Late from the Rio Grande — advance of a large Mexican force.A Brownsville (Texas) letter, of December 23, in the Houston Telegraph, contains some paragraphs of interest, from among which we extract the following: The siege of Matamoras still goes cowardly on. This is the thirty-third day of the siege, and up to the present moment scarcely a foot has been lost or gained since the first day. Much valuable property has been destroyed, and a few killed and wounded; large quantities of powder burnt, and lead wasted; and no prospect of a change so far as either of those parties have the power to effect it. But we have hope from another quarter. News of a definite, and said to be of a reliable character, reached here last evening, to the effect that Vidaurri, with 7,000 men, was on the march for Matamoras, sent by the Federal Government, with whom he has made peace, and instructed to put down all sectional and party strites, and thereby unite the whole nation against the common enemy — Spain. He is invested with the full command of the Military Department of the North, and his headquarters are to be at Matamoras. I give you the news for what it is worth, though I must state that it is fully believed by the most intelligent citizens in this quarter on both sides the creek. We feel a little anxious to see a few more troops down here from the interior, in view of so large a Mexican force being near us.--Can't you quietly urge the necessity of a few more infantry soldiers coming down? They are needful, or will be, I fear. We don't want any more artillery or cavalry; there are enough of those here now; how many, I suppose it would be improper to state; but tell the infantry to come along, and as fast as they can. The writer has several complaints to make against our Confederate Government, both as to sins of omission and commission, and as the matters he touches upon are of some importance, we copy this portion of his letter: Our merchants have, for many months, furnished money and supplies of various kinds for the support of the troops stationed on this frontier, with a liberality not exceeded by any other portion of the Confederacy, trusting that in a reasonable time, as assurances were given would be done, they would be paid. They, after months of delay, send their claims to San Antonio, to the Confederate officers, and are referred to the State officers at Austin. Sent to Austin, they are again sent back to the Confederates at San Antonio. The Confederate officers say these supplies were furnished to State troops, and they have nothing to do with the affair. The State officers say the troops have been mustered into the Confederate service, and they won't pay, because the Confederacy should pay. And so the red tape business goes on and we are made to suffer. We hear the Confederacy has abundant means, and that large amounts of money have been received at San Antonio and other points; that old debts are discharged, and cash paid for new supplies. If this is so, why is not a portion sent down here? At no other point is money so absolutely needed as here, for all supplies have to be purchased in Mexico and paid for in cash — specie; notes are not worth so much blank paper; but we cannot get even them. There is certainly something radically wrong in the administrative department in Texas. Whether it consists of incompetency; neglect, or treason, we cannot say, but can infer, as we are left to do. If this state of things continues much longer, and an enemy appears on the coast, we much fear our forces will be compelled to abandon the post.
Frightened at a flag of truce.The Bowling Green correspondent of the Nashville Banner, relates the following amusing incident of Yankee bravery: On the 10th inst, an incident occurred near Green river that shows very clearly that our enemies are vividly impressed with the conviction that they will be badly whipped whenever they meet our troops in battle, and illustrates the cowardly natures of those who would subjugate us. By order of one of our officers a small party of our troops was dispatched to Green river with a flag of truce. A large body of the enemy was a considerable distance this side the river. As soon as our troops got in sight, without waiting to see our numbers, they broke and fled with all the speed they were capable of, and never stopped till they reached their main lines. In vain our men shouted to them to stop; the more they were called to the faster they run. Their number was ten times that of our party, who bore the flag of truce. Our boys, seeing their efforts to stop them vain, indulged in the most hilarious mirth, and quietly followed on. The Federals who thus fled, without taking time to look back, was a part of the First Wisconsin Regiment. Brave boys, truly!
Probable captured by the enemy.The Savannah News, of the 21st inst., says: ‘ Mr. James A. Barron, of this city, with a man by the name of Jesse Ayres, formerly of Philadelphia, left the city on Wednesday afternoon last, intending to spend the night ducking. Their intention was to obtain a ducking boat at Fig Island light, and proceed to the opposite shore, but not to go below Fort Jackson, to hunt ducks in the river and creeks, and return in the morning. As they have not been seen or heard of since Wednesday evening, it is feared that they were captured during Wednesday night by the boats of the enemy, which are known to prowl about in the creeks between our river and Hilton Head during the night. We know Mr. Barron, who is a native of Baltimore, to be a true and loyal Southron, and can account for his absence only on the ground that he has been drowned or captured by the enemy. ’
The Prussian Minister's Dispatch.The following is a translated copy of the dispatch of Count Bernstoff, Prussian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the Prussian ambassador at Washington, on the Trent affair: Berlin,Dec. 25, 1861. Monsieur Le Baron:The warlike measures which President Lincoln has taken by sea against the Southern States, which have separated from the Union, were calculated immediately upon their occurrence to inspire upon his Majesty's Government the apprehension that they might easily give occasion to the legitimate interests of neutral States being thereby injuriously affected. This apprehension has been unfortunately entirely justified by the violent capture and carrying away of Messrs. Mason and Slidell from on board the neural mail steamer Trent, by the commander of the North American war ship San Jacinto. This occurrence as you will easily believe, has created the greatest sensation in England, as in the whole of Europe, and has not only placed the Cabinet, but also public opinion, in a state of the most extreme expectation. Although England is certainly alone immediately affected by that act, still one of the most important and generally recognized rights of neutral flags is at the same time called in question. It is not requisite that I should now enter into an explanation of the points of law precisely involved. Public opinion in Europe has pronounced itself with rare unanimity, and in the most candid manner, in favor of the injured party. We, ourselves, have only hitherto hesitated to acquaint you with our views upon the transaction, because, in the absence of reliable intelligence, we doubted whether the captain of the San Jacinto had been guided in the course in adopted by instructions from his Government or not. We still, at present, prefer to believe the latter supposition correct. Should, however, the former prove to be the actual state of the case, we should feel ourselves compelled to ascribe a more serious importance to the matter, and to regard it, to our great regret, not an isolated fact, but rather an open threat of the rights appertaining to all neutrals. We are, as yet, not positively acquainted with the demands forwarded upon the part of England to the Cabinet of Washington, upon compliance with which the maintenance of peace appears to depend. As far, however, as we are informed of them, we entertain the conviction that no terms have been proposed by England, by which the dignity of President Lincoln could reasonably be offended. His Majesty the King, animated by the sincerest wishes for the well being of the United States of North America, had desired me to advocate the cause of peace with President Lincoln, through you, in the most emphatic manner. We should consider ourselves fortunate if we succeeded by this means in contributing to a peaceable solution of a conflict out of which the greatest dangers may spring. It is possible the President may have already decided upon and expressed his resolution. But, of whatever nature this may be, it will at any rate be consolatory to the King's Government, looking back upon the uninterrupted subsistent of friendship which have prevailed between Prussia and the United States since their foundation, to have frankly submitted to the Cabinet of Washington its views of the present case, as well as the wisher which are therewith connected. I beg to request you will read to the Secretary of State at Washington the above dispatch without delay, and, if he desires it, will leave with him a copy of the same. I shall expect to be favored by a speedy notification of the fulfilment of this commission. I have to present to you the renewed assurance of my profound consideration.
Reply of Mr. Seward to the Prussian Minister.The Prussian Government, through its Minister here, having endorsed the course of England in the Trent affair, Secretary Seward, in response, while transmitting to him a copy of the printed documents bearing upon the subject, trusts they will satisfy the Government of Prussia; that if the general peace of the world is to be broken, the fault will not be in anything the United States have done to produce such a disaster, or in the omission to do anything which a just and generous power could do to prevent it. The United States, at a very early day, addressed themselves to the unappreciated task of securing the incorporation, of a just, equal, and humane principle in the code of maritime war; they have energetically persisted in this great enterprise through all changing events, equally when acting as a neutral and when themselves engaged as a belligerent. The Secretary asks to be allowed the liberty of suggesting to the consideration of the Prussian Government the expediency of improving the occasion which has justly excited so many apprehensions, to recommend the general policy relative to neutral rights, as suggested by our Government, to the consideration of European States, adding. ‘ "It is only in a spirit of the utmost respect and deference that I take leave to remark that the periods when the United States will have occasion to act the part of a belligerent will probably be few and brief, while, judging from past experience, we cannot yet hope for so constant a preservation of peace among the nations of the Eastern continent."’
A statement of the killed wounded, and captured in the several battles and other engagements in the year 1861.The following table exhibits an approximation to the losses of both parties by the several engagements during the year. The Confederate losses are compiled from the official reports of the commanding officers. (when such reports were published.) Of course, we can only guess at the losses of the enemy — The Northern papers seldom publish the official reports of the Federal Generals, and the latter have generally proved themselves such monstrous falsifiers that but little confidence can be placed in their reports when they are published. For instance, Picayune Butler stated his loss at Bethel at about thirty, when it is a notorious fact that one small squad of Magruder's men alone buried thirty-two Federal bodies after the battle. In estimating the Federal losses, we have adopted the opinions of the Confederate officers commanding, who are gentlemen, and upon whose statements perfect reliance may be placed:
|Dates.||Battles.||Confederates killed.||Confederates wounded.||Confederates captured.||Federal killed.||Federal--wounded||Federal--captured.|
|July 12||Rich Mt'n.||40||55||20||50|
|July 13.||St. George||13||500||4||10|
|Oct. 21.||Fdr'k town|
|Nov. 7||Port Royal||12||40||8||23|
|Dates.||Battles.||Confederates killed.||Confederates wounded.||Confederates captured.||Federal killed.||Federal--wounded||Federal--captured.|
|Feb. 16||San Ant'c.||150|
|Mar. 12||F't Brown||100|
|April 13||F't Sumter|
|April 15||Fort Bliss||100|
|May 19||S'well's P||6||10|
|May 31||Fairfax C. H.||1||2||5||5||4|
|June 1||Aq'a Cr'k|
|June 5||Pig's P'nt|
|June 10||G't Bethal||1||7||150||250|
|June 17||Kan's City||15||30||50||150||150|
|June 19||New Creek||3||7|
|June 27||Mt's Point||1||6||10|
|July 17||Sc'ry Creek||3||1||50||100|
|July 18||Bull Run.||13||53||3||200||200||300||20|
|July 28||F't Staut'n||750|
|Aug. 15||Mt's Point||5|
|Aug. 20||Hw'ks N'st||1||20||30|
|Aug. 27||Balley's X Roads.||1||5|
|Aug. 27||Cross Ln's.||3||50||50||100|
|Sept. 3||Big Creek||2||2||3|
|Sept. 11||Ton's C'k.||20||30||50|
|Oct. 1||St'r Fanny||45|
|Oct. 5||Chicama comico||32|
|Oct. 9||Santa Rosa||20||42||19||20||30||17|
|Oct. 12||Mis. Pass's|
|Nov. 16||Upton H'D||6||30|
|Nov. 18||F'ls Church||1||2||7||10|
|Nov. 26||Near Vienna||10||26|
|Confederate losses.||Federal losses.|
From the Sandy, Valley — reported rout of the Confederates--Gen. Marshall Negotiating.The following Munchausen dispatch was telegraphed from Cincinnati, on the 11th inst., to the Yankee press: The Gazette says: ‘ From the editor of the late Sandy Valley Advocate, who arrived here from Sandy Valley, we learn the second invasion of Eastern Kentucky has ended in a disgraceful rout. On Monday last Col. Garfield's forces, including the 42d Ohio, 10th Kentucky, and 1,900 cavalry, had proceeded up Big Sandy to Paintsville, within seven miles of the rebel camp, when they were met by a flag of truce bearing a message from Humphrey Marshall, asking if matters could not be arranged without a fight. Col. Garfield immediately replied he could offer no arrangement except either to fight or surrender unconditionally. Marshall then addressed his men, informing them that they had no alternative excepting to surrender or disband, and giving them the choice. They decided to disband, and immediately collected and not fire to all their wagons, tents, camp equipage, supplies, &c. then each man was permitted to take care of himself, and the whole forces No attempt was made to save anything out their cannon, which was hauled off Col. Garfield dispatched his cavalry in pursuit.--They expect to capture the guns and perhaps pick up many of the living rebels. The rebels in Northeastern Kentucky, from the high estimate in which Marshall's military abilities were held, had strong hopes of success under his leadership. A sufficient Federal force will be left in this region to secure its future peace and safety. ’
Lane's Brutal plans endorsed by General M'Clellan.The New York Evening Post's Washington correspondent says, ‘ that Gen. Lane has, in several interviews with the President, discussed his plans, and that, in a conversation with Gen. McClellan, the Commander-in-Chief thus addressed him: "Suppose you find the Union sentiment whatever where you go?" "Then," replied Lane, "I will take good care to leave no rebel sentiment behind me. If Missouri, Arkansas, and the indian country will not come peacefully under the laws of the Government, my plan is to make them a wilderness. I would give the traitors twenty-four hours to choose between exile and death. Sir, If I can't do better, I will kill off the white traitors, and give their lands to loyal black men!" The friends of Lane assert that, upon hearing this reply, McClellan laughed heartily, and said, "You must work out your own plans Go your own way, and see that no rebel sets his foot in Kansas." ’
Release of Hon. R. H. Stanton from Fort Lafayette.From the Maysville (Ky.) Eagle we copy the following: ‘ On last Tuesday night the Hon. R. H. Stanton returned to his home in this city, having been relased from confinement at Fort Lafayette. We learn that some of his enthusiastic admirers among the young Secessionists indulged in rapturous shouts for Jeff. Davis when they caught sight of Mr. Stanton, doubtless thinking that such sounds would prove gladsome to him, and clearly indicating the sentiments they understood Mr. Stanton to entertain, as well as showing what their own action will be if an opportunity shall ever present itself. ’
Federal report of a fight in Missouri.
To Major-Gen Halleck, Commanding Department of Missouri:
Brig. Gen. Curtis, at Rolla, also reports that two captains and fourteen privates have just been taken prisoners.
Arrest of a native of Lynchburg.A Washington dispatch, of the 16th inst., says: ‘ Banker Smith's son, just arrested here, is a native of Lynchburg, Virginia, has arrived here since 1854, and always voted for Southern proclivities. The proof against him is that, in a rebel mailbag recently seized on its way across the Potomac, a letter to the rebel General was found containing an account of the numbers of the Union army of the Potomac, plans of fortifications, and a scheme for capturing Washington. There was a fictitious signature to it, but it is now known to be Smith's son. ’
Paducah, and 20 miles below the long bridge, across the Tennessee, of the Memphis and Ohio railroad. It is an open fort, (not casemate,) but has, we understand, several very heavy guns in battery. Fort Donelson is on the Cumberland river, and 13 miles distant from Fort Henry.