This morning, about half-past 9 o'clock, the rebels reappeared in the woods near Port Royal Ferry, S. C., whence they had been driven yesterday. A sharp firing was kept up for some time by the Union gunboats, to keep them in check, throwing shot and shell into the woods. Before ten o'clock the Union troops crossed the Coosaw River, under cover of the boats, and proceeded down the river en route for Port Royal Harbor.--(Doc. 2.)
In the Confederate Congress at Richmond, Va., Daniel P. White, of Kentucky, appeared, was qualified, and took his scat.
The steamship Ella Warley, formerly the Isabel, from Nassau, ran the blockade, and arrived at Charleston, S. C., at daylight this morning. She was chased and ineffectually shelled by the blockaders. She brings a valuable assorted cargo and passengers, including Mr. Bisbie, formerly a delegate in the Virginia Legislature from the city of Norfolk. Mr. Bisbie is a bearer of important dispatches from Mr. Yancey, and has started for Richmond.--Charleston Mercury, January 3.
General Stone, at Poolesville, Md., issued an order cautioning the troops under his command against encouraging insubordination and rebellion among the slaves, and threatening punishment to such as might violate his orders.--(Doc. 3.)
An experiment was tried this morning for the purpose of determining whether the rebel battery at Cockpit Point, on the Potomac River, could be attacked, and if so, in what manner with the greatest hopes of success. At ten o'clock, the gunboat Anacostia approached the battery, and took up a position somewhat above and opposite Mattawoman creek. She threw in a number of shells, several of which were seen to explode into the rebel battery. The steamer Yankee then got under way, and stood for the battery, ranging herself right opposite. She commenced by firing two shells from her bowgun, a sixty-four-pounder, and afterwards continued to pour in her fire on the enemy from her after-guns, consisting of a thirty-two-pounder, and twenty-four-pounder brass howitzer, and a twelve-pounder brass rifled cannon. The enemy replied to the Yankee, for the Anacostia was so placed that the batteries could not hit her, throwing four shots, the second of which struck the Yankee, entering the forecastle on the port-side, her head being up the river, and knocking away a knee entirely; passing to the starboard-side, the shot smashed another knee and dropped on the floor, its force being spent.--Philadelphia Press, January 4.
The Memphis Argus of this date gives the following picture of the situation of affairs at the South: Price is in full retreat southward. Price will probably continue in full retreat, for there are several — indeed no less than three--Union armies, each as large, better armed, and better equipped, converging upon him. His past victories have been rendered valueless. Union  forces have been massed in Kentucky too great for a man of Sydney Johnston's calibre to venture to attack, and the paralyzing of Price through the withdrawal of McCulloch, has rendered the overrunning of Missouri, to the Arkansas frontier, an easy task to the Unionists. We're forced back out of Missouri--checkmated in Kentucky. Chase has obtained his money in Wall street. The blockade is unbreakable by us as yet. In one word, we're hemmed in. We've allowed the moment of victory to pass. We were so anxious watching the operations of England, that we stand aghast, on turning our eyes homeward again, to find ourselves ten times worse off than we were ere the commencement of Price's last forward march, and that accursedly used sensationalism, the arrest of Messrs. Mason and Slidell. Day follows day, and in lieu of being weakened, we find the Federal armies at all points being strengthened, almost every article of manufacturing and domestic necessity quadrupled in price, and our money will soon be exceeding scarce for lack of paper and pasteboard wherewith to make it. We pay fifteen cents apiece for sperm candles, and we are told we ought to be glad to get them at that. Our twelve-months soldiers' time will soon be up; and we can not help asking, as they do themselves, what have they been permitted or led to do? It is an old and ever-proven truism that when two nations are at war, that which has the least means must find success in early and rapid action, for it can gain. little by time, while the other finds in time the power to bring into efficient use its more varied means. Cabined, cribbed, confined as we were, and evidently would be, our shortest, clearest and most noble policy was to find in the rapid use of our early revolutionary enthusiasm an overmatch for the slower and less spirited, but more enduring North. Where shall we ask relief; where should we ask it save in the camps on whom we have lavished our heart's blood, our hopes, our wealth, our whole: where but upon the banks of the Potomac? When will we see an end of the farce there being enacted, at our expense? Indirectly every mouthful we cat is taxed; our babies wear taxed caps and shoes; our boys write on taxed paper; our girls wear taxed calicoes; our men do a taxed business, and hopelessly ride in a taxed hearse to a taxed grave, and we, forsooth, are hurting “the cause” if we dare to turn from Messrs. Mason and Slidell to look at the country we were born and bred in, and, having looked, we are hurting the cause if we dare tell what we see. Our cause is right, it is holy. Our suffering may be God's price of success, but who, seeing what might have been, and knows what is being suffered through its being undone, can refrain from cursing the selfishness or idiocy that stopped the conquering Beauregard, that arrested the march of Price, that checked the gallant Jackson? We have gazed imploringly on the lion, while the fox has been weaving his toils. Our press and our people have trusted far enough. We now ask, are we to continue hemmed in for another six months and lack all things, or shall our armies on to Washington and lack nothing?
Despatches were received at St. Louis, Mo., announcing the capture of the notorious Jeff. Owens, Colonel Jones, and fifty of their bridge-burning gang, near Martinsburg, Adrian county, by General Schofield, commander of the State militia, and that the various guerrilla bands along the North-Missouri Railroad had been pretty thoroughly scattered.--National Intelligencer January 4.