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By special Express.
important from Washington.
the great military advance.
war! war!! war!!!
the Killing of Col. Ellsworth.
Arlington Heights occupied.

Rejection by England of the United States Acceptance of the European Code of Privateering, &c., &c.

We are enabled, not withstanding the stoppage of the mails, to give the following account of the occupation of Alexandria, and the killing of the ruffian Ellsworth, as telegraphed from Washington to the Northern papers:

Washington, May 24--8 o'clock A. M.--Within a few hours past, there have been important military movements. It was suspected yesterday that orders had been given for the advance of troops into Virginia, but these being necessarily of a secret character, the exact truth could not, at that time, be reliably ascertained.

The New York 2d, 12th, 7th and 21st Regiments, the New Jersey and Michigan brigades, and Col. Ellsworth's Fire Zouaves, were, so far as is at present ascertained, constituted the forces to advance upon Virginia.

The Washington City National Rifle, Capt. Smead, at about 10 o'clock last night, passed over the Long Bridge, which is about a mile in length, and connects Washington with the Virginia shore, and remained at the latter terminus until 2 o'clock this morning, acting as an advance guard.

These were followed by other district volunteer companies, acting in a similar capacity. Subsequently the New York 2d and 12th Regiments, and the Michigan and New Jersey Brigades crossed the bridge, the Virginia pickets having been driven in by the advance guard.

One of the regiments took the road leading to Fairfax Court-House, about twenty miles from Washington, while another, one of the New Jersey Regiments, stopped at the Forks, from the Long Bridge, to wait for orders.

advance into Virginia was made from another point, namely, at the Potomac aqueduct, Geergetown.

The Seventh New York Regiment was among these troops, and, after several hours' march, occupied a point between the bridge and Columbia Springs, on the Washington and Alexandria Railroad.

It is understood that orders were issued yesterday for two regiments to proceed and occupy Alexandria, and it is stated, at this time, that Col. Ellsworth's Zouaves have crossed over in boats, while it is equally certain that preparations were made to seize Arlington Heights, which plainly overlook Washington, and there is but little, if any, doubt that all these orders have been executed.

It was at least two o'clock this morning before all the troops reached their destination. --The troops which did not repair to Alexandria and Arlington Heights, were required to guard important intermediate points between Washington and Alexandria.

The District of Columbia military did not return to Washington until half-past 6 o'clock this morning.

From 6,000 to 10,000 troops were sent over into Virginia. At an early hour this morning firing was heard, occasioned by the forcing of the Virginia pickets.

The city is in a great state of excitement, owing to these proceedings, and further events are looked for with intense solicitude.

Washington, 9 o'clock, A. M.--The New York Zouaves, 14th and 69th New York, and the New Jersey regiment hold Alexandria, while Arlington Heights are occupied by several other regiments.

The entrance into Alexandria was attended by an event which has cast the deepest gloom over this community.

Col. Ellsworth, who had hauled down the secession flag from the Marshall House, was soon after shot by a concealed foe. His dead body has been brought over to the Navy-Yard.

The accounts from Alexandria are somewhat confused; but there is no doubt of the fact that a man named Jackson, who shot Col. Ellsworth, was instantly put to death; some say by both bullets and the bayonet.

When the Federal troops reached Alexandria, the Virginia troops fired at them and fled. Visitors to that city say that the scenes were intensely exciting. The United States vessels were in the meantime before Alexandria.

It seems to be true that a body of Federal troops has advanced to Fairfax Court-House to take possession of the junction of the Orange and the Alexandria and the Manpas Gap Railroads, with the view of intercepting the advance of the Virginia troops towards Alexandria from Richmond and other points.

Nearly 3,000 troops arrived here yesterday, comprising some from New York and the two Ohio Regiments. The Third Connecticut Regiment came in this morning.

Washington,May 24, 1861.--Our city is in the greatest state of excitement. All the news depots are besieged by the excited populace.

Orders have been issued by the War Department for the immediate recall of all the regular troops from New Mexico and Utah.--The troops can be readily spared from these posts.

There are now two hundred and fifty thousand men under arms, in the pay of the United States. They will all be equipped by Saturday night.

The steamship Pocahontas and the river steamer Mount Vernon sailed last night down the Chesapeake.

Letters from Richmond state that General Johnson will be ordered to Harper's Ferry; that Gen. Beauregard will go to Norfolk, and Jeff. Davis to Richmond.

The number of troops actually quartered at Harper's Ferry, and within striking distance of the Ferry at a few hours' notice, is not far from fifteen thousand men, all armed and paid in Virginia Bank bills.

There are also one thousand Kentuckians, and the same number of Arkansas men, armed with rifles and bowie knife.

Maryland heights, opposite to Harper's Ferry, are said to be strongly fortified with Columbiads and manned by a large force of Confederate troops.

The Railroad bridge is manned, ready for the insertion of a force into Virginia.

Intelligence from North Carolina confirms the report that soldiers are pouring into Wilmington from all quarters of the South, and that the rebel force is by far more formidable than at first supposed. They anticipate immediate hostilities.

Recruiting is said to be going on in various parts of Maryland. A gentleman from Prince George's county, says recruits for the Confederate army are being carried across the Potomac to Alexandria daily. Contraband goods are also being sent to the rebels. So it appears that treason is not crushed out in Maryland yet.

Another rumor is afloat here, to the effect that Secretary Seward has just received dispatches from England declaring the intention of that Government not to recognize the Code of the Congress of Paris, of 1856, which denounces privateering as piracy, and alleging that this Code was the act of all the great powers of Europe, in Congress assembled, and it is manifestly not in her power as one of the signers of that compact, to accept, at this late day, the tardy acceptance of the United States. I do not, and cannot believe this is true, or that England will thus increase, the already unhappy and complicated state into which our beloved country is thrown.

from Baltimore.

Baltimore,May 24.--The news from Washington, this morning, has produced a profound sensation here.

The Old Point Comfort boat, arrived this morning, reports that General Butler had thrown out a guard of three hundred men.--The United States Hotel was principally guarded, the splendid well of water belonging to Col. Segar being wanted for the use of the garrison.

Nothing is known relative to Sewell's Point. No movement had taken place when the steamer left.

A steamer arrived at Fort McHenry, this morning, with a large supply of gun-carriages and other military stores.

Col. Morehead's regiment came across the river this morning, marched up Broadway and proceeded to Patterson Park. They made a fine display.

It is reported that as the Virnia troops retreated from Alexandria, one of them was killed by a return shot from the Federal forces. There is a prospect of capturing the fugitives.

Among the forces sent over into Virginia, were two batteries and two companies of artillery; numerous wagons, with spades, picks, and other entrenching tools, also passed over into that State.

The proceedings attending the movements of troops were conducted with the best possible order.

The news of the death of Col. Ellsworth was not generally known throughout Washington until ten o'clock this morning.

The excitement was intense, especially among the military, who expressed the greatest impatience and a desire to be sent over to Virginia.

From a spy-glass view of Alexandria, the Stars and Stripes are seen prominently flying from various quarters.

Washington,May 24th, 1 o'clock, P. M. --Numerous wagons, with camp equipage, are passing through the streets to-day to the Federal troops in Virginia. Nothing of peculiar note had been received up to this hour.

Stoppage of Southern Mails.

Washington,May 24.--Postmaster General Blair prepared an order to-day discontinuing the transmission of the United States mail in Virginia and other seceeding States, and annulling all contracts for the same.

Tennessee is excepted from the operation of the order, for the reason that that State has not formally seceded.

This course of the Postmaster General is under the act in relation to the subject passed at the last session of Congress. The contractors will be immediately notified of this decision.

The mails for the South, from Washington, were stopped at the crossing place by the Federal troops, and were returned to the Post-Office here.

the Northern account of the Affair at Sewell's Point.

Washington,May 23, 1861.--The following official report of the action between the United States steamer Star and the Sewell's Point battery, on the 19th inst., has just been received:

U. S. Steamer Star,May 19, 1861.

Flag Officer S. H. Stringham,

Commander of the Home Squadron:

From the time I reported to you yesterday, I kept a strict watch on the movements of the enemy in and about Sewell's Point battery. Several noises were heard during the night, but not distinct enough for me to trace them.

At half-past 5 P. M., I heard distinct blows, as if from an axe, securing timber platforms for gun carriages, inside of the embrasures, and immediately I ordered a shot to be fired over them. The rebels immediately hoisted a white flag, with some design on it, and fired a shot that cut the fore-spencer guys, near the gaff. I immediately went to quarters and returned their fire, which was continued by them. I expended fifteen round of grape, twelve ten-inch shot, thirty-two ten-inch shell, ten shell for thirty-two pounders, and forty-five thirty-two pound shot; making a total of one hundred and fourteen shots, which I think did some execution among the rebels. I only desisted for want of ammunition, having only five eight-pound charges remaining for the pivot gun. I regret that want of ammunition compelled me to retire, as I am satisfied I could have silenced the battery in a short time.

I cannot too highly praise the courage and patriotism of the officers and men under my command. They acted nobly and with great coolness, as the repeated firings as above will show. The action continued from 5.30 to 6.45, P. M., a duration of one hour and fifteen minutes.

The battery is masked, thirteen embrasures having been erected behind a sand bank. The rebels had three rifled cannon, and fired several volleys of Minnie balls, which struck the ship. The ship was struck five times by the rifled cannon shot in the hull and upper works. The damage can be repaired by ourselves.

I herewith enclose the report of the medical officer of the ship, by which you will perceive that two men were slightly wounded during the action.

I cannot close this communication without calling the attention of the Flag Officer to the valuable services of Lieut. Daniel L. Braine, who had charge of our pivot gun, and who, during the whole action, displayed great coolness and skill in the management.

Henry Eagle, Commander.

Telegraphic Dispatches.

The following are the general Associated Press dispatches, published in the Northern papers of Friday last:

Chambersburg, Pa.,May 23. --On Wednesday night a party of Virginians attempted to capture a ferry-boat on the Potomac, near Clear Spring, Md. Notice was given to the Union men of Clear Spring, three miles distant, who turned out to guard the boat.

During the night, the Virginians seized the boat, but were fired upon by the guard, and when midway across had to abandon the prize and escape in a skiff. It has been reliably ascertained that two of the Virginians were shot. The ferry-boat was returned again to the Maryland shore.

No reinforcements have reached Williamsport. All is quiet here.

Baltimore,May 23.--The Union State Convention met in this city to-day.

It was largely attended by the city delegates, and most of the counties of the State were represented.

The proceedings were marked by a spirit of great enthusiasm and harmony of action.

A series of resolutions were adopted in favor of an unconditional Union, and denouncing secession in the strongest terms, pledging the State to sustain the Government in the exercise of all its constitutional powers for a vigorous, active and successful crushing of the rebellion.

There were only two dissenting votes to these resolutions.

Wheeling,May 23.--The city to-day gave 2,595 votes against the secession ordinance, and 89 for its ratification.

Baltimore,May 23.--A few returns have been received from Western Virginia.

A dispatch from Grafton gives the following as the vote of that town:--Against secession, 429; for secession, 1.

Taylor county will give about 700 majority against secession.

Harrison county about 1,000, and Wood county about 1,600 against.

Martinsburg, in Berkeley county, gives 700 majority against secession.

Frankfort,May 23.--In the Senate to- day, Mr. Pratt offered a resolution, which lies over for one day under the rules, that in order to advise the next Legislature of the popular will of the State, a vote be taken on the question of secession on the 1st Monday of August next.

The Legislature will adjourn to-morrow.

The House has concurred in the Senate bill re-organizing the militia and appropriating $1,000,000 for the arming of the State.

Louisville,May 23.--The editors of the leading daily newspapers of this city have been summoned by authority to Frankfort, to testify in regard to the arms bought into Kentucky, to matters pertaining to the Knights of the Golden Circle, and to the alleged correspondence of Gov. Magoffin with the Confederate authorities.

Louisville,May 23.--Capt. James W. Abert arrived here yesterday, on an undisclosed mission from the Federal Government.

St. Louis,May 23.--The steamer J. C. Swan was seized yesterday at Harlow's landing, thirty miles below this city, and brought to the arsenal by order of Gen. Lyon. This is the steamer that brought the arms from Baton Rouge which were captured by Gen. Lyon at Camp Jackson. Measures will be taken to effect the legal confiscation of the boat. About 5,000 pounds of lead en route for the South were also seized yesterday at Ironton, on the Iron Mountain Railroad, by order of General Lyon. Some resistance was offered by a party of citizens, and several shots were fired on both sides, but nobody was hurt. John Dean and his fellow prisoners were released from the arsenal on parole yesterday.

The habeas corpus case of Capt. McDonald was resumed to-day before Judge Treat, United States District Court. The case was ably argued by District Attorney Jones for the respondent, and Davis and Whittlesey for petitioners.

The ground that the United States Attorney took was, that the petition set forth that the petitioner had been arrested by military authority without legal process. He cited precedents that the court had no jurisdiction in the matter, as the military authority in time of war or of rebellion had the power, and might arrest persons in array against the Federal Government for treason or alleged treason.

Messrs. Wright and Davis replied, in support of their proposition, that the United States District Court had power to execute this writ, that it was the greatest protection to freemen in case of legal arrest, and under no circumstances could it be denied to a prisoner.

Many authorities were quoted, on which the Judge took notes, and stated that he would carefully consider the matter and give his decision probably to-morrow. Great interest is felt in the result.

We have a certified copy of a bill to arm the State, passed at the recent session of the Missouri Legislature. It provides that all the money in the Treasury, or which may be recovered from the proceeds of the special tax of one-tenth of one per cent, on the $100, levied to secure the completion of certain railways, shall be part of the military fund thus created, except the amount due in the month of June, 1861, on revenue bonds, and also to accept a sufficiency to carry on the State Government, and pay the special appropriations to the Southwest Expedition, to the Blind Asylum, to the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, the Penitentiary, and two-thirds of the amount provided by law for the support of the Lunatic Asylum.

The last section is as follows:

Section 11. That the Fund Commissioners shall provide for the payment of interest on the bonds of the State issued for the purpose of aiding the several railroad companies in this State, or for other purposes, by issuing bonds of the State as now provided by law, such amount thereof as will pay the accruing interest due the first day of July next: Provided, That such bonds shall not be sold at a greater rate of discount than ten per cent.

This act to take effect from its passage.

Approved May 11, 1861.

St. Louis,May 23.--Ex-Governor Black, of Nebraska, who has been in the city for a day or two, left this evening for Pittsburg, where he will probably take some active part in the present military movements. He reports that considerable apprehension exists in the Territory of Indian hostilities during the coming summer. The Sioux and Cheyennes have joined, for the purpose of waging war against the Pawnees, which will involve the whites, as the latter tribe are principally within the settlements.

In view of this, and also to afford protection to the frontier forts, the Indian agencies and the overland emigration, which promises to be unusually large this year, Gov. Black strongly urges that a regiment of volunteers be raised and mustered into the United States service, and stationed in different parts of the Territory. He had already called the attention of the War Department to the necessity of such a movement, and consulted Gen. Harney in relation thereto, who, it is understood, approves of the plan.

New Orleans,May 23.--The bark Gen. Taylor, bound hence for Bordeaux, with a cargo of cotton and staves, was burned to the water's edge at the bar this morning. Her cargo is a total loss.

Lancaster, Pa.,May 23. --For some time past our citizens have been distressed with the complaints made of the condition of the troops at Camp Johnson — the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Pennsylvania Regiments--and the Express of this evening contains a full exposure of the state of affairs which confirms all that has been said about them. So strong have been the grievances of the troops that the Express declares they will soon become utterly demoralized, not with standing the excellent character of the men of which the Regiments are composed.

Already two or three companies have unanimously protested against appearing in dress parade, and, but for the arrival of a quantity of fresh beef on Sunday, and a care for the honor of their captain, some of the companies would have carried this protest into effect. All this discontent is occasioned simply by the shocking condition of the commissariat, which serves to the volunteers rancid, and oftentimes, pork in a state of putrescence, and an entirely insufficient supply of bread. The following instances will illustrate the condition of this department. With all economy, one company of seventy-four men supped, last evening, on less than fourteen pounds of bread alone — the pork being thrown away as totally unfit to be touched, even by hungry men.

New York,May 23.--Fifty-two thousand dollars' worth of notes for the Whitefield Bank of Dalton, Ga., were seized here to-day.

Boston,May 23.--The frigate Mississippi returned to-day, having, when a few miles down the harbor, discovered that her delivery pipe had been tampered with and rendered useless by a joint of gum and canvas being inserted instead of metal pipe, by the late chief engineer, Michael Quinn, of Virginia, who lately resigned and joined his fellow rebels. It will take a week to repair the damage.

A letter from a Boston shipmaster, at Havre, says the ship Matilda, which arrived there on April 29th, had the Palmetto flag flying, but she was not allowed to enter the dock until she had hoisted the Stars and Stripes.

The Massachusetts Legislature adjourned this afternoon. Most of the members, individually, contributed to pay the Massachusetts volunteers.

B. F. Thomas was nominated by the People's Convention, to-day, to succeed Hon. Charles Francis Adams.

Toronto, C. W.,May 23.--The Leader says there will shortly be 50,000 Enfield rifles in the province, and in view of maranding expeditions on the Canadian frontier, from bodies of men who will not be ruled by the Washington Government, recommends that the militia be placed on a better footing immediately

New York,May 24.--The California mail steamer Champion has arrived from Aspinwall with Panama papers of the 15th inst. --She brings the treasure shipped from San Francisco on the 1st inst.

Two small vessels of war belonging to the Government had deserted from Aspinwall, and it was rumored that vessels of war were fitting out by the Revolutionists at Carthagena, to carry one thousand troops to Aspinwall to take possession of the State of Panama. The final success of the Revolutionists is regarded as certain.

It is reported that the British Admiral has declared his intention not to respect the paper blockades of the New Granadian ports, but to open them to British commerce.

Advices from Chili report Commercial matters as not improved, and failures are occurring among the wealthiest citizens of the country. The Government party triumphed in the elections

The Champion brought $354,000 in specie.

New York,May 24.--The United States steamship Keystone State, Capt. French, arrived yesterday afternoon at the Navy- Yard, in this city, having left Norfolk harbor on Wednesday morning. The following vessels were at Fortress Monroe: Frigates Minnesota and Cumberland, brig Perry, and gunboats Star and Yankee.

The Keystone State towed from Fortress Monroe the brig Hiawatha, of and for Liverpool, loaded with tobacco. The Hiawatha attempted to run by the fleet on Sunday morning, when the Star fired a shot across her bows. To this the brig paid no attention.--The flag-ship Minnesota, Com. Stringham, then fired ahead of the brig without effect; it was only when a second shot from the Minnesota went whizzing among her rigging that the Hiawatha was brought to. She was found to be heavily loaded with tobacco, and was sent home in charge of Lieut. Russell and a prize crew.

The Keystone State reports the blockade at Norfolk as effective and belligerent. The Keystone was sent from Washington to bring a number of women and children from Portsmouth, who had asked for some means of conveyance to the North. On arriving alongside the Minnesota, on Saturday last, a tug boat, bearing a flag of truce was sent to the city to bring off the refugees. The white flag was fired at several times by the rebels, but they eventually let her pass. When the Captain made known his errand to the authorities, he was told to go back to the Minnesota immediately, and report that the women and children would be sent off on Monday, but that neither the tug nor any other vessel would be allowed to approach the city again.

On Monday afternoon, 115 women and children, and two men, were sent off from the city to the Keystone State.

They report a fearful state of things in Portsmouth, that city being held in complete subjection by a mob of Georgia soldiers. Women dared not walk the streets after sun down, and were often insulted in the grossest manner by the soldiers while sitting on their own door- steps. Many of them had money due them from persons in the Navy-Yard, and when compelled to go for it, were subjected to the grossest indignities. Com. French, who is in command of the Navy-Yard, is represented as an old libertine, who encourages his men in their beastialities by his own conduct.

The refugees state that there are hundreds of staunch Union men in Portsmouth, whose daily prayer is, that the secession bands may be driven from their midst. These men are kept in subjection and constant fear for their lives by the Georgia soldiers, who occupy the Navy-Yard and adjacent fields. It is believed that, were it not for the soldiers, Portsmouth would give a fair majority for the Union.

The Navy-Yard has been pretty thoroughly repaired, and many heavy guns have been planted outside at various points. There are between seven and eight thousand men in that vicinity, and it is said that, in case of an attack, the force could be increased to 20,000 in 24 hours. The west side of the Yard, where an attack by land is anticipated, has been pierced for musketry, and heavy guns brought to bear upon its approaches. Many of the slaves have been armed and equipped by the rebels, who claim that they can confide in them. The refugees, however, are quite certain that the first blow struck at Norfolk will be the signal for the turning of the slaves upon their masters. The slaves say but little about their plans, but are known to have frequent secreet meetings.

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