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Latest Northern news.
the Roanoke affair.
news from Missouri
&c, &c., &c.

We are in possession of the New York Herald, of the 10th inst., and the Philadelphia Inquirer of the same date, and from them we make up the following interesting news summary:

The Roanoke affair.

Intelligence has reached us of the commencement of an attack on Roanoke Island, by Commodore Goldsborough, of the navy, on the morning of Friday, the 7th inst. The account comes through Norfolk and Fortrees Monroe, and is from the rebel General Ruger, commanding at Norfolk. He reports that the Union forces had been twice repulsed, but that fighting was going on when the courier left. Now, as the attack upon Roanoke island was to have been made by the Union gunboats, and a portion of our troops were only to be landed after the batteries had been silenced, we do not see how there could have been a repulse of our forces. The gunboats were all afloat, and could not be repulsed by the forts if the fight was going on at the last accounts, as the dispatch states.

The probability is that we shall, to-day or to-morrow, hear of the capture of the island, although the rebels have made immense exertions to save it. They have thrown up five forts, with an entrenched camp in the centre, and have garrisoned their works with 5,000 troops. They have the west side of the island and the eastern side of the mainland defended by heavy ordance, in order to prevent the passage of our gun-boats through Croatan Sound — the only communication for vessels with Albemarle Sound.--But there is no doubt that we shall soon have news of their being shelled out, as the gun-boats of the Union expedition, numbering seventeen, are most powerfully armed. Among other weapons we might mention a dozen 9-inch guns, two 100-pounder rifled guns, three or four 80 pounders, and a number of 8-inch shell and 31- pounders.

Sketch of Roanoke and its Defences.

The last private advices we have from the expedition were up to the 5th inst. On that day the gunboat fleet and troop transports left Hatteras for Roanoke Island. Our correspondent writes:

Commodore Golsborough feared that the delay already experienced would give the enemy a great advantage, provided they had been sharp enough to improve the opportunities thus afforded them. He considered that the expedetion had been favored with good lucks far in escaping the chances of storms upon that point at this season, and getting so many vessels inside the Sound safely. It seemed to be the opinion of the commander that in future such expeditions should be more under the control of the navy officers. He feared more difficulty for the large vessels after they should leave Albemarle Sound, and was anxious that the gunboats of light draft should be hurried up.

General Burnside's force, which is very numerous, was to have been landed on the lower end and east side of the island, under the guns of the war vessels. Commodore Goldsborough's fleet were to engage the batteries on Croatan Sound, at short rangs, while a portion of the land force was to have pushed to any point where the enemy should show himself in force.

When the expedition sailed from Hatteras all were confident of success. All were in good health and good spirits, and good order and discipline prevailed. All they wanted was a chance to meet the enemy. The vessels were supplied with provisions for sixty days, and a large supply of coal.

We rather opine, if a blow has been struck at all on Roanoke Island, the result will be in favor of the Union arms, as their numerical strength and equipment were of a superior character to those of the rebels.

The objects of taking Roanoke Island by the Union forces is to take the initiative towards seizing other points on the railroad running directly South from Richmond, and thus effectually to cut off the supplies from the Southern States. If the Union troops are fortunate enough to secure its capture, it will put a stop to the inland coast navigation of North Carolina, which means of transportation has been so useful from its safty against hostile cruisels.

The most important object of this seizure will, however, be the threatening of Norfolk, and, if it is thought advisable to follow up the advantage, the thinking of the rebel army at Norfolk. A movement securing Pamilco and albemarle Sounds, and thus commanding, the great Albemarle and Chesapeake Capal and the Dismal Swamp Canal, would command the adjunct canal known as the Jericho Canal, connecting, through Lake Drummond, with an important railroad junction at a town called Suffolk, on the Nansemond river, where the main railroad route from Norfolk branches into what are called the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad and the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad, thus completely cutting off all connection by rail or water between Norfolk and its surrounding country and the other parts of the rebel regions. The strategic importance of such a movement, if successfully made, will form one of the most important features of the war. The island is a position which is valuable to us, commanding, as it does, the Currituck Sound, which opens into Albemarle. Currituck is about fifty miles long, ten miles wide, and is navigable for vessels drawing ten feet of water. Owing to the natural breakwater which protects a large portion of the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia, the water is as placid as a lake and easily navigated.

It has been fortified by the rebels, who have established an entrenched camp in the centre, and erected five forts to defend it at important points.

The rebel Garrison on Roanoke Island.

The fortifications are supported by a small naval force, under Com. W. F. Lynch. the names of the rebel steam gun-boats are the Fanny, captured from the Union, Curlew, Sea Bird, and Post Boy. Each of these vessels has an armament of two guns each.

The advance on Fort Donelson.--Confederats prisoners and property

Special dispatches to the Gazette and Commercial, dated Fort Henry, Feb. 8, give the following intelligence:

‘ Directly after the capture of Fort Henry the gunboats Lexington, Tyler and Conestoga started up the river, with instructions to proceed as far as they saw fit.

Yesterday the Carondelet, in charge of Colonels Webster, Riggins and McPherson, of General Grant's staff, made a reconnosance as far as the bridge of the Memphis and Clarkesville Railroad, at Danville. They found quarters had been built at the bridge and occupied by some troops, and where was also found a large quantity of army supplies, commissary stores, wagons, &c.

The inhabitants were deserting their dwellings for miles around, and were fleeing in every direction.

The bridge at Danville was partially disabled by the first gunboats which went up the river. Another of the plers was crippled so as to completely prevent the passage of trains.

There were but eight guns captured by Hickey's cavalry and Colonel Logan, instead of fourteen. Nearly all the guns were spiked with telegraph wire, which can easily be removed. They are brass six-pounders, and in fine order. All the prisoners taken (about one hundred) were sent to Calro yesterday. The amount of property captured will exceed $1,000,000.

Recounoisances have been made by Col. Logan and others to within a mile of Fort, Donelson, Gen. Grant and staff will make a reconnoisance this afternoon beyond Danville.

Skirmish on the Upper Potomac.

Poolesville,Md. Feb. 6.
--The first skirmish with the enemy that has occurred in this vicinity for a considerable time, took place yesterday near Edwards's Ferry. The rebels have been for some time observed erecting a stockade for on the opposite side of the river, near the ferry. First they came in small working parties and operated under cover of the night. Their proceedings were well known to our troops; but they took no notice of them, for reasons which were made obvious by the sequel Next they came in larger parties, and continued their labord under the shade of darknes. Emboldened by the supposed absence of vigilance in the Yankees and their own success, they continued the construction of the embryo fort yesterday. Now was the time and opportunity for our troops to pay the rebels the military compliment of martial honors — While the unfinished fort was yet unable to make any defence, Battery G, of Rhode Island, suddenly opened on it yesterday afternoon. It was crowded with rebel working partless at the time. Our artillery threw the ten and twelve-pound Parrott shells and balls into it with great precision, completely demolishing the fort and causing great consternation and terror among the astounded rebels. It is unnecessary to add that they hesitated not to run for their lives, which some of them were unable to carry off. A few harmless rifle shots were fired at our ar-

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