Progress of the War.We are indebted to a friend for files of Northern papers for a week previous to and including the 17th ult. They contain many items of interest not included in the latest papers. We give a summary below:
The Northern press on the mediation Ws the "Tribune" is Clad the proposition is virtually Dead — the "times" Isn't Satisfied about England — the "Herald" Perfectly Contented.The Northern journals are discussing the late mediation news with much vigor. The position of France attracts most of their attention. The New York Tribune says: ‘ The news from Europe by the Arabia settles the question of mediation and of intervention by the European Powers in our affairs for the present, at least, if not altogether Russia holds back, England refuses, and France alone is willing to interfere in what is none of her business. That both Russia and England are wise, they, happily, are persuaded, and we are confident that France will be led into the path of wisdom, though it may be against her will. Should the Emperor propose to adopt a policy in which he would find no backers in the other great Powers, it might possibly lead to new complications from which it might not be easy to extricate himself with honor and credit. So shrewd a ruler will not fail to foresee such a possibility, and conclude that the safer and wiser way is to let us alone. The apprehension of any interference on the part of European Powers in the war in this country has not of late been much felt; but so long as it remained a doubt it was a painful one. There will be a sense of relief now at its positive removal and the nation will feel all the stronger in the sense that it confronts all the possible difficulties of the case in the suppression, pure and simple, of the Southern rebellion. ’ The New York Times remarks that ‘"it is at last verified that the French Emperor has seriously meditated intervention, and has actually proposed to the English Government a joint offer of mediation to stop the American war;"’ and the Times then says: ‘ The fact that it is Minister Drouyn de L'Huys, so recently taking his place in the Emperor's Cabinet, that initiates this movement, is significant, almost sinister, as indicating the willingness of the French Government to interpose its influence to stop the war, at a moment when all the advantages in a military aspect, are in favor of the Union--when its armies are largest and most efficient, and prepared to give the finishing blow to the rebellion. This disclosure is not in accordance with concurrent testimony from France during the war and up to the present time. We had been led very generally to believe that no Government in Europe' was more firmly fixed in the view of the utter impolicy of meddling with the American rebellion than that of the French. The divulgement at last of the consultations that have taken place between the Governments of England, France, and Russia, in regard to American affairs, will be beneficial to all parties concerned; and we suppose we on this side of the water are most deeply concerned of any. It will give a definiteness to American policy that will leave the Governments of Europe no room to doubt what will be the result when they shape and indicate their own course. Whatever is done and said hereafter will be done and said with a distinct understanding of the very grave issues involved. The proposition of the French Emperor, it seems, was to unite with England in an offer of friendly mediation in the American quarrel. We were to be asked, perhaps, to submit to their judgment the question whether the seceded States should be recognized as an independent Government or not. In view of the fact that English Ministers hold the opinion that the American Union is a nuisance that ought to be abated, the nature of their ballot on our destiny, if once placed in their hands, will not be doubted, while the offer of the South to both England and France of perfect free trade, on the recognition of its independence, would hardly leave the latter a wholly disinterested umpire. The reply of Earl Russell to the circular of Drouyn de L'Huys discloses more than at first strikes one. He declines to join the French Government in the proposed mediation--first, because as he avers, there are as yet no signs that it would be received by the United States Government with favor; but, secondly, (and it seems to us mainly,) because that, ‘"up to the present time, the Russian Government had not agreed to co-operate, although it may support the endeavors of England and France."’ We do not wish to suspect the English Government of malevolence toward us, verging to unfriendly demonstrations, but we do not like that phrase in regard to Russia. If it is ‘"moral suasion"’ only that England was contemplating, in what respect was the absence of the ‘"active cooperation"’ of Russia a balk to mediation, provided that Power ‘"supported the (moral) endea- vor"’ of France and England? Was there anything contemplated in the contingency of the utter rejection of mediation that rendered the ‘"active co-operation"’ of Russia a desirable thing to have? ’ The Herald thinks the intelligence important, ‘"because it now bears an official stamp,"’ and says: ‘ According to the official papers now laid before the world, England has emphatically refused to join the alliance, and correctly doubts if Russia will have a hand in the matter. She prefers her neutrality, with the hope that the North and South will finally succeed in destroying themselves, when she can step in and gather up the pieces for her own aggrandizement and power. Thus the matter stood on the 16th of November. It is clearly manifest from these developments that intervention never had any strength in Europe, and the recent conclusions of the rebel journals in regard to European recognition appear to have been based upon correct information. This news, of course, banishes in the South all hopes of foreign aid and comfort. It will be of service to the rebels. It will show them the folly of persisting in their rebellion. It must convince them that, unaided they cannot withstand the overwhelming power of the loyal States. Let this lesson from the three Great Powers, bitter as it may be to the Southern leaders, have its influence with the people of the seceded States. They may now abandon all hope of outside assistance. Whatever view we may take of the conduct and policy of Napoleon on this great question, we are indebted to him for being the means of setting at rest, officially and decidedly, the idea that had taken possession of many minds that the leading Powers of Europe would interfere in our domestic affairs, and thus destroy us as a nation. ’ The special Washington correspondent of the New York Herald expresses the belief that neither Mr. Seward, nor any one connected with the Foreign Department, may have been taken unawares by the French offer of mediation to England and Russia in our affairs. He says: ‘ If I am well informed, the State Department has received at different times, through the agency of Mr. Dayton, an account of the dispositions of the French Government in reference to our affairs, which could not leave any doubt as to the ultimate design of the Emperor. I am much mistaken if there is not now on file in the archives a report of Mr. Dayton, of April last, giving the details of a conversation he had with the Emperor of France, in which it is stated that ‘"although his Majesty expressed the most sincere desire for the restoration of the Union, he nevertheless hinted that, if at the end of the summer campaign the Federal had not obtained some decisive advantages, he would be put to the necessity of yielding to the repeated demands of the Confederates, and to receive Mr. Slidell."’ At the same time he warned Mr. Dayton that, should he be compelled to receive him, the North ought to see in this step a determination on the part of France to inaugurate a new policy with the United States. This communication must have, of course, informed the State Department of what takes place to-day. A great uncertainty prevails in political circles as to what will be the course of action of the French Government after the refusal of England. Will the Emperor wait for the good pleasure of the English Cabinet, or will he act alone? His understanding with Russia is in a more advanced state than his understanding with England, and is he likely to act conjointly with the Ozar? Such are some of the questions now discussed among politicians very anxious to know, as you may well imagine, the development of the Napoleonic idea on that subject. It is said in high places that the desire of the Emperor is to obtain from Mr. Lincoln an armistices of six months, and the opening of one of the Southern harbors to allow French vessels to take a supply of cotton. ’
The "so-called" Confederate Government.A British subject, in Philadelphia, has written a letter to the British Minister at Washington, begging him to intercede with the Confederate Government to prevent the destruction of ships bearing certificates of British property by the ‘"290."’ The Philadelphia papers publish the following reply, received from the office of the British Minister, from Mr. Stuart, acting in the absence of Lord Lyons: Government of the so-styled Confederate States with reference to the reason of British property on board American vessels, in consequence of the recent proceedings of the war steamer Alabama, and that I should furnish you with a letter of protest, for the purpose of protecting some merchandize which you have shipped on board the American ship Lancaster. While greatly regretting the risk to which British property is exposed, by being shipped in belligerent vessels, it is not in my power to accede to either of your suggestions. You are aware that the so-called Confederate States have not been recognized by her Majesty the Queen, and for that reason I should not be justified in entering into communication with the Government of those States except under special instructions from her Majesty's Government. Neither do I feel at liberty to supply you, antecedently, with the protect which you desire, having no authority to issue such a document, and seeing no reason to believe that it would ensure more effective protection to your goods upon the high seas than the consular certificate with which you seem to have supplied yourself.
Shall the War Succeed?--a Dark Future.‘"Shall the War Succeed?"’ is the title of a significant article in the New York World, of the 27th. It asks: ‘ "Who to-day is hopeful of the success of our arms, of protracted immunity from foreign intervention, the conquest of an honorable peace and a reunited country, save only the radicals, whose machinations have thrice cheated us of victories whose lack of national spirit invites foreign insolence, and whose labor of years has been to belittle the value of the Union which they now pretend to be alone able to save? Who does not say in his secret mind that the future is unutterably dark, the hope of saving the nation feeble as never before? Who does not denounce — friend or foe — the imbecility of the Administration the vacillations of its policy, the selfish intrigues of its highest members? Who cannot trace to the beginnings of the radical policy which now is dominant around the green baize of the cabinet table the beginnings and the causes of all our past disasters and our present hopelessness? The evils which the men who now away the mind of President Lincoln combined with Southern extremists to bring upon the nation, the same men now labor to make irremediable.--But for them the country would never have been plunged into the present war. But for them the war might to-day be approaching its honorable and successful termination. 'Of the war, as now conducted, there is no visible end. Of the policy which now rules in the field and the council chamber, there is no issue, except bankruptcy, foreign intervention, separation, and a ruin of States and of people at which civilization itself stands appalled. " ’
The mud the Yankees are Contending with.A correspondent writing from Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg, on the 21st, says: ‘ A rain storm in Virginia is a far different affair in its effects from one up North, where, from the lighter character of the soil, it soon disappears from the surface. But down here, where the earth is hard, cloyed and impervious, the water of even a few hours' storm seldom dries off in less than as many days. Imagine the effect, then, of a storm of several days upon the road, with the difficulties of travel increased by the passage of every successive vehicle. We are only in the beginning of our troubles now, with the roads converted into mud of putty consistency, and varying in depth from six inches to two feet. The once dry, and, in some places, almost parched surface of the earth, is converted into a grand plateau of streams and rivulets of dirty muddy water; rills have become brooks; brooks have become creeks, and creeks rivers, under the inundation from the clouds. ’ An Aquia Creek correspondent of the Tribune, writing on the 22d, says: ‘ Supplies of provisions and forage for the army are landed both here and at Belle Plain — the mouth of Potomac Creek. The distance hence to Falmouth is fifteen, and from Belle Plain nine miles.--Owing to the want of a good landing at this point, most of the transports proceed to Belle Plain, whence their cargoes are hauled overland to the army. Only Franklin's grand division is supplied from this locality. If the tales of the teamsters are true, the roads must be in the worst possible condition. That wagon trains can hardly worry over them is evident from the fact that both men and beasts in the army have been on very short allowances for the last two days. Officers have assured me that horses and mules have been without any food for forty hours. This is about the most inhospitable locality a mortal can be thrust into. The involuntary solitary sojourners give very sorry accounts of their sufferings during the days of rain. Another week will probably be required to bring the railroad in working order. ’
Meeting of brothers in the two armies.A flag of truce, with 119 Federal prisoners, arrived at Helena, Ark., on the 19th ult., and was received by the Federal officer commanding. A letter says: ‘ Among the officers accompanying the flag of truce was a Capt. Rust, who, learning that there was in Col. Vendever's command another Captain Rust, belonging to the 4th Illinois cavalry, expressed great curiosity to see him, as he had a brother North from whom he had not heard since the war broke out, and possibly this Capt. Rust might be the same, or be acquainted with him. But, judge of the agreeable surprise to cash to recognize the long separated brothers. The kind hearted Col. Vandever did all in his power to make their short meeting a happy one, so that when the time arrived for a separation it was not without much ill-suppressed regret, and many a wish that this war was over, that they bid adieu to each other — the one to fight for his country, the other to fight against him; but such have ever been the miseries of civil war. ’
Butler's Difficulty with the Prussian Government.On the 15th of September, four citizens of New Orleans shipped on the Prussian ship Essex $24.000 worth of their goods for Liverpool, to avoid the confiscation act which went into effect on the 23d. Butler refused to let the vessel sail unless the packages were taken off. The London Times says of this transaction: ‘ The captain has made the regular protest, holding General Butler responsible for damages, at the rate of $500 per diem, for detention, and all further proceedings must turn on the promptitude of the protection to be afforded him by his own Government. Although a wide latitude has been given to the definition of ‘"contraband,"’ the world has never yet heard of family plated goods, shipped to a neutral and distant country, coming within its range; and if this new reading of international law is to be admitted or tolerated, there is not an article of human use which can be safe on the high seas. When the Federal Government captured New Orleans, they raised a cry that as they had thus restored that place to legitimate commerce, neutral nations could no longer complain of the absence of the means of trading, so far as these means could depend on the power of the Union authorities; but a port whence bullion may not be shipped is practically sealed for all ordinary purposes. The probability is, that as the Confiscation act, by which all the disloyal subjects of President Lincoln are to be stripped of their property, was to come into operation at New Orleans on the 23d September General Butler thought fit to disregard what might interfere, by seizing these articles (entered and stowed under the sanction of his own officers) in a foreign ship which was ready to sail eight days previously. ’
A Baltimorean in Fort Lafayette.The New York Freeman's Journal, in speaking of the confinement of political prisoners in Fort Lafayette, thus speaks of a distinguished citizen of Baltimore: ‘ Our heart bleeds when we think of that venerable member of the Baltimore bar, T. Parkin Scott. We saw this accomplished gentleman at Fort Lafayette, day after day, sitting down to the bad soldiers' ration — inferior and badly-cooked pork, served on filthy tin plates, accompanied by brown bread and a hot detection of burnt rye and molasses — without milk — called, by way of jest, coffee.--His scant and thin straw pallet on an iron stretcher, was placed on the damp bricks of a battery, among the guns of the fort, and surrounded by men of every degree of social culture, and every kind of moral habits. As an old friend, and as a brother Catholic, we had, and enjoyed, as full a claim to his confidence as any other of the prisoners. But never did we hear — never did any other one hear--one word of wrath, of threat, or even of complaint, from this noble confessor. He suffered for his country, and, with a purity of intention that we regretted we could not emulate, he offered the sacrifice as a service to his God. ’
Expects to be Hung.It is a pity that Brownlow was disappointed in the following expectations, written from Louisville on the 17th ult.: ‘ I shall start to day to Nashville, and the last forty miles of the Journey of two hundred is by private conveyance, and rather hazardous, as Morgan's guerrillas are continually arresting travellers in that quarter. My judgment is against taking this risk; but I am urged to go in connection with the interests of East Tennessee. If I fail to write again, the readers of the Press may know that the rebels have taken me, and may then infer that I have looked up a rope. ’ Northern advices have already informed us of the arrival of Farson Brownlow at Nashville, and that he had been addressing public meetings there.
Reception of Released political prisoners.We find the following dispatches in the Chicago Times: ‘ Burlington, Iowa, Nov. 15.--David Sheward, recently released from the Old Capitol prison, was welcomed here to-night by an immense concourse of his Union fellow-citizens, with torches, banners, and music. On the arrival of the procession at the Argus buildings, Mr. Sheward made an eloquent speech, in reply to a welcome from Gen. Dodge, after which he was serenaded at the General's residence, whose guest he is. Dubuque, Iowa, Nov. 15.--D. A. Mahoney, editor of the Dubuque Herald, also just released from the Old Capitol prison, arrived this evening. He was met at the levee by a large concourse of friends, who escorted him to his residence. Quite a number of buildings were illuminated in honor of his return. ’
Reconnaissance to within twenty miles of Richmond.The Washington Star, of the 27th ult., says: ‘ The reconnoitering party sent out a few days since by Gen. Negice from Williamsburg towards Richmond penetrated as far as New Kent Court-House, twenty miles from Richmond. They had a skirmish with a small party of the rebels, killed two and captured six, and also several muskets and small arms, abandoned by the rebels in their flight. ’
Arrested as a spy.Lieutenant L. Wise, a nephew of Governor Wise, was arrested by Col. Shanks, in his camp, near Calhoun, Ky., some days since. He had come into camp under the pretext of wishing to sell a horse. Letters from rebels, conclusively proving him a spy, were found upon his person. While in prison at Owensboro' Colonel Shanks, by keeping an eye upon him, succeeded in securing a letter in cypher, written to him by Governor Wise, and addressed to the care of Selby Lee, Wheeling. He was sent to Louisville in irons, and will be treated as a spy.-- Washington Star.
Gen. McClellan. The New York World says: ‘ Among those present was the Mayor of Halifax, who made a very cordial response to a complimentary toast to the British colonies. The Mayor alluded to Commander Maury, who was in Halifax a few days since with his son, (after running the blockade via Bermuda and Nassau,) and who declared very publicly that he was visiting England to take command of a Confederate vessel-of-war. ’