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November 8.

The Charleston Mercury of this day has the following:

South Carolina began the war, and it is, perhaps, fitting, in the nature of things, that she should end it. The rage and hate of her enemies have precipitated then on her coast. They come to punish her for daring to assert her liberties and independence. Hence, as General Butler, of Massachusetts, says: “The war is to be illuminated by her burning cities and villages.” We have foreseen and have deprecated the wretched policy which has induced the invasion of the State. We have wished that it could have been otherwise, and that the redemption of Maryland and the protection of South Carolina had been accomplished by fighting on the banks of the Potomac.

But since all our efforts to shield South Carolina from invasion have failed, we await with cheerfulness the fate which is upon us. There are few calamities without some redeeming advantages to those who suffer. We can, and we will, make this invasion another occasion for illustrating the characteristics of Southern soldiers. “Let the invaders come,” is the unanimous feeling of our people. Our Yankee enemies will, sooner or later, learn to their cost the difference between invaders for spoils and power, and defenders of their liberties, their native land. If they can take Charleston with twenty-five thousand men, let them have it. We are unworthy to possess it; and it will be a fitting memorial — laid in ashes — of our imbecility and base degeneracy.

But if, on the contrary, we shall give to every one of our invaders who shall remain on our soil a prison above it, or a grave beneath it, will it not end the contest? Carolinians, the great cause of the Confederacy rests on your arms. Strike for the independence of the Confederate States, your homes, and your native land. It has pleased God to place upon you the responsibility of closing, as He did that of commencing, this glorious war. Free and far let your names spread amongst the nations of the earth as one of the freest, bravest, and most enlightened people that has lived in the tide of time. Let us all, with one heart, repeat the noble sentiment of one of her dead sons: “It is better for South Carolina to be the cemetery of freemen than the home of slaves.”

There were two military executions in the rebel army, at Pensacola, Florida: the one, a volunteer, shot for the killing of an orderly sergeant while in the discharge of his duty as an officer; the other, a regular, for the striking of a captain. He was said to have been a most excellent soldier, and at the time of committing the offence was crazed with liquor. He met his fate like a man.--Mobile Register, Nov. 11.

[71] At Washington, D. C., the new Minister Resident from Sweden and Norway, Edward Count Piper, was presented to the President by the Secretary of State. He addressed the President as follows:

Mr. President: The King, my august sovereign, having vouchsafed to name me as his Minister Resident near the Government of the United States of America, I have the honor to deliver the letters which accredit me near you, Mr. President, in such a capacity. The King, my sovereign, having sincerely at heart the desire of maintaining the good relations which have at all times subsisted between his kingdom and the American Union, has ordered me to become near you, Mr. President, the organ medium of the sentiments of friendship which animate his Majesty, and of the value which his Majesty attaches to cultivating and cementing still more the relations so happily existing between the two Governments. Upon my heart, Mr. President, I shall be happy, if, during the period of my mission, I may be enabled to maintain and strengthen the bonds of perfect understanding which at all times, to the profit of international interests, have so happily united the two Governments, and I shall not fail, believe me, Mr. President, to give my entire zeal to contribute thereto.

To which the President replied:

Sir: I receive with great pleasure a Minister from Sweden. That pleasure is enhanced by the information which preceded your arrival here, that his Majesty, your sovereign, had selected you to fill the mission upon the grounds of your derivation from an ancestral stock identified with the most glorious era of your country's noble history, and your own eminent social and political standing in Sweden. This country, sir, maintains, and means to maintain, the rights of human nature, and the capacity of men for self-government. The history of Sweden proves that this is the faith of the people of Sweden, and we know that it is the faith and practice of their respected sovereign. Rest assured, therefore, that we shall be found always just and fraternal in our transactions with your Government, and that nothing will be omitted on my part to make your residence in this capital agreeable to yourself and satisfactory to your Government.

The United States gunboat Rescue went up the Rappahannock River, as far as Urbanna Creek. Off the mouth of the creek, she captured a large schooner, from which she took off all her stores and movable property, and burnt her to the water's edge. The Rescue was fired upon by a masked battery on shore. The fire was returned, and the rebels were completely shelled out. The commander of the Rescue occupied the entire day shelling every spot where were indications of the presence of rebel troops. Subsequently a small boat was seen crossing the river with three men. The Rescue's boat was sent in pursuit, and captured the boat and two of the men, but the third managed to escape by jumping out and wading to the shore with a bag of letters.--(Docs. 132 and 138.)

Five railroad bridges were burnt in East Tennessee by Unionists. Two on the Georgia state road, two on Chickamange Creek, Hamilton County, and one on the East Tennessee and Georgia railroad on Hiawassee River, Bradley County. Five minutes after the guard passed through, the whole bridge was in flames. Two bridges on the East Tennessee and Georgia railroad on Lick Creek, Green County, and another on Holstein River, were also burned. The guard at Lick Creek were unarmed. They were overwhelmed, tied, and carried away and kept during the day. The bridge on Holstein River was not guarded. It was thought unnecessary to guard it, Sullivan County being strongly Southern in feeling. The bridge at Holstein River is at Strawberry Plains. In Jefferson County the bridge was fired, but the fire was put out by the people.

The city of Savannah, Ga., was in a state of intense excitement. The news of the capture of the Walker battery on Hilton Head, and the arrival of retreating troops, among them many of the wounded, aroused the intensest feeling. Everybody was in the street, and large crowds collected around the news and telegraphic offices throughout the day until late at night. Families commenced packing up, and large numbers of females and children were sent from the city by the night train to the up-country. The efflux will probably continue, and upon the whole we think this portion of the population should not be present to embarrass the defensive preparations.--Savannah Republican, Nov. 9.

It having been reported that there were sundry rebel batteries near Beaufort, which [72] is about ten miles above Port Royal, the gun-boats Seneca, Ottawa, and Pembina were detailed to go up and clear the way, if they, perchance, should find any thing to clear. They, however, ran the whole distance without encountering any opposition, or seeing any thing to lead to the belief that there were any masked guns along the river.

They found the village entirely deserted by white people, the only man remaining being too drunk to get away. There were a number of negroes remaining, however, who stated that the inhabitants had left in the utmost hurry, fearing the advent of the Yankees would be their immediate destruction. The slaves had broken open some houses for the purpose of plundering.

Capt. Wilkes with the U. S. steam sloop of war San Jacinto, overhauled the English mail steamer Trent in the Bahama channel, and demanded the surrender of the rebel emissaries Mason and Slidell, passengers on board that vessel. Resistance on the part of the Trent was impossible, as the San Jacinto was prepared to enforce the demand, and against the violent protest of the English captain the commissioners and their secretaries were transferred to the San Jacinto.--(Doc. 139.)

The Court of Inquiry, in the case of Col. Miles, made its report. About fifty-eight witnesses were examined, and their evidence presents the most extraordinary conflict of testimony. Twenty-eight swear positively that they saw Col. Miles on the day of the battle of Bull Run, and that he was drunk. About twenty swear just as positively that they saw him within the hours alleged, and he was not drunk. After weighing the testimony, the Court gave the following decision:

First--That Col. J. B. Richardson was justified in applying the term drunkenness to Col. D. S. Miles' condition about seven o'clock P. M., on the 21st of July last.

Second--That the evidence is clear that Col. Miles had been ill several days before July 21 last, was ill on that day; that the surgeon had prescribed medicines for him on the day of the battle; had prescribed for him small quantities of brandy. The Court, however, considers his illness as a very slight extenuation of the guilt attached to his condition about seven P. M., on July 21 last.

Opinion — The Court is of opinion that evidence cannot now be found sufficient to convict Col. Miles of drunkenness before a court-martial, and a court-martial cannot be convened for this trial without great inconvenience to the service, and recommends that no further proceedings be had. The proceedings were laid before the Major-General commanding, and approved to-day.--Baltimore American, Nov. 8.

Governor Gamble, of Missouri, arranged with the President the organization of the militia of that State, to be employed in the defence of the State against invasion, and the suppression of rebellion within its limits. The number of troops to be raised is not specified, but they are to be mustered into the State service and be armed, equipped, clothed, subsisted, transported, and paid by the Government. Governor Gamble stipulates that there shall be but one major-general of the militia, and to secure unity of action, the general commanding the department of the West becomes also the major-general of the State Militia, by the appointment of Governor Gamble to the position. As many brigadier-generals are to be appointed as there are brigades of four regiments each, and the staff officers shall not be paid more than the same are allowed in the regular service, whatever be their rank under the State law. As the money to be disbursed in this service is the money of the United States, United States staff officers are to be assigned to make the expenditures, or if United States officers cannot be spared from the regular service to perform the duties, Governor Gamble will appoint from the State Militia such officers as the President shall designate.--Idem.

Colonel Grensle reached Rolla, Missouri, on his return from an expedition against the rebels in Texas County, bringing nine prisoners, five hundred head of cattle, and forty horses and mules, the property of armed rebels. Among the prisoners are Spencer Mitchell, quartermaster, and Lieut.-Col. Tyler, inspector of Gen. McBride's brigade. Before leaving Houston, the county town, Col. Grensle issued a proclamation to the effect that the rights and property of Union men must be respected.--(Doc. 140.)

Colonel John S. Williams, with one thousand rebels at Piketon, Pike County, Ky., informed of the march of General Nelson against him, made every preparation for defence. At Prestonburg General Nelson had divided his [73] command into two bodies. One of them, composed of the Ohio Thirty-third regiment and a few hundred irregular Kentuckians mounted, under command of Colonel Sill, was sent by a circuitous route to Piketon in the hope to take that place in the rear, and prevent a rebel retreat, while the main body under General Nelson advanced by the direct road along the Big Sandy River. Colonel Marshall's Ohio regiment, the advance of Nelson's main body, near four P. M. was ambuscaded by two hundred rebels in a very strong natural position, about twelve miles from Piketon, when a brisk fight took place, the enemy firing upon the Ohio troops from each side of the road; but after standing their ground for a time, they gave way and scattered in the surrounding brush, making good their escape. Colonel Marshall's loss was four men killed and twenty wounded. Some skirmishers of the enemy were met and driven in, at night, by the force under Colonel Sill. The rebels lost ten killed, fifteen wounded, and forty missing.--(Doc. 141.)

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