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War items from Washington.

We copy the following from the Washington Chronicle, of Sunday last:

‘ We learn that Capt. Palmer, of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, returned yesterday afternoon from a reconnoissance of several points on the Potomac. That the service undertaken was well performed by that accomplished officer we need not say. We understand that he landed at several places on the Virginia side of the Potomac, and, attended by two officers and twenty marines, proceeded a considerable distance inland at White House Point, where a company of about sixty Secessionists had made their appearance a few days before. Capt. Palmer, we learn, was greatly aided in his expedition by Capt. Rowan, of the United States Navy, commanding the Pawnee, and by the officers of that ship. At Aquia Creek two small batteries, with some five or six hundred men, were distinctly seen by the party.

Early on yesterday morning a little corps of Secessionists was brought into CampCochrane by a troop of the 69th "boys." The circumstances of their capture are briefly these: --Some of the men in the "early grey dawn," chanced to be out after stray cattle, when they spied a party of the enemy not far distant, apparently reconnoitering. They immediately returned to camp and reported. With his usual promptness Col. Cochrane dispatched a company of the 69th, who were not long in coming upon, surrounding, and arresting the parties indicated. They appeared much chagrined, professed great loyalty, and objected decidedly to a birth in the guard house.

The Orange and Alexandria Railroad is being rapidly repaired. We understand the Government is repairing and intends to bring into use, for military purposes, the railway track from the Baltimore and Ohio depot, now laid along the Capitol grounds and Maryland avenue to the Long Bridge. It will probably be extended across the bridge, and will afford greatly increased facilities for the transportation of provisions, &c.

Private T. C. Caustin, Capt. Owen's President's Mounted Guard, whose wife lives near Seneca, Maryland, 22 miles above Georgetown, went to visit her Monday night, and was taken prisoner by Secession troops, who crossed from the Virginia shore in a boat. The last heard of Mr. C. was at Manassas Junction, probably en route to Richmond to be imprisoned.

Great activity prevails in the Ordnance Department at the Navy-Yard. A large force of workmen are employed in casting, furnishing and mounting howitzers. The foundry is filled with mechanics, casting shell. Minnie balls are manufactured at the rate of 16,000 per diem. Percussion caps are thrown out by the bushel.

The Monticello having hauled out from under the shears at the Navy-Yard, the sloop of-war Pensacola has swung back to her old berth, where she is now briskly preparing for sea. Her rigging is full of sailors, who are working with might and main splicing braces, fastening shrouds, running up the topmasts, and making everything look decidedly shipshape.

Engines and cars for the Orange and Alexandria Road have arrived from Philadelphia. The road is repaired on the Alexandria end, but the rebels are burning the bridges and pulling up the rails further out. The connection of this road, via the Alexandria and Washington Road, via the Long Bridge, with the Baltimore Road, will be completed early next week.

Some members of the New York Ninth regiment, while scouting lately some distance in Montgomery county, Md., heard the report of a gun at some distance, but thought nothing of it. On returning to their quarters, however, one of the party found a bullet lodged in his knapsack, indicating that they had been shot at.

An extra train of cars came in on Friday morning, at 10½ o'clock, bringing 131 horses, 25 mules, six ambulance wagons for the New York State troops, 112 baggage wagons for the Pennsylvania troops, and an extra locomotive engine for the extension railroad.

The corps of telegraphic operators, formed to accompany the army, is already at work, filling new offices created in the neighborhood of Washington, on the Virginia side of the Potomac.

A detachment of troops, consisting of parts of companies D, F, G, and H, third U. S. infantry, left in the cars Thursday for Baltimore or the Relay House. Their destination was unknown.

The Garibaldi Guards have gone into camp on the Eastern Branch, near Benning's bridge, on this side of the river.

The volunteers on the Virginia side are making good progress on the fortifications now under their charge.

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