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Latest Northern News.
the Mason-Slidell affair.
important News from Missouri.
address from General Rosencranz. &c., &c., &c.,

We have received Baltimore papers to the 24th, and New York dates of the 24th and 25th December. From their columns we extract the following items of interesting news:

The Mason-Slidell affair — England bent on a war.

From the Paris correspondence of the New York Herald, dated 6th of December, we make the following extracts:

‘ Now that the Northern States of America are in trouble, England and France seize eagerly upon the slightest pretext to attack them. The hot blood of indignation mounts to the cheeks of loyal Americans here and in London when reading the vile, unmanly threats of the principal organs of both Governments. It is useless for me to recapitulate the open menaces made. Your flies will afford you ample proof that I do not exaggerate when I say that abuse and threats are leaped upon you. The decision of the jurist consuls of the English Crown is a farce. The inconsistency of such a conclusion is too glaring not to let the world see that it is England's desire to go to war to save herself from a social crisis that is impending. Mr. Bright's advice to the trades unions, to demand their political rights, if followed out, would virtually kill the power of the aristocracy.--The six millions of working men could not be threatened or bullied to vote as their lords chose to dictate, and the people would soon rule instead of the aristocracy.

A war with America might for some time avert the storm. Hence the evident desire of England to jump at once into a conflict which she may find, to her cost, not so one-sided as she imagines. She has, I know, been making preparations for months for such an emergency as is afforded by the arrest of the rebels Slidell and Mason, and will no doubt push matters to extremities, urged on as she is by France, unless the people show unmistakable signs of not permitting the war. This they may do, the more so as John Bright, their apostle, sees through the schemes of the Palmerston Cabinet, and is already busily counteracting them.

months ago I warned you in my letters that France and England were inimical; that they would surely seize the first opportunity to recognize the Davis Government. Recent events prove that I was but too correctly informed. I may now add that the Government has signned to Great Britain its willingness to recognize the rebel Government at once, and that in case the Lincoln Cabinet refuses to deliver up the rebels, Slidell and Mason, both England and France will do so — thus setting an example to the world of the extreme length to which jealousy of liberal institutions will drive monarchial Governments.

The honesty of such a proceeding is upon a par with the antecedents of both this Government and that of England. Had the Americans recognised the Canadians during their rebellion, Europe would have shouted out ‘"infamy;"’ and yet France and England are preparing to do just that infamous thing. It will not surprise you to hear that the organs of this Government have discovered that the arrest of Messrs. Sildell and Mason took place in Spanish waters, and that hence Spain has a right to join England and France in recognizing the South. The Patris says we cannot remaining spectators of a struggle between North America and England. It is quite clear that it is not our duty to avenge the wrongs of England; but the recognition of the South by that power, which would imply a final separation from the United States, could not be regarded as an isolated act, and would impose upon France the necessity of assuming a decisive attitude on this question. The result would be that two great maritime powers of Europe might be drawn into a common action with the same identical political object.

Since writing this the Patris has come out so strongly for the rebels as quite to astonish all classes here, except those who know what it costs. The London Times and Post affect to consider this as wonderfully suggestive, and speak of the Pairse as the most confidential organ of the Emperor Napoleon. On the part of these journals such an assertion is false; as they well know that their own Paris correspondents have informed them that M. de la Guerioniere, the head of the paris, is no longer in favor with his Majesty, who sees him no more. I assert that both the Times and Post are well aware of this, and that when they pretend to attack undue significance to the Patrie, they are as false as it is

The Patrie has now no political importance. Since the fall of its chief editor, 14 gets no more inspiration.

Unfortunately, the Pays and Constitutionnel do. It was these worthy sheets that made the discovery about the Spanish waters turn of affairs and they own to having imbibed the idea from the last letter of Dr. Russell.--How handy all that will be, and how easy the transition of the English, French, and Spanish fleets from Mexican to American waters. Mr. Seward was but too well in spired when he asked for increased fortifications along the coasts.

England evidently means war, and has meant it all along. She has waited in hopes that the North would meet with serious reverses; but now, that the star of the Lincoln Cabinet seems brightening up, England will strike are too many successes are gained.

’ The leading editorial of the New York Times, of the 25th inst., in reference to the Mason and Slidell imbroglio, says:

‘ "Everybody, high and low, rich and poor, was striving to out clamor everybody else in his fulminations of war, and revenge against this country. There was not the slightest disposition to listen to explanations or to wait for apologies. It was a foregone conclusion that they were forth with to have war — the whole fabric of English society was rooking and rolling on the waves of this swelling and surging tide. It is presumed that the English Government does not share the insane presumption of the people.

"We should not be greatly surprised if it should prove after all that Mr. Seward has got the start of them, and has actually sent explanations and all due apologies on this subject long before any demand for redress was made. And the extraordinary delay which attends the movements of Lord Lyons finds a very satisfactory reason in the supposition that Mr. Adams has been already charged to present the whole case to the British Government at London."

’ The New York Post, of the 24th inst., says:

‘ A private letter from well advised sources at Washington represent that certain interviews took place between Lord Lyons and Seward immediately after the Trent affair, and that their respective letters to London at that time were based on a disavowal of any knowledge on the part of our government, that such a capture was to take place, and a disavowal of all purpose to insult the British flag. This has delayed the presentation of the peremptory-demand of the British government, which came out on the Europe.--Further advices from London will therefore probably be a waited.

A special dispatch to the Post from Washington gives a rumor that the Cabinet have resolved to release Mason and Sildell, and that orders have gone on to ship them at once to Halifax. The Post, however, regards this rumor as improbable.

The Washington correspondent of the New York Herald, of the 25th inst., argues that, although nothing officially has transpired in regard to the deliberations of the Cabinet on the subject, yet there is no doubt but that the difficulty will be settled without a war between England and the United States. It concludes thus:

"The affair is complicated. Time alone can unravel it, and the utmost prudence on the part of the Administration will be necessary to avoid a war which may involve us with more than one European Power, while we are engaged in a life and death struggle for the preservation of the Union itself."

Gen. Scott's return.

From the Washington Star, of the 23d inst, we clip the following in relation to the purpose which induces old ‘"Fuss and Feathers"’ to return so soon to the United States:

‘ The fact that Gen. Scott has so soon returned to the United States (in the Arago) is understood by his immediate friends here to have been the result of his belief that he possesses information, concerning the state of the affair of the Trent on the other side of the water, of importance to our Government; and therefore hastens here with it.

It will be remembered that our avoidance of a collision with England on two former occasions --in that of the northeastern boundary difficulty, and that of Gen. Harney's imbroglio — was due in great part to Gen. Scott's personal efforts to settle the questions then in issue between the two Governments peaceably. He doubtless hopes — we trust justly — that in this case his prospective similar exertions may fulminate as happily. The mass of the people of both countries wish him "God speed" in this labor of exalted humanity.

Important from Missouri — bridge Burning by the Confederates--Success of the expedition sent to Lexington,&c.

St. Charles, Mo. Dec. 21.
--A preconcerted movement was made last night by the rebels along the North Missouri Railroad. The rebels who returned from Gen. Price's army destroyed about 100 miles of the load, or at least rendered it useless. Commencing eight

miles south of Hudson, they burned the bridges, wood piles, water tanks, ties, tore up the rails for miles, bent them, and destroyed the telegraph line. This was continued to Warrentown, where the work of destruction ceased. How many were concerned in this villainous work is not yet known, but there is no doubt but that it was a preconcerted and simultaneous movement of the citizens along the road, as no single party could have accomplished so much in one night. Three hundred of the villains are known to have been engaged in the destruction of the bridge track at Warrentown.

[Second Dispatch.]

Warrenton. Dec. 24, 1861--The damage to the North Missouri Railroad may be summed up as follows; Bridges at Sturgeon, Centralia, Mexico, Jeffstown, and Warrentown, burned; also one station and perhaps twenty cars, from fifty to sixty culverts, large and small; three or four water stations, 10,000 ties, from 200 to 300 telegraph poles, and five miles of iron destroyed, and ten miles of wire rendered useless.

Two trains, one having eight car loads of hog and several car loads of hemp, and two cars of merchandise, are in the possession of the rebels. Four engines are lying where they can beseized by them.

Some of the men who belonged to the trains have arrived here, from whom I learn that the persons who did the damage are yet encamped along the road, about five hundred being at High Hill, and other bodies at or near Martinsburg, Mexico, Centralia, Sturgeon, and Allan. At Centralia they went within half a mile of the Berge Sharp-Shooters and destroyed a bridge and water station. Two freight trains were captured within four miles of the camp of a detachment of the same force.

At Renwick the work was directed by practical railroad men, and the right course was always taken to make the destruction complete. Where the track was taken up, the rails were removed, the ties gathered in piles and set on fire, and the rails thrown scores the pile, so that when the centre of the rails became heated the weight of the cold ends bent them so as to render them useless.

In destroying the bridges the fires were kindled around the corners, where they would soon throw the bridges down, and the trestle guides which spanned the open culverts were burned, as were also the frames on which the water tanks stood usually.

The houses of railroad men and of all Union men in the vicinity of the road were surrounded, and the inhabitants assured that no harm was intended them while they remained in-doors.

We hear of scarcely any pillage, or any other outrage beyond the destruction of the road and telegraph line.

The damage to the road cannot fall short of $300,000, and at least one month will be required to repair it so that trains can pass.

St. Louis, Dec. 23.--Dispatches received at headquarters say that the command sent to Lexington by General Pope burned two ferry boats and a foundry at that place, and took two captains, one lieutenant, four men, and several horses

Otterville, Mo., Dec. 24. --The cavalry which General Pope sent to Lexington have returned. In addition to the two ferry boats and the rebel foundry which they burned and the rebel officers and privates captured, previously reported, they killed the notorious Arkansas Robinson, and drove every band of rebels from the county for miles on either side of the route. They report the county quiet of the rebels.

Jefferson City, Dec. 24.--A gentleman who has been with the rebel army several weeks arrived here to-day, and reports that on Thursday last Price's camp at Osceola was thrown into confusion by the news that the Union troops were upon them. They beat a hasty retreat, and when last heard from were at Hammansville, hurrying South.

St. Louis, December 24.--About a thousand of the rebel prisoners taken by Gen. Pope arrived here last night, and were allowed to remain in the cars until this morning, when they were escorted by their capturers, under Col. Davis, to Dr. McDowell's medical college, where they will be taken care of for the present.

Warrenton, Mo., Dec. 24. --By arrivals from Mexico we learn that the bridge over Sait river, which is the largest and most costly on the road, except that at Perrgue, which the rebels previously spared on Friday night, was entirely destroyed on Sunday night.--The station house at Jacksonville was also burned together with four or five cars. The repairs progress rapidly here. The bridge repaired, and the culverts between here and Jonesburg, and the track at that place will be to-morrow, if the men are not interrupted, and the repairs of the telegraph line keep pace with these of the road.

St. Louis, Dec. 23. --General Halleck has issued an order, fixing the penalty of death on all parties engaged in destroying railroads and telegraphs, and requiring the towns and counties in which the destruction occurs, to repair the damages and pay expenses.

Gen. Rosencranz's address to his officers and soldiers.

The following address has been issued to the troops of the Western department of Virginia by the Commander of the Federal forces.

Officers and Soldiers of the Department of Western Virginia:
You have closed an arduous campaign with honor to yourselves and satisfaction to the country. None but these who have been with you, as I have, can fully appreciate your trials and privations.

Your triumph has been three-fold — over your own inexperience, the obstacles of nature, and the rebel forces.

When our gallant young Commander was called from us, after the disaster of Bull Run, this department was left with less than fifteen thousand men to guard three hundred miles of railroad and three hundred miles of frontier, exposed to ‘"bushwhackers"’ and the forces of Gens Floyd, Wise, and Jackson. The Northwestern pass into it was fortified and held, Cheat Mountain secured, the rebel assaults there victoriously repelled, and the Kanawha Valley occupied.

A march of one hundred and twelve miles over bad roads brought you upon Floyd's entrenched position, whence the rebels were dislodged, and chased to Sewell. Finally your patience and watchingi put the traitor Floyd within your reach, and, though by a precipitate retreat he escaped your grasp, you have the substantial fruits of victory.--Western Virginia belongs to herself, and the invader is expelled from her soil. In the name of our Commander-in-Chief, and in my own. I thank you.

But the country will expect, your Commanding General expects, still more from you. A campaign without a defeat, without even a check, must be elicited by deeds of greater lustre.

To this end I now call upon you for your own future honor, to devote yourselves with energy and zeal to perfect yourselves in all that pertains to drill, instruction and discipline. Let every officer and every soldier be emulous to teach and learn the firings, light infantry drill, guard duty, company discicipline, and police.

Your Commanding General proposes to procure for you everything necessary to prepare you for your coming work, and will soon organize Hoards of Examiners, who will rid the service of the disgrace, and soldiers of the lacubus of incompetent and worthless officers, who hold the positions and receive the pay without having the will or the capacity to perform the duties of their positions.

Remember, you are fighting for your country, for your flag for your homes.

Your enemies are implacable in their hatred of you; there is no measure of falsehood to which they have not resorted to blacken your good name, and their leaders, Beauregard and Jeff. Davis, have dared even in solemn proclamations to calumniate you, charging you with crimes you abhor. From these men you have nothing to expect. You must prepare to teach them, not only lessons of magnanimity and forbearance towards the unarmed and defenceless, but to thrust their calumnies and their boastings down their own traitorous throats.

Let not a moment be lost in your preparations for the task before you.

W. S. Rosecrans,
Brigadier-General U.S. Army,
Commanding Department Western Va.

Interesting from the upper Potomac — Attempt
to Bribe a Federal Picket, Etc.

Williamsport, Dec. 21.
--This morning a man named J.B Wharton, residing at Clear spring, approached one of the river pickets, and offered him $25 to carry a dispatch to the other side. The soldier made the act known to Col. Leonard, who had him arrested, but not until he had destroyed the dispatch. He is connected by marriage with ex-Senator Mason, now at Fort Warren. Col. Leonard holds him as a spy.

This town has been under martial law for several months. Lieut. John G. Hovey, of company--Massachusetts 13th, is the Provost Marshal. Among his political prisoners are R. D. Shepard, of Shepherdstown, son-in-law of A. R. Boteler; Abraham Shepard, a Captain in the Confederate Army, and a considerable number of civil officers of Morgan county, who undertook to execute the Rebel laws.

Telegraphic communications are now received from Romney in 4 hours, including 20 miles of horse transportation. In a few days the wires will connect.

The skirmish near Newport News.

The following paragraph in reference to a skirmish near Newport News, we take from the ‘"Situation"’ article of the New York Herald, of the 25th inst.:

‘ The skirmish at Newport News on the 22d was a brisk affair, considering that the 20th New York regiment, engaged on our side, had only two companies in the field, and were suddenly surrounded at Newmarket Bridge by force of 700 rebel cavalry and infantry, but succeeded in cutting their way through them without losing a man. Six of the 20th however were slightly wounded.--

Ten of the enemy are known to have been killed, and a number wounded. Seven dead bodies were found yesterday morning; one was that of an officer, and was taken to Newport News. He wore buttons lettered " A. M. M.," perhaps the Alabama Minutes Men. It is reported that a whole company of negroes were engaged, and two of our men are known to have been shot by them. General Mansfield and Acting Brigadier General Weber, highly complimented the troops engaged, for their coolness and bravery.

News from Kentucky.

Cincinnati, Dec. 23, 1861.
--The Commercial has a dispatch from Frankfort, Ky., saying that Hon. W. C. Anderson, formerly member of Congress, died to-day.

Gov. Magofflu, contrary to expectations, had approved of all the bills presented to him.

There was no further news from Somerset.

Payment of officers appointed by General Farmont.

Washington, Dec. 23.
--Adjutant-General Thomas last week sanctioned the payment of all the officers appointed by Gen. Fremont, named in the list forwarded by Gen. Halleck. New names have been forwarded since, and instructions asked in regard to them. Orders were sent out to day by Mr. Thomas, to pay every officer actually in service under Gen. Fremont, what is justly due him.


Mr. Hale presented in the United States Senate, on the 24th inst., a petition from citizens of Boston, claiming that the freedom of the press had been infringed.

The Federal gun-boat Young Rover, which is stationed at York river, reports an extensive conflagration in Yorktown about a week since.

In New York on Tuesday, the 24th inst., Virginia 6's were quoted at 46347½ ; Tennessee 6's 41½a42; North Carolina 6's 58a59½ Missouri 6's 38½a39.

There are over 200 English vessels in the Northern ports. They are making rapid preparations to hasten home.

A rumor prevailed North that Mason and Slidell were to leave in the Europa, from Boston, on Wednesday.

Gen. T. W. Sherman has returned to his command in Missouri, having been pronounces not insane.

John M. Brewer, one of the Fort Warren prisoners from Baltimore, has taken the oath and been discharged.

Col. Mulligan has declined an invitation to lecture in Boston. He says he is anxious to return to the war.

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