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Latest from the North.

Confederate privateersmen to be treated as prisoners of war when taken!

General exchange of prisoners.
&c., &c., &c.,
[special Dispatch to the Richmond Dispatch.]

Norfolk, Va., Feb. 4.
--The flag-of-truce boat to-day brings news from Washington of yesterday, stating that it has been decided by the Federal Government to consider all captured Confederate privateersmen as prisoners of war, and as such to be exchanged for the hostages in our custody. A general exchange of all prisoners will probably be negotiated by the Federal Government.

[second Dispatch.]

Norfolk, Feb. 4.
--Northern papers, dated Feb. 2d, have been received here.

Considerable anxiety existed in Washington on Sunday, in relation to the supposed hostile attitude of England, and the probability of a war growing out of the Trent difficulty; but it is said that Seward regards the restoration of friendly relations between his Government and that of Britain final and complete.

The bad weather and horrible condition of the roads are causes ascribed to bringing about the late inaction of the army of the Potomac and other forces of the U. S.

Seward publishes a letter explaining his reasons for permitting British troops to pass through Maine. He says they were allowed to do so from considerations of humanity.

The bark Trinity left Boston on Sunday last for Fortress Monroe, with 380 rank and file and eleven officers, prisoners from Fort Warren, to be exchanged, and returned to their homes in the South.

Several companies of Lincoln Missouri soldiers having exhibited a mutinous spirit, were disarmed, by order of Gen. Halleck, and sent to Cairo, to work on the fortifications.

Late letters from Quebec state that the Canadians are contemplating and discussing the annexation of Maine to the British American possessions. The New York Herald says that this will greatly accelerate the work of fortifying Portland and other points.

There are 14,000 British troops now in the Provinces.

News from Vera Cruz to the 6th January, states that the Spanish, French, and English flags were displayed in different parts of the city. Business was almost entirely suspended. Large numbers of Spaniards were leaving.

The British steamer John Bell arrived at New York on Sunday from Liverpool, with 1,648 bales of cotton. The Herald says great fears are expressed that, unless the Federal armies advance and obtain a series of decisive victories within sixty or ninety days, the European Governments will break up the blockade, which would lead to a double war of the greatest magnitude.

In view of the threatening aspect of affairs in Europe, the Northern papers advise the Governors of the different States to call out a quarter million of men for home defence.

It is asserted that the proposed mission of Bishop Ames and Hamilton Fish to the South is one of pure charity, and in no way connected with politics.

Cotton at New York is unsettled at 32--Exchange on London is 113½.

The Government has experienced great disappointment at the unfitness of the vessels lately purchased to swell the fleet of Burnside's great failure. The fact is attracting great attention among the people, and loud complaints are heard. The Herald says, this Burnside matter must be sifted. It is confident there is rottenness somewhere else than in the old hulks sent down to crush the South.

The great war-tax bill is being perfected in its details.

The French frigate Fortune has arrived in Hampton Roads, and reports no fleet in the Roads.

The New York Journal of Commerce says that the exciting foreign news gives room for grave solicitude for the future. The tone of the French news is more unfavorable to the United States than that from England.

Another grand Federal expedition is fitting out at Cairo — destination unknown.

The Federal war-ship Vermont will be soon ordered to the Port Royal station, as store ship and hospital.

The English steamer Calcutta arrived at St. John's on the 31st January, with troops for Canada.

The London Herald says that victory for the South is certain. It holds up a gloomy picture of the future for the North.

The English journals declare that many letters are received in that country, from highly respectable Northern parties, praying for foreign intervention on the score of humanity.

A division of New England troops embarked on the 2d inst. from Fortress Monroe, for Ship Island. The corvette Hartford and twenty-three gun-boats will soon sail South. Their destination, it is supposed will be Mobile. Commodore Farragut is in command. A great number of cannon are being rifled at Fortress Monroe and sent away.

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