Major-General Joseph Hooker, having been appointed to succeed Major-General Burnside, assumed the command of the army of the Potomac, and issued general orders to that effect from his headquarters at Falmouth, Va.--Major-Generals W. B. Franklin and E. V. Sumner relinquished their commands in the army of the Potomac.--At Vicksburgh Miss., the gunboat Chillicothe was engaged in shelling the lower rebel batteries, without provoking a return fire.
Early this morning a party of rebels in ambush, commanded by a lieutenant of the Second South-Carolina infantry, attacked a scouting-party of twenty-one men from Colonel De Cesnola's cavalry brigade near Morrisville, Va., killing a scout named Michael A. Fagan, company C, Fourth New York cavalry, and wounding another scout named Dixon, of the Ninth New York cavalry.--New York Times, February 1.
The bark Golden Rule, Captain Whitebury, belonging to the Panama Railroad Company, was captured by the privateer Alabama, fifty miles south of St. Domingo. The Alabama sent a boat's crew on board the ship, and the captain was asked if his cargo belonged to neutral owners. He replied that it did, whereupon Semmes demanded the evidence of the fact. This could not be produced, as the captain had not even a bill of lading to show that his cargo was shipped by neutrals. Semmes informed him that if he had even a consular certificate that any portion of his cargo was the property of neutrals, he would let him depart unmolested. In the absence of such evidence the officers and crew were removed to the Alabama, portable articles of value were taken, and the ship set on fire and destroyed. The captain was allowed the liberty of the ship, but the mates and crew were placed in irons. The captain was treated with great kindness, and all hands safely landed at the city of St. Domingo.
A short skirmish took place at Woodbury, Tenn., between General Palmer's division of Grant's army and seven rebel regiments, resulting in the defeat and rout of the latter, with a loss of thirty-five killed, including a rebel colonel, and over one hundred prisoners. General Palmer had two killed and nine wounded.--At Mendota, Illinois, a grand Union meeting was held at which resolutions were adopted and speeches were made indorsing the action of President Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation.--Chicago Tribune.
In the rebel Congress in session at Richmond, a desultory debate occurred on a resolution introduced by Mr. Crockett of Kentucky, with reference to the conditions on which peace should be negotiated. Mr. Foote of Tennessee indicated the claims and interest which Maryland would have in such a negotiation, as the faith of Congress had been pledged that peace should not be concluded without securing to her a free election of what her position should be. He expressed continued faith in the loyalty and patriotism of the people of Maryland, and thought that no more prejudice should attach to the position of this State than to that of Kentucky and Missouri. He ridiculed the idea of a Border Confederacy. He was not in favor of any political confederation with the States of the North-West. He had been misrepresented in this respect. He was in favor of a military league, offensive and defensive, with any one of the North-Western States that would lay down her arms, and he would assist and protect such State against the power of the Lincoln Government. He thought that by proper influences and methods the North-West could be disjointed from New England and the Middle States in this war in less than sixty days. After touching a number of topics in connection with the probable event of a negotiation for peace, Mr. Foote said he was not prepared to discuss the whole subject within the confines of the  present resolution before the House, but that he would at a future time submit some enlarged resolutions on the subject.--Richmond Examiner. Governor Vance of North-Carolina, issued a proclamation commanding the soldiers of that State who were illegally absent from their regiments in the rebel army, to return to duty on or before the tenth day of February, under pain of being tried, and, upon conviction, executed for desertion.