General Sherman, commanding United States forces at Memphis, Tenn., issued an order directing that all able-bodied negroes who might apply for work on Fort Pickering or other Government work, should be received and employed by the proper officer in charge. Such negroes would be supplied with rations, necessary clothing and tobacco. An account would be opened with each individual, and his wages would be charged with the value of the clothing and the tobacco; but no wages would be paid until the courts determined whether the negro was slave or free.
The British propeller Columbia, with a cargo of twelve Armstrong guns and equipments, several thousand Enfield rifles, and various other munitions of war, was captured, after a chase of seven hours, off the Bahamas, by the United States steamer Santiago de Cuba.--The town of Alexandria, Mo., was this day entered by a band of rebel guerrillas, who pillaged the Union stores of all their arms and ammunition.--The schooner Aquilla was captured by the United States gunboat Huron, while attempting to run the blockade of Charleston, S. C.
A reconnoissance was made by a force of Union troops, under the command of Col. Averill, from the James River to within fourteen miles of Petersburgh, Va. When about five miles from Cox's River, they encountered the Thirteenth Virginia cavalry, drawn up in line. The Union troops charged upon them, when they broke and ran for their encampment at Sycamore Church, a distance of two and a half miles, where they again formed, but were again put to flight, leaving behind them all their camp equipage and commissary stores, which the Union troops gathered together and burned. The rebels had six men wounded and two taken prisoners. The Union loss was one horse killed. After scouring the country in that neighborhood, the Unionists returned to their encampment on the James River.