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From Charleston.

[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Charleston, January 16, 1865.
Sherman has against Charleston and Branchville. Refugees from Savannah, who arrived here on the 12th, stated that he had sent one corps up the west bank of the Savannah towards Augusta, that a second corps had gone to Wilmington, and that two corps were moving around by water to Beaufort. The corps sent up the west bank of the Savannah, it has since been ascertained, was recalled after it had proceeded some fifteen miles. The force dispatched to Beaufort, however, moved out from Port Royal on the 13th, and on the 14th it encountered our advance, (Colcock's cavalry,) and drove it back on Pocotaligo, which was evacuated by General McLaws during the following night without loss of men or material. General McLaws took up position behind the Combahee, after destroying the bridges by which he crossed that river.

From Pocotaligo to Branchville the distance does not exceed forty-five miles, and can be easily accomplished in three days. The enemy once firmly established on the railroad, either at Branchville or some point nearer Augusta, and the fall of Charleston becomes only a question of time, and a short time at that. We may leave it to the President and General Lee to decide what effect such a movement would have upon Richmond and the Army of Northern Virginia.--At Branchville, Sherman's flanks would be protected by the Edisto and its swamps on the left, and by the Santee and its swamps on the right, whilst his base at Charleston would be unassailable either by land or water.

If the official telescope at the capital could be elevated just enough to take in that part of the Confederacy which lies beyond the boundaries of Virginia, it would be well. Leaving the military aspect of the question entirely out of consideration, the authorities cannot fail to understand that the failure to reinforce the army in Georgia and South Carolina is producing a very bad effect. The enemies both of the cause and of the President are taking advantage of this omission, to call it by no harsher name, and are multiplying the difficulties in every way.

The retention of Charleston is not, as many of its inhabitants imagine, indispensable to our success; but the retention of the military line from Kingsville to Augusta is.

The project of abolishing slavery, on condition that England and France will lend us material aid in the war, while it would be rejected by those Powers, is producing further mischief by alienating the Cotton States and forcing upon them the necessity of considering the propriety of re-adjusting their political relations. The employment of one hundred thousand slaves, as suggested by the President, will be acquiesced in by the States, and the proposition even to put them into the army is growing in public favor; but the press and politicians of Virginia should be careful not to go further, and especially not to aspire to the place in the Southern Confederacy that Massachusetts occupied in the old Union.

The octogenarian statesmen at the head of the British Government have no thought of interfering in our quarrel.--They are busy nursing their gouty limbs and strengthening their hold upon power, in the hope that when they are called upon to "shuffle off this mortal coil" they may die with the harness on their backs. Their course, though they are too blind to see it, will as certainly lead to war with the United States as that the earth endures — a war in which the South, if subjugated, will not be reluctant to enter. It was only the other day that Mr. Anthony Barelay, formerly British consul at New York, and now a resident in Savannah, was rudely repulsed by General Sherman with the remark, that as soon as the rebels were disposed of (which he seemed to think would be done in a few months) the United States would turn their guns against Great Britain. He said the ocean would soon swarm with five hundred Federal cruisers, which would sweep the British flag from the sea; and that after England had been sufficiently reduced and exhausted, he would land upon her shores and pitch his tent in Hyde Park. These threats may never be carried into execution, but they prove the animus of the North, and leave no doubt that the first thing the Federal Government will do, upon the conclusion of peace with the South, will be to provoke a war with "perfidious Albion."

A monitor was sunk last night about eight hundred yards from Fort Sumter, probably by a torpedo, and only her smoke-stack is visible to-day. About fifty yards distant is another wreck, supposed to be a second monitor sunk while going to the relief of the first. There were seven off the bar yesterday, and now only five can be seen.

Persons lately arrived from Savannah say that Mr. G. B. Lamar, a resident there, and at one time a leading banker in New York, has taken the oath of allegiance to the United States.

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