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Latest from the North.
highly important News.

Gen. Scott's letter of Resignation--Gen. McClellan to take Gen. Scott's place — letters from Lincoln and Cammeron, etc.

The New York Times, of Saturday last, furnishes us with the following interesting news from the Federal metropolis:

Retirement of Gen. Scott.

His letter of Resignation to the Secretary of War, &c.

The following letter from Gen. Scott was received by President Lincoln on Thursday afternoon, the 31st ult.:

Headquarters of the army.

Washington, Oct. 31, 1861.
Hon. S. Cameron, Secretary of War: Sir:
--For more than three years I have been unable, from a hurt, to mount a horse, or to walk more than a few paces at a time, and that with much pain. Other and new infirmities — dropay and vertigo — admonish me that the repose of mind and body, with the appliances of surgery and medicine, are necessary to add a little more to a life already protracted much beyond the usual span of men. It is under such circumstances, made doubly painful by the unnatural and unjust rebellion now raging in the Southern States of our so lately prosperous and happy Union, that I am compelled to request that my name be placed on the list of army officers retired from active service.--As this request is founded on an absolute right, granted by a recent act of Congress, I am entirely at liberty to say it is with regret that I withdraw myself in these momentous times from the orders of a President who has treated me with much distinguished kindness and courtesy; whom I know, upon much personal intercourse, to be patriotic, without sectional partialities or prejudices; to be highly conscientious in the performance of every duty, and of unrivalled activity and perseverance.

And to you, Mr. Secretary, whom I now officially address for the last time, I beg to acknowledge my many obligations for the uniform high consideration I have received at your hands, and have the honor to remain,

Sir, with high respect,
Your obedient servant,
Winfield Scott.

A special Cabinet meeting.--M' Clellan to be Lieutenant General.

A special Cabinet council was convened on Friday morning, at 9 o'clock, to take the subject into consideration. It was decided that Gen. Scott's request, under the circumstances of his advanced age and infirmities, could not be declined. General McClellan was therefore, with the unanimous agreement of the Cabinet, notified that the command of the Army would be devolved upon him. At four o'clock in the afternoon, the Cabinet again waited upon the President, and attended him to the residence of General Scott. Being seated, the President read to the General the following order:

Lincoln's letter — sympathy for Scott's condition.

On the 1st day of November, A. D. 1861, upon his own application to the President of the United States, Brevet Lieut. Gen. Scott is ordered to be placed, and hereby is placed, upon the list of retired officers of the army of the United States, without reduction in his current pay, subsistence, or allowance.

The American people will hear with sadness and deep emotion that General Scott has retired from the active control of the army, while the President and the unanimous Cabinet express their own and the nation's sympathy in his personal affliction, and their profound sense of the important public services rendered by him to his country during his long and brilliant career, among which will ever be gratefully distinguished his faithful devotion to the Constitution, the Union, and the flag, when assailed by parricidal rebellion. [Signed] Abraham Lincoln.

Gen. Scott Addresses the President and Cabinet — is Overcome with emotion — he believes the Yankee Government will Succeed in Crushing the South.

Gen. Scott thereupon rose and addressed the President and Cabinet, who had also risen, as follows:

‘ "President! This honor overwhelms me. It overpays all services I have attempted to render to my country. If I had any claims before, they are all obliterated by this expression of approval by the President, with the unanimous support of his Cabinet. I know the President and this Cabinet well. I know that the country has placed its interests in this trying crisis in safe keeping. Their counsels are wise; their labors are untiring as they are loyal, and their course is the right one.

"President: You must excuse me. I am unable to stand longer to give utterance to the feelings of gratitude which oppress me. In my retirement I shall offer up my prayers to God for this Administration, and for my country. I shall pray for it with confidence in its success over all its enemies, and that speedily."

Speech from Lincoln.

The President then took leave of General Scott, giving him his hand, and saying he hoped soon to write him a private letter, expressive of his gratitude and affection. The President added:

‘ "General: You will naturally feel solicitude about the gentlemen of your staff, who have rendered you and their country such faithful service. I have taken that subject into consideration. I understand that they go with you to New York. I shall desire them, at their earliest convenience, after their return, to make known their wishes to me, I desire you now, however, to be satisfied that, except the unavoidable privation of your counsel and society, which they have so long enjoyed, the provision which will be made for them will be such as to render their situation as agreeable hereafter as it has been heretofore."

General Shaking of hands — the Secretaries to accompany Scott to New York.

Each member of the Administration then gave his hand to the veteran, and retired in profound silence.

The Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of War, accompany Gen. Scott to New York to-morrow by the early train.

Cameron's letter.

The following is the response of the Secretary of War to the letter of Gen. Scott:

War Department,

Washington, November 1, 1861.
It was my duty to lay before the President your letter of yesterday, asking to be relieved, under the recent act of Congress. In separating from you I cannot refrain from expressing my deep regret that your health — shattered by long service and repeated wounds received in your country's defence — should render it necessary for you to retire from your high position at this momentous period of our history. Although you are not to remain in active service, I yet hope that while I continue in charge of the Department over which I now preside, I shall at times be permitted to avail myself of the benefits of your wise counsels and sage experience.

It has been my good fortune to enjoy a personal acquaintance with you for more than thirty years, and the pleasant relations of that long time have been greatly strengthened by your cordial and entire co-operation in all the great questions which have occupied the Department and convulsed the country for the last six months. In parting from you I can only express the hope that a merciful Providence, that has protected you amid so many trials, will improve your health, and continue your life long after the people of the country shall have been restored to their former happiness and prosperity.

I am, General, very sincerely, your friend and servant,
[Signed,] Simon Cameron,
Secretary of War.

General News items.

Below we give a short abstract of what we believe will prove of most interest to the reader:

The Fort Lafayette prisoners.

Boston, Nov. 1.
--The State of Maine brought 800 prisoners, including those captured at Hatteras. About 60 are invalids, mostly typhoid cases. Col. Dimmock, in command of Fort Warren, did not expect so large a number, and quarters were only in readiness for two hundred.

A large proportion remained on board during the night, but will be landed and provided for during the afternoon. Articles of delicacy for the sick are being liberally provided by our citizens.

Acquittal of one of the alleged pirates.

The Philadelphia Ledger, of the 31st, has the following paragraph in relation to the acquittal of one among a number of the alleged pirates now on trial in that city:

‘ Eben Lane, one of the persons captured on the prize vessel, the Enchantress, was yesterday acquitted of the charge of piracy. It was tolerably clearly shown that he was not in sympathy with the pirates, but used his skill as a navigator to deceive the piratical crew — at night turning the vessel's head North, and in the day putting her course South again for Charleston. This made her passage an extraordinarily long one, and was the cause of her being captured by a United States vessel off Hatteras. Under the circumstances shown, an acquittal was asked and readily obtained from the jury. The defendant is a native of Massachusetts. The owners of the vessel, to whom she is saved by his conduct, ought to reward him for it.

All the rest of the crew were found guilty of piracy.

From Gen. Rosencranz.

Washington, Oct. 29.
--A dispatch received here to-day from Gen. Rosencranz states that he had advanced some five miles in the direction of the rebels, and was preparing to make another forward movement with a view of driving the rebels from that entire section of the country. He had intelligence that for several days they had been retreating. He intended to follow them as soon as the necessary arrangements could be made.

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