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December 16.

A detachment of Union troops, under command of Major Withers, Tenth Virginia infantry, while on a reconnoitring expedition, entered the village of Wan densville, Va., and captured the whole rebel mail, consisting of several hundred letters and a large quantity of newspapers.--Wheeling Intelligencer.

In obedience to orders from President Lincoln, Major-General Banks issued a proclamation assuming command of the Department of the Gulf.--(Doc. 75.)

A body of rebel troops, numbering about one thousand two hundred men, encamped in the vicinity of New Haven, Ky., was surprised and captured by a detachment of Wolford's cavalry, under command of Captain Adams, First Kentucky, without firing a shot.--(Doc. 76.)

The army of the Potomac was withdrawn from Fredericksburgh, Va., to the north side of the Rappahannock, because General Burnside felt fully convinced that the rebel position in front could not be carried, and it was a military necessity either to attack the enemy or retire. A repulse would have been disastrous to the National arms, under the then existing circumstances. The army was withdrawn at night without the knowledge of the rebels, and without loss either of property or men.--General Burnside's Despatch.

An artillery fight took place along both banks of the river Neuse, near Whitehall, N. C., between the forces under General Foster and the rebel forces under General Evans, resulting, after an hour's firing, in the withdrawal and silence of the rebel guns.-(Doc. 73.)

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