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A letter from Richmond, Va., dated Dec. 12, says: “ The object of the Nashville's visit to Europe appears to puzzle Lincoln and his friends to a considerable degree. Certainly there must be something intended of importance, something to damage them, or the undertaking to run the blockade and proceed across the Atlantic would not have been adventured. The taking out of Confederate naval officers, wherewith to supply commanders for first-class frigates to be purchased in Europe, does not seem a perfectly satisfactory explanation. Those who know Captain Pegram would not be surprised to hear of any brilliant achievement being performed by him, of which the Nashville is capable, before he reports himself again to the Navy Department in this city. If the good people of some New England seaport town should wake up one of these fine mornings, and find their homes in flames, they may console themselves with reading of the exploits of one John Paul Jones of the long, long ago.

It is now Thursday evening. Last week at the same time I felt very well assured that before set of sun to-day great events would have happened all around and very near us. Yet every thing is quiet as before at the critical points on the border. Not a word more of the 40,000 Yankees that landed at Newport News. Nothing farther of the advance upon Winchester. All serene at Centreville. Some artillery practice at transports attempting to go by the batteries at Evansport — reported sensationally as ‘heavy firing’ --only this, and nothing more.

Very funny stories came across the lines to us of the horsemanship of the Federal cavalry. A day or two ago a prisoner was brought into Centreville who was strapped to his saddle to keep him from falling off, although the saddle was of the McClellan pattern, invented expressly for bad riders. At a cavalry review a fortnight ago, near the Federal capital, a sham charge was ordered, in which not less than thirty-five knights came to the ground. Their mounted troops are said to be splendidly armed and equipped, and furnished with fine horses, (rather lean and shaky just now, in consequence of a want of forage ;) indeed, in all respects they challenge admiration as a magnificent body of dragoons, except the comparatively unimportant circumstance that they can't ride.

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