The French squadron below City Point — Mysterious movements.
It has been heretofore announced that a French war steamer and several merchant ships had arrived and had been lying at City Point
for some time past.
The object of the expedition was for the purpose of taking away the tobacco purchased in this city by agents of the French Government
previous to the war, the arrival of which at City Point
had been delayed from some cause unknown to us. On Sunday afternoon, about 2 o'clock, a Yankee steamer came up from Fortress Monroe
under a white flag and communicated with the officer in command of the French man-of-war, remaining only a few minutes, when she put about, and went back in the direction from whence she came immediately after the departure of the Yankee
craft a French officer landed from the Frenchman and set out for Petersburg
, but on arriving at that city ascertained that no train would leave for this city earlier than Monday morning, at half-past 3 o'clock. He procured a private conveyance by which means he reached Richmond
some time during Sunday night. It is reported through a reliable channel that orders came up by the Yankee
flag of truce for the French squadron to leave City Point
The fact that the French
had probably overstayed their time seems to confirm the truth of this report, though it may be that trouble is brewing in some other quarter, or from complications, the nature of which remains for us to learn.
Since writing the above it has been ascertained that the Frenchmen were recalled by Butler
on account of some informality in previous proceedings, and that they will probably return in order to get the tobacco.