is a subject that must stir the gall of every earnest man in the Confederate States. In the deficiency of a navy proper, these gallant men, commissioned by our Government our militia of the sea, have gone forth to punish our enemy to the extent of their ability. It has been our only naval resource, and accords with the laws and customs of nations. It is a right which the United States freely exercised in the last war against Great Britain, and within a few years peremptorily refused to waive by treaty stipulation. But now, because [65] it bears disagreeably upon their commerce, the practice is denounced by the United States, and our captured privateersmen are subjected to the ignominious treatment of common felons. Paraded in chains through the streets of Northern cities, for the gaze of the hostile rabble, they are put into the wretched dungeons of “the Tombs,” surrounded by filth and vermin. Here for long months they are kept, that confinement and anxiety may prey upon their health, and that wounded self-respect may fret their hearts in the torture of humiliation. They are now dragged forth, before the public gaze of our infuriated enemies, to be tried for their lives as the worst of criminals — enemies to the whole human race. These are the men whom we have sent forth to fight our battles, under the broad seal of our country; and this is the treatment which they have met with as prisoners, at the hands of our enemies — the Yankees.

The law of retaliation is retributive justice, used for self-protection. It is a law wholesome in its operation against those whom no argument of propriety can convince, no plea of humanity or justice affect. It is logical and touchingly effective. It speaks with more power than the voice of reason. It is more convincing than precedent and law, and hard, dry logic. It has a voice to charm and to be heeded.

The Yankee prisoners in South Carolina are in jail in close confinement. There they will abide the issue of the trials of our privateers-men at the North. Should one drop of Southern blood be shed by Northern courts, for defending the South on the seas, it will be paid for with interest in Charleston. Self-protection, and the enforcement of the laws of nations and of humanity, alike require, in this instance, full and ample retaliation. It is a matter of high State policy, which must and will assuredly be carried out.

General Fremont received, at Springfield, Mo., an unconditional order from Washington, relieving him at once from his command; and newspapers, with the announcement of his removal, reached Springfield at the same time.

The intelligence spread rapidly through the camps, and created considerable excitement. Feeling ran high, especially in the General's body-guard.

Although, after notifying General Hunter, as his order directed, he had no longer command over the troops, General Fremont spent several hours in making a personal examination of the grounds about the city to be prepared for a battle; and, in accordance with a written request from all the brigadier-generals, he remained through the night, to lead the army in case of an attack, which it was thought possible might be made.

General Fremont issued an order, in which he took leave of the army with many expressions of regret.--(Doc. 126.)

A skirmish took place about six miles east of Leavenworth, Mo., between a small force of Missouri militia, under Major Josephs, and one hundred and fifty rebels. The latter were dispersed, with a small loss.--National Intelligencer, November 6.

The Charleston (S. C.) Mercury, of to-day, contains the following:--“In view, probably, of the expected visit of the Yankee armada, Gen. Anderson, commander of North Carolina coast defences, has called on the authorities for the assembling of the militia of Brunswick County, at Smithville, and of New Hanover, at Wilmington, without delay. Everyman is requested to bring such arms and ammunition as he can procure, and come quick.”

In a letter of this date to the U. S. Secretary of State, Gov. Curtin, of Pennsylvania, criticizes somewhat sharply the Secretary's circular on coast defences. He can do nothing, he says, until authorized by the Pennsylvania Legislature, which will not meet until after Congress has met; and he does not see that he should call an extra session, as the Secretary assures him that “the prospect of disturbance is now less serious than it has been at any time since the insurrection began.” Since, then, the duty properly belongs to Congress, why not leave it with Congress?--(Doc. 127.)

Capt. John A. Thompson, A. D. C. on Gen. Fremont's Staff, accompanied by Mr. Teed, Lieutenant Tosk, and Sergeant Carlton, left General Fremont's camp, at Springfield, for the Headquarters of General Price, in order to effect an exchange of prisoners, and complete the arrangements for the future conduct of the war in Missouri.--St. Louis Democrat, November 10.

To-day was published an address to the people of Tennessee, by Gov. Harris, calling upon them to furnish every double-barrel shot-gun and rifle they have to arm the troops now offering their service. He says the State must aid [66] to the full extent of her resources. Her soil shall be protected. He calls upon Tennesseeans to exhaust every resource of the State before the foot of the invader shall pollute the soil of Tennessee.--Baltimore American, Nov. 16.

The Charleston Mercury, of this date, contains the following:--“In view of the especial malignity exhibited by the North toward the Palmetto State in general, and toward Charleston in particular, we are happy to announce that all our defences are now in perfect order, and that General Ripley is ready, if not anxious, to give the invaders a warm reception. Yesterday the families residing on Sullivan's Island received notice to remove. In the event of an attack they might have greatly embarrassed our forces. We also hear, on good authority, that a series of obstructions, of a somewhat unusual character, have been placed across the harbor entrance. We don't envy the occupants of any hostile vessel that, entangled in these obstructions, may be subjected to the cross-fire of the big Columbiads, Dahlgrens, and rifled guns of the batteries of forts Moultrie and Sumter.”

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