Two days later from the North.We have received full files of Northern papers to the 2d instant, from which we make some interesting extracts:
From Grant's Army.We have stirring news from the James river. General Grant reports that yesterday morning two army corps, commanded by Generals Ord and Birney, respectively, crossed the James river at Deep Bottom. Ord's corps succeeded in carrying the field works and entrenchments below Chaffin's farm, capturing at the same time some fifteen pieces of artillery and from two to three hundred prisoners. Simultaneously with this movement, Birney advanced by the New Market road and carried the entrenchments in that quarter. The Confederates defending this outer line were driven back, losing but few prisoners.
From Sheridan.The cavalry advance of Sheridan's army entered Staunton on Monday morning last. The main body of Sheridan's command were at Waynesboro' on the same day, where, it was supposed, they were engaged in destroying the railway track between Christian creek and Staunton. No direct information from Sheridan has been received at the War Department for several days past, all the couriers sent by him down the Valley having been captured by the guerrillas, who, according to Secretary Stanton, infest the country in Sheridan's rear.
Affairs in Missouri--the Federals in a critical condition.The Federal troops occupying Pilot Knob, Missouri, under General Ewing, were, on Wednesday last, in a critical situation. Ewing had been previously ordered to withdraw his forces, but his communications were cut before he could get away. The Confederates has succeeded in planting a battery on Sheppard's Mount, which commands Ewing's position, and were throwing shells into the fort, which inflicted, as we are told, some injury to the garrison. The Federal post at Mineral Point was also attacked on Tuesday night. The commandant, Colonel Mills, is said to have repulsed the enemy; but it is also stated that he subsequently abandoned the place and retreated to De Soto. On the same evening the town of Potosi was captured by the Confederates. The headquarters of General A. J. Smith have been established at De Soto, where reinforcements were being sent to him. About eighteen thousand Missouri militia are reported to be under arms, together with a number of independent companies. All, or nearly all, of these, however, will most probably be retained for the defence of St. Louis.
The Doings of Forrest.From Tennessee we learn that a desperate battle for the possession of Pulaski was supposed to have occurred on Wednesday last; but later dispatches assert that Forrest withdrew his forces during the night, and marched in the direction of the Chattanooga railroad.--He has so effectually damaged the Tennessee and Alabama railroad that it will require several weeks to repair it. General Rousseau estimates Forrest's losses, in killed, wounded and prisoners, in the skirmishes near Pulaski, at two hundred men, but is entirely silent as regards his own casualties.
Peace propositions denied.We are informed, by a telegram from Washington, that after careful inquiry it cannot be ascertained that any importance is attached, in official circles, to the rumored peace propositions from Georgia. The denial is mildly stated, but when done into plain English it means that all the stories relating to peace negotiations in Georgia are false.
Admiral Farragut is about to be transferred to the command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and Admiral Lee is to succeed Farragut in command of the fleet in Mobile bay. From these changes, we infer that the attack on Mobile is to be abandoned — at least for the present.