General McClellan at one o'clock this afternoon, sent the following to the War Department: Our cavalry and horse artillery came up with the enemy's rear-guard in their intrenchments about two miles this side of Williamsburgh. A brisk fight ensued. Just as my aid left, General Smith's division of infantry arrived on the ground, and I presume he carried his works, though I have not yet heard. The enemy's rear is strong, but I have force enough up there to answer all purposes. We have thus far seventy-one heavy guns, large amounts of tents, ammunition, etc. All along the lines their works prove to have been most formidable, and I am now fully satisfied of the correctness of the course I have pursued. The success is brilliant, and you may rest assured its effects will be of the greatest importance. There shall be no delay in following up the enemy. The rebels have been guilty of the most murderous and barbarous conduct in placing torpedoes within the abandoned works, near Mill Springs, near the flag-staffs, magazines, telegraph-offices, in carpet-bags, barrels of flour, etc. Fortunately we have not lost many men in this manner. Some four or five have been killed and a dozen wounded. I shall make the prisoners remove them at their own peril.
The English steamer Circassian was captured by the United States gunboat Somerset, with a cargo of munitions of war, valued at half a million dollars.--N. Y. Herald, May 23.
Rumors of foreign intervention in American affairs still continue. The Paris correspondent of the London Daily News states that the French and English ministers at Washington have received identical instructions to attempt a moral intervention, exclusive of any idea of force. The Paris correspondent of the Independance Belge also reiterates his former statements in reference to intervention. At a meeting at Ashton under Lyne resolutions were adopted calling on the government to recognize the Confederate States. A letter from Mr. Russell to the London Times charges upon Secretary Stanton the trouble to which he was subjected; he also says that General McClellan has expressed himself strongly in reference to the Secretary's conduct to him and to Mr. Russell also.
A pontoon-Bridge was thrown across the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburgh, and General McDowell and staff, with an escort of cavalry, passed over by it and entered Fredericksburgh.--N. Y. Times, May 10.