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The War News.

The shelling of Butler's dredging machine in the Dutch Gap canal was heard with unusual distinctness during yesterday, and appeared, from the sound, to be connected with uncommon vigor. On the other portions of the lines, both in the neighborhood of Richmond and Petersburg, all was quiet yesterday.

Grant is absent from his army, having gone to Fortress Monroe to confer with Secretary Stanton, who will thence proceed to Hilton Head and Savannah.

From the South.

Some of Sherman's troops have crossed the New river, on the road to Grahamville. Our troops have burnt the bridge over New river. General Wheeler is watching the enemy, the main body of whom is still believed to be near Grahamville. Grahamville is on the Charleston and Savannah railroad, thirty-four miles from Savannah and seventy from Charleston.

The fire brigade who made such a grand parade in Savannah last Tuesday week, was, as we learn from the Northern papers, composed of negroes.

Latest from the Southwest.--Thomas moving up the Tennessee river.

The following official dispatch has been received at the War Department:

"Macon, January 7, 1865.
"General S. Cooper:
"General Hood reports from Tupelo, January 6th, 1865, that Thomas appeared to be moving up the Tennessee river.

"Up to 9 o'clock A. M. on the 5th, scouts report that six gunboats and sixty transports had passed Savannah, going towards Eastport, loaded with troops and supplies.

The Savannah mentioned in the above dispatch is on the Tennessee, thirty miles above the northern boundary of the State of Mississippi, and about seventy-five miles northwest of Florence. Eastport is on the Mississippi line. The Tennessee river flows thence almost due north. It is difficult to say what Thomas is aiming at in moving up this river.

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