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Notes of the War.

The Northern newspapers are filled with accounts of the great naval battle in Hampton Roads, and it will have been observed, by the dispatches published yesterday, that the Federals are forced to acknowledge that they have met with a ‘"deplorable defeat and great loss."’ The first official announcement of the event was as follows:

Washington, March 9, 1862.--The following was received to-night by Major-General McClelian from Gen. Wool, dated Fortress Monroe, at 6 o'clock this evening:

Two hours after my telegraphic dispatch to the Secretary of War last evening, the Monitor arrived. She immediately went to the assistance of the Minnesota, which was aground, and continued so until a few moments since. Early this morning she was attacked by the Merrimac, Jamestown, and Yorktown. After a five hours contest they were driven off, the Merrimac in a sinking condition. She was towed by the Jamestown, Yorktown, and several smaller boats, towards Norfolk, no doubt, if possible, to get her in the dry-dock for repairs. The Minnesota is afloat, and being towed towards Fortress Monroe.

The following dispatch was also received to night:

Fortress Monroe, March 9--6:45 P. M. Gideon Wells, Secretary of the Navy:

The Monitor arrived at 10 o'clock P. M. yesterday, and went immediately to the protection of the Minnesota, lying aground just opposite Newport's News. At 7 o'clock A. M., to day the Merrimac, accompanied by two wooden steamers and several tugs, stood out towards the Minnesota and opened fire.--The Monitor met them at once and opened her fire, when all the enemy's vessels retired, except the Merrimac. These two iron-clad vessels fought, part of the time touching each other; from 8 o'clock A. M. till noon, when the Merrimac retired. Whether she is injured or not, it is impossible to say. Lieut. J. S. Worden, who commanded the Monitor, handled her with great skill, assisted by Chief Engineer Stimers. Lieut. Worden was injured by the cement from the pilot house being driven into his eyes, but I trust not seriously. The Minnesota kept up a contiuous fire, and is herself somewhat injured. She was removed considerably to-day, and will probably be off to-night. The Monitor is uninjured, and ready at any moment to repel any attack. G. V. Fox,

Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

The iron-olad gunboat Monitor.

The New York Herald gives the following description of the Monitor, commonly known as the Ericsson battery:

‘ This new gunboat is a long, wide, and flat-bottomed vessel, with vertical sides and pointed ends, requiring but a very shallow depth of water to float in, though heavily loaded with an impregnable armor on her sides, and a bomb-proof dock, on which is placed a shotproof revolving turret, that will contain two very heavy guns. She is so low in the water as to afford no target for an enemy, and everything and everybody is below the water line, with the exception of the persons working the guns, who are protected by the shot-proof turret. To give the upper portion of the vessel the proper powers of locomotion, there is suspended beneath it another one of less strength, sufficiently narrow and sloping at the sides, that if the enemy's balls should pass below the shot-proof upper vessel these sides can only be hit at such an angle that not harm shall ensue, and in its length approaching the bow only so far that its raking stem may receive the shot fired from directly ahead in the same way, and at the stern giving sufficient space to permit the shot coming from directly aft to pass under the shot-proof end without hitting the rudder, which is abaft the propeller. The sides of the vessel are first formed of plate iron, half an inch thick, outside of which is attached solid white oak twenty-six inches thick, outside of this again is rolled iron armor five inches thick. The bomb-proof deck is supported by heavy braced oak beams, upon which is laid planking seven inches thick, covered with rolled plate iron one inch thick.

The turret consists of a rolled plate iron skeleton, one inch thick, to which are rivetted two thicknesses, of one inch each, of rolled iron plates. Outside of this again are six plates of rolled iron, all firmly bolted together with nuts inside, so that if a plate is started it can be at once tightened again.--The top is covered with a bomb-proof roof perforated with holes. The lower part of the gun carriages consists of solid wrought-iron beams. These are planed perfectly true, and are placed parallel in the turret, both of the guns pointing in the same direction.--The ports through the side of the tunnel are only large enough to permit the muzzle of the gun to be thrust through. Inside of them are wrought-iron pendulums, which close them against the enemy as soon as the gun recoils. She is armed with two of the largest Dahlgren guns, made to revolve by a pair of steam engines placed beneath the deck.

The lower vessel is of iron, one-half inch thick, and made in the usual manner. She carries her machinery, coal, &c., aft, and forward the officers' quarters, ammunition, and stores. The two partitions of the vessel are separated by a wrought-iron bulkhead. The officers' quarters are very roomy and handsome, and are ventilated and lighted by openings from the deck.

Her machinery consists of two horizontal tubular boilers, containing 3,000 square feet of fire surface, and two horizontal condensing engines of forty-inch diameter of cylinders and 22-inch stroke of piston. The propeller is nine feet in diameter and sixteen feet stroke. It has four blades.

For the better ventilation of the vessel, there are two fan blowers drawing air down through bomb-proof gratings in the deck.--Though not exactly intended for a sea vessel, she can proceed to sea, or to any point along the coast, without fears of the least injury. She carries generally three months provisions, and is supplied with a condensing apparatus for supplying fresh water.

As an evidence of the rapidity with which this vessel has been completed, we may state that her keel was laid on the 25th of October, 1861, and steam was first applied on the 31st of December the same year. She was launched on the 30th of January last.

Gen. Banks's Division.

Charlestown, Va., March 9
--10 P. M.--Yesterday, for the first time since our arrival, country carriages came into town, and the occupants held social intercourse with our officers and soldiers. Suits of secession gray are gradually giving way to other hues, and the ladies beginning to frequent the streets on business and pleasure.

Dr. William Alexander, an eminent physician and unflinching Unionist, died at his country residence in this vicinity last month. His son yesterday returned home from Charlottesville, deeply imbued with secession, and was sent to Washington.

Hundreds of contrabands are arriving from the country. The course adopted in regard to them is, if they have been employed by rebel authorities, to turn them over to the Division Quartermaster, to be employed by the Union Government; but it proved otherwise, they are returned to their owners.

On Friday, Captain Cole's company of Maryland cavalry, forty in number, pursued a party of Ashby's cavalry for two miles, between Bunker Hill and Winchester, when he came upon about one hundred and forty of the latter. A skirmish ensued, lasting an hour, resulting in the killing of six, of Ashbyls men and wounding five. Capt. Cole had three men wounded. A section of Mathew's battery came up to Captain Cole's support, when Adjutant Wilkins, of Gen. Williams's staff, had his horse shot under him.

It is believed generally at Bunker Hill that the force at Winchester has been greatly reduced, leaving not over three to six thousand men there. Others say that Gen. Jackson's force has been strengthened by the regiments from Leesburg.

From Roanoke Island.

Baltimore, March 9.
--The steamer Ellen S. Terry arrived here to-night direct from Roanoke Island, bringing official dispatches from General Burnside. She has on board 125 wounded and sick soldiers from Roanoke, all of whom are doing well. The Terry also brings the bodies of Colonel De Montiel, of the D'Epinenil Zonaves, Corporal Randall Mann, and private W. E. Holloway, of the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts regiment, killed in the action at Roanoke Island.

The Federal Navy.

A late New York paper says:

‘ Things are as brisk as ever at the Brooklyn Navy-Yard, with a still large amount of work to be done. The two ship house are work to be done. The two ship houses are undergoing repairs, caused by the recent severe snow and rain storms.

The United States steam sloop-of-war Oneida, Captain S. P. Lee commanding, left the Brooklyn Navy-Yard at an early hour yesterday morning. The Oneida is one of the new steam sloops-of-war lately authorized to be constructed by Congress, and was finished recently at the Navy-Yard, only completing a most satisfactory trial trip on Wednesday last. The armament of the Oneida consists of a very heavy battery, composed of two eleven inch pivot guns, each weighing sixteen thousand eight hundred pounds. She is also provided with three thirty-pounder Dahlgren

rifles, in addition to four thirty-two pounders and one howitzer.

The frigate Lackawanna is making rapid progress in ship house No. 2, and in No. 1, where the Adirondack was built, the keel of another frigate, to be called the Ticonderoga, has been laid. She will be a facsimile of the Lackawanna.

The Vicioria, Patroon, and Wamsutta, are to be put in commission the coming week. Their armament will be put on board tomorrow or Wednesday.

The occupation of Leesburg.

As before stated, the town of Leesburg, in Loudoun county, Va., was occupied by the Federals on the 8th inst. They give the following account of the movement:

The details of the affair are to the effect that Col. Geary left Lovettsville on the night of the 7th inst., with his whole command, and marched by two distinct routes through. Wheatland and Waterford to Leesburg, capturing prisoners by the way, and scattering the rebels pell mell. In consequence of his taking these routes the military necessarily entered Leesburg on the easterly and westerly sides, which movements they doubtless effected at the same moment, after taking possession of Fort Johnston, which has been since re-christened Fort Geary. They entered the town with all the military glory of a victorious command, the rebels retreating rapidly as the Union troops arrived. The command, after capturing many prisoners and a quantity of stores, took possession of the bank, post-office, and public buildings. Forts Beauregard and Evans have also been captured.

The Baltimore and Ohio railroad.

A letter from Baltimore announces that the above named road railroad is about to be reopened along its whole extent. The writer adds:

‘ The recent operations of the railroad company in the work of reconstruction have been confined to that portion of the road between Harper's Ferry and Hancock, a distance of about thirty miles. They had previously reconstructed that portion between Cumberland and Hancock, a distance of about forty miles. It was on this portion of the road that the bridges had been destroyed over Patterson's creek, the south branch of the Potomac, and the Great and Little Cacapon rivers, all of which were large and costly structures, and all of which were promptly rebuilt by the company as soon as the enemy had left them. The bridge over Patterson's creek, one hundred and forty-four feet long, with high trestle-work, was rebuilt in forty hours, at a time when the most important military operations depended on the celerity with which the bridge could be rendered passable. For this great service the officers of the company received the hearty thanks of the War Department.

During the last two weeks the railroad company have succeeded in making a complete and minute survey of the whole road from Harper's Ferry to Hancock, which has never been practicable before, owing to the presence of the enemy at and near Martinsburg.

The New corps D'armes.

The New York Herald says:

Gen. McClelian has divided the grand army of the Potomac into five corps d'armes, and has placed at the head of each an officer of known firmness, courage, and ability, in the persons of Generals Heintzelman, Banks, McDowell, Sumner, and Keyes. This measure will insure still greater efficiency in the army, and will enable the Commanding-General to operate with his whole immense force with greater facility. But while there are only five corps d'armes in the army of Virginia, there are in fact four more under the direction of the Commander-in-Chief--namely, the armies of Generals Halleck, Buell, Pope, and Curtis, in Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

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