Army of the Potomac.
[our own Correspondent.
The rumor that Lord Lyons had made a demand upon the Federal Government
for the release of our Commissioners, Messrs
, is probably untrue.
papers have been received at headquarters, but they make no mention of the matter.
It was reported, however, that the British Ambassador
had remarked in private conversation that he would be obliged to make such a demand, and if his propositions were declined, should call for his passports.
The rumor mentioned in the Dispatch
as coming from this post was founded upon a remark made by a distinguished politician, now a General in the army, who said there was no other course for Lord Lyons to pursue.
All the remarks I have seen upon the subject do not seem to get at the bottom.
In my opinion, formed by a slight reading of Vattel some time ago, I should think the whole matter hinged upon the knowledge from which port the vessel sailed. --Neutral ships sailing from blockaded ports, or ports in a country at war not declared blockaded, are forbidden to carry articles contraband of war. Arms, ammunition, dispatches, and Ambassadors would come under the head of contraband articles, and would be liable to seizure upon the ships of neutral nations provided they sailed from any of the above-mentioned ports.
But neutral nations trading with each other cannot be interfered with, and the United States
had no more right to stop a British vessel between Havana
than one going from Dover
The principles of international law are too plain upon this subject to admit of cavil.
Two weeks ago I wrote a letter mentioning certain changes in the Army, giving at the same time slight mention of Major Walton
's addition to his command.
The letter was entrusted to a man who had very much the appearance of a gentleman — so much so indeed that he deceived me completely — but since that time it has not been heard from.--The fat appearance of the letter was undoubtedly very tempting, but the fellow's feelings when he found out its contents must have been something like the pickpocket's, who stole a pocket-book, and found it stuffed with brown paper and a single unpaid tailor's bill.
His chagrin was so great that he immediately went to the tailor, paid the money, and had the bill receipted.
Perhaps my letter has been retained for private reading; if so, I hope it contains some moral and appropriate reflections upon "pirouting," and upon men who steal without fear of the hereafter.
But never mind, my ink and paper still hold out, and the original notes lie before me.
Attached to the battalion of Washington Artillery, and under the command of Major J. B. Walton
, is St. Paul
's battalion of infantry, called the "Louisiana Foot Rifles," It is designed as a special support to the artillery in time of battle, to prevent sudden attacks or cavalry charges upon it. Although such a support is rarely necessary, there are cases, as in that of G'Brien
's battery at the battle of Buena Vista
, where it may be of service.
The battalion consists of three finely organized and well-drilled companies, under the following officers: