tor McDougal, of California, that Gen. Shields was a Secessionist at heart, it is rumored in first circles to-day, that billet doux have passed between these gentlemen for a trial of skill with pistols, at a convenient "pinking" distance.
Senator McDougal is sojourning at the Astor House here, and Gen. Shields is in Washington.
Considerable anxiety is manifested on the part of the friends of the above gentleman, as to how the matter will end.
State of Affairs in Missouri--burning of Austin — Exasperation of Union men, &c. Sedalia, Mo., Jan. 7.
--An express messenger from Col. Nugent's regiment, stationed at West Point, in Bates county, arrived here yesterday evening, on his way to St. Louis, with important dispatches to Gov. Gamble.
He left Bates county on Friday, and reports that Col. Jennison had burned the village of Austin, in Cass county, instead of Rose Hill.
Jennison, after leaving Austin, went in a northeasterly direction.
The Union men in Johnson county