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Northern papers of the latest dates received in this city were placed in our hands yesterday. Below will be found a summary of the most interesting news which could be gleaned from their columns:


Reported retreat of the rebels towards Manassas, etc.

Washington, Oct. 18.
--The reports in circulation about the rebel army being in full retreat for Manassas are founded on conjecture, at least nothing is known of it in quarters most entitled to confidence.

As was stated in the previous dispatch, a large reconnoitering party proceeded as far as Vienna yesterday, but returned before General McClellan had quite reached the village.

A hundred men only on similar business proceeded to Annandale, which is about an equal distance from Springfield and Fairfax Court-House.

Gen. Wadsworth was within a mile and a half of Fairfax Court-House, with a comparatively small escort. From observations it was conjectured that there was a rebel force there of about two regiments of infantry and a battalion of cavalry. The escort was fired on but reached their camp in safety.

From a gentleman presumed to possess the best of opportunities of judging, it is ascertained that the enemy has been alternately retiring and advancing within a breadth of five or six miles from our lines.


Camp of instruction for sharp-shooters.

Washington, Oct. 18.
--The Secretary of War has ordered Col. Berdan to establish a camp of instruction in this city for his new arm in the service, and to collect all the sharp-shooters he can during the next ninety days; in fact, full power to accept companies and regiments who, on examination, may be found to be equal to the requirements which the Colonel has adopted.


Visit of Gen. M'Clellan to Vienna, Va.

Washington, Oct, 18.
--The most important item from the other side of the Potomac is that Gen. McClellan yesterday, accompanied by Gens., Smith, McCell, and Hancock, and a strong escort of regular cavalry, proceeded to Vienna, which is five miles west of Lewinsville, and remained there several hours.


Judicial appointment.

Washington, Oct. 18.
--Bland Bollard has been appointed United States District Judge for Kentucky, in place of Judge Denvos, who has joined the rebels.


All Quiet on the Upper Potomac.

Washington, Oct. 18.
--An official dispatch, received this morning from Darnestown, represents all quiet on the Upper Potomac.


Treasury notes.

Washington, Oct. 18.
--The Treasury Department yesterday sent West $1,300,000 in Treasury notes.


From Gen. Banks's Division.

Darnestown, Oct. 17.
--A gentleman from Berlin informs me that intelligence had reached the Point of Rocks to the effect that the enemy's forces which retreated back to the foot of the mountains and the Shenandoah valley on the approach of the sickly season along the river line have left their retreats and are now pushing for the Potomac in large numbers. It is stated that they had reached Charlestown, and would make their appearance at every ford or crossing on the Upper Potomac. Should this intelligence be confirmed, and I place confidence in the statement,) it is not unlikely we may have some serious encounters before next week.

A ride from the Great Falls to Edward's Ferry yesterday proves that all was quiet on that frontier.


The outrages of Gen. Lane.

The St. Louis Republican, (Union paper,) of Tuesday, says:

‘ In regard to the course of Lane and his band of vagabonds, unfortunately mustered into the service of the United States, and thereby having a show of authority for their acts of oppression and theft, we have from another source the most lamentable accounts, His course, and that of the men attached to his command, has been one of undisguised robbery, plunder, and outrage, not confined to Secessionists, but extending to Union men, all along the Kansas border. In all cases, he has authorized and justified his men in running off whole plantations of slaves, and compelling them to go when they were unwilling to do so. We are pleased to know that a true representation of the outrages committed by this man upon the loyal as well as disloyal citizens of the border counties has been made to Secretary Cameron, now in this city, and hope, notwithstanding the emissaries which he has sent to Washington, that he will be driven in disgrace from the army, and his regiment of jayhawkers disbanded.

Gen. Cameron has since given orders to stop the outrages alluded to.


The order to Gen. Fremont.

In view of the fact that Gen. John C. Fremont has recently challenged Adjutant-General Thomas, the following letter which called forth the challenge will be read with interest:

"St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 14, 1861.
"General. The Secretary of War directs me to communicate the following as his instructions for your government:

"In view of the heavy sums due, especially in the Quartermaster's Department in this city, amounting to some $4,000,000, it is important that the money which may now be in the hands of the disbursing officers, or be received by them, be applied to the current expenses of your army in Missouri, and these debts to remain unpaid until they can be properly examined and sent to Washington for settlement; the disbursing officers of the army to disburse the funds, and not transfer them to irresponsible agents — in other words, those who do not hold commissions from the President, and are not under bonds. All contracts necessary to be made are to be made by the disbursing officers. The senior quartermaster here has been verbally instructed by the Secretary as above.

"It is deemed unnecessary to erect field works around this city, and you will direct their discontinuance; also those, if any, in the course of construction at Jefferson City. In this connection it is seen that a number of commissions have been given by you. No payments will be made to such officers, except to those whose appointments have been approved by the President. This, of course, does not apply to the officers with volunteer troops. Col. Andrews has been verbally so instructed by the Secretary; also, not to make transfers of funds, except for the purpose of paying the troops. The erection of barracks near your quarters in this city to be at once discontinued.

"The Secretary has been informed that the troops of Gen. Lane's command are committing depredations on our friends in Western Missouri. Your attention is directed to this, in the expectation that you will apply the corrective.

"Major Allen desires the services of Capt. Turnley for a short time, and the Secretary hopes you may find it proper to accord thereto.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

"L. Thomas, Adjutant-General.
"Major-General J. C. Fremont, Commanding Department of the West, Tipton, Mo.

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