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War Matters.

From the latest Southern and Northern files received, we make up the following summary of interesting war news:

Reported riot at Norfolk — Development of the Union sentiment.

Philadelphia, Feb. 7, 1862.
--The Inquirer of this city has a dispatch saying that a riot occurred at Norfolk on Tuesday night; that it was supposed that martial law would be proclaimed, and that during the disturbance cheers for the Union were given.

Philadelphia, Feb. 7, 1862. --The dispatch about the reported riot at Norfolk is incorrect. It was stated that the riot occurred at Richmond, not at Norfolk.

Washington items.

Washington dispatches, under date of the 7th inst., say:

Effect of the news of the progress of the Union forces.

The news to-day of the triumphant progress of the Union arms on the Tennessee river, in Pamlico Sound, and on the Upper Potomac, has caused great rejoicing. It is regarded, however, as only the first faint muttering of the terrific storm about to burst upon the rebels from all points of the compass.

The passage of the currency bill and the glorious news of the success of the Union arms are sources of congratulation in Administration circles, only equalled by the consternation and dismay of the opposition.

The military operations in Tennessee.

Nothing has been received at headquarters from General Grant or Commodore Foots further than the dispatch received at the Navy Department and forwarded to the Herald early this afternoon. It is believed that the expedition, having effected the capture of Fort Henry, has already struck a much more important blow on the Cumberland river.

Gen. Fremont and the Radicals.

It is currently rumored that Gen. Fremont has been completely whitewashed by the radical majority in the Select Committee on the Conduct of the War. The clique of shriekers are loud and bold in their prognostications that he will be assigned to an important position in the army, and they call importunately for his appointment to the command of the Army of the Potomac. All this is bosh and pure nonsense. It is not impossible that Fremont may be assigned to some command, but it will not be of a character to gratify the partisan views of his abolition supporters.

The testimony of the only witness examined to-day before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, whose examination lasted several hours, was in every respect of the most damaging character to Gen. Fremont, in both a military and civil point of view. It presented his conduct in a light so clearly weak and culpable that we cannot think the aspirations of the radical shriekers will be gratified.

Pay of prisoners of War.

The President has approved the joint resolution to authorize the Secretary of War to procure from such officers and enlisted men of the United States army as are now or hereafter may be held as prisoners of war in the so-called Confederate States, from time to time, their respective allotments of pay to their families or friends, upon which certified allotments the Secretary shall cause drafts to be made, payable in the city of New York or Boston, to the order of such persons to whom the allotments were or may be made, and to remit the drafts to the address of such persons as may be designated.

War Department and the Telegraph.

The President of the American Telegraph Company leaves Washington for New York to-morrow morning. Frequent and satisfactory interviews with the Secretary of War have convinced Mr. Sanford that the measures adopted by the Government in relation to the transmission of telegraphic dispatches are imperatively demanded by the public welfare, and interfere with neither the private rights of citizens nor the interests of the Telegraph company.

"the Circle of fire closing round the Rebellion."

Under this caption the Herald, of the 8th, publishes the following article:

‘ We congratulate our readers upon another important Union victory in the West. Our splendid Western soldiers, under Generals Grant and McClernand, who, in their first encounter with the rebels at Belmont, exhibited the fighting qualities of Napoleon's Old Guard, have marched into the occupation of the valuable strategic defences of Fort Henry on the Tennessee river.

Our troops occupy a good position at Fort Henry from which to advance westward upon Columbus, or eastward upon Bowling Green, in the rear — the two strongholds of the rebels in Western Kentucky, and upon the maintenance of which depends the rebel cause, not only in Kentucky and Tennessee, but along the whole line of the Mississippi down to New Orleans. This is why Beauregard has been transferred from Manassas to Columbus or Bowling Green; for the rebels have discovered that their immediate danger is more pressing on the line of the Mississippi than on the line of the Potomac. We suppose that the next thing in order by our troops at Fort Henry will be the reduction of the supporting Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland river, at Dover, some ten miles across the hills at this point from the Tennessee; and, next, that those railroads will be occupied which connect the rebels on the Mississippi with the rebels in Virginia; and that then, as all that section of Kentucky lying between the Cumberland and the Mississippi is attached to the department of General Halleck, there will be, under his direction, a combined movement of all his disposable forces from Fort Henry, Mayfield, Paducah, Smithland, and Cairo, including Commodore Porter's gun-boats, upon Columbus, in front, flank and rear, and that it will not be long before we shall have the pleasure of announcing a crushing defeat of the rebels in that quarter.

Meantime, in accordance with the instructions of Gen. McClellan, the army of Gen. Buell is steadily encircling the great rebel camp at Bowling Green. This is a strong defensive position, the village being surrounded by a circle of abrupt and commanding hills, which are occupied by rebel fort, and batteries. We are assured, however, that the programs of General Buel, for the capture of Bowling Green is one which cannot fall. Before the expiration of the present month, therefore, with any improvement upon the late blockading snows, thaws, and rains, we expect to hear the glorious news of the expulsion of the rebels from both Columbus and Bowling Green. A rebel army, including both places, of over a hundred and twenty thousand men, will thus be cut up and dispersed, Kentucky and Tennessee will be instantly liberated, and the sustaining spirit of this rebellion will be completely broken.

In the interval, however, we do not imagine that Price and his guerillas will be left on the soil of Missouri; or that the Burnside expedition will be confined to reconnaissances of the inland waters of North Carolina; or that the powerful fleet of Dupont and the co-operating land forces of Sherman will be idle; or that our land and naval forces in Florida and on Ship Island, within convenient distance of New Orleans and Mobile. Will remain resting upon their oars; or that Gen. Wool will be limited to the daily routine of Fortress Monroe; or that our great Army of the Potomac will be continued much longer in the monotonous service of an army of observation. On the contrary, we expect that this whole immense circle of fleets and armies will very soon open in a circle of fire against this beleaguered rebellion, the echoes of which will be heard from the Mississippi overland to the Potomac, and from the Potomac to the Carolinas, and thence along the seaboard and Gulf coast to the swamps of Louisiana.

Our land and naval forces are at length so admirably distributed and so thoroughly equipped and provided for active work, and are so well drilled and so ably commanded by such approved officers as McClellan, Buell, Halleck, Wool, Burnside, Sherman, Dupont, Goldsborough, Foote, Porter, and others, and the rebellion is so manifestly in the last throes of exhaustion, that our faith is stronger than ever, and strengthens every day, in the conviction that before England and France can agree to interfere there will be an end of Jeff. Davis and his spurious Southern Confederacy. In this view we are powerfully supported by the patriotic action of Congress, in its seasonable legislation to relieve the financial embarrassments of the Government and the country.

Speech of Mr. Van Wyck in Congress — important Developments.

The following remarks were submitted by Mr. Van Wyck in the Federal House of Representatives, on the 7th inst.:

Mr. Van Wyck, (Rep) of New York, moved the consideration of the report; of the Committee on Government Contracts, and addressed the House, referring to the tragedy at Baltimore on the 19th of April, 1861, when the pulse of the nation for a moment stood still; advantage was taken of its trembling necessities by speculators. He spoke of the cattle contract made in this city, whereby fifty thousand dollars was realized on two thousand head; of the agency of Alexander Cummings, in New York; of the immense amount of money paid to him without any vouchers of his purchase; of linen pantaloons, London porter, Scotch ale, and Dutch herring, for the use of the army. He next spoke of the character of the steamer Cataline, whereby a vessel worth $15,000 was chartered to the Government for $10,000 per month, and fifty thousand dollars to be paid in the event of her loss by war risks, intimating, also, that she was loaded for private speculation, to be run at the expense of the Government. He showed that her purchase was secured by four separate notes, signed respectively by Jno. E. Develin, Thurlow Weed, G. C. Davidson, and C. B. Matteson. He next alluded to a horse contract at Huntingdon, Pa., when, on the purchase of 1,000 horses, the Treasury was the capital.--He then spoke of Mr. Morgan's agency, showing that although he had paid less than the owners asked, he had also paid more than the vessels cost; that in some cases vessels were charged to the Government at a higher price than the owners received; that the arrangement of Mr. Secretary Welles, allowing Mr. Morgan to take two and a half per cent, from the seller, was placing him in antagonism to the Government which employed him; that the percentage was in fact taken from the Government, and the $90,000 which Morgan had received in five months really belonged to the Treasury; that although the Secretary claimed that none of the sellers censured him, Mr. Van Wyck referred to the sale of the Mercedita, where the owners claimed to have been wronged by this system of purchase, and they had notified the Secretary. In this case Mr. Morgan claimed and took $2,500 commissions, when he did nothing towards negotiating the sale. Mr. Morgan claimed to have been asked for this vessel $130,000, and the owners testify they allowed the department to fix the price. That the sale of 5,000 Hall's carbines, by Simon Stevens to Gen. Fremont, was an inconceivable bargain, whereby, without any risk or investment of capital, Mr. Stevens was in one day to realize $50,000. That in the Department of the West, through the agency of Quartermaster McKinstry and his inspectors, Government was plundered of many thousands. That although Generals and Cabinet Ministers were buried beneath the weight of increasing responsibility, this rock less horde were undermining the very ground on which they trod. He commented on the subject of army transportation, that by an order of the late Secretary of War, railroads were allowed two cents per mile for soldiers and local rates for freight; and so great were the profits, that the Western roads paid a bonus of from $1,500 to $2,500 for the privilege of transporting a single regiment. He considered the pirates who infested the ocean are not more to be despised than the plunderers on land. He referred to the traitors who were suffered to remain in the Capitol, and denounced the policy whereby the slaves who fired on our wounded soldiers over the Potomac, at Ball's Bluff, were returned to chains and stripes, while the traitor masters who wounded them are protected in their constitutional rights.--He closed by hoping that we should never surrender to rebels in arms — that we should stand in the defence of the Union and the flag,

Until the last red blade was broken,

And the last arrow in the quiver.

The news of the recent successes of the Union land and naval forces in Tennessee, was announced in both Houses on the 7th inst., and received with applause.

In the Senate, the bill appropriating ten millions of dollars for the construction of twenty iron-clad gun-boats was passed. The Treasury Note bill was received from the House, and referred to the Finance Committee. The bill authorizing an additional issue of ten million dollars of demand notes was passed. Resolutions of the Legislature of Rhode Island, urging the propriety of permanently locating the Naval Academy at Newport was presented. A joint resolution, giving the thanks of Congress to Captain Dupont and his officers and seamen for the victory at Port Royal, was adopted. The Judiciary Committee reported that Mr. Starke, the Senator from Oregon, whose loyalty has been questioned was entitled to take the constitutional oath. A minority report was, however, presented, and the papers were ordered to be printed.

In the House of Representatives, the Treasury Note bill was by consent amended so as to allow the Treasury Department, at its option, to pay the interest on Government bonds in coin or paper. At the conclusion of the debate, Mr. Holman, of Indiana, offered a resolution, censuring Mr. Cameron, the late Secretary of War, and Mr. Welles, the present Secretary of the Navy, for their action in employing Alexander Cummings and George D. Morgan; but without coming to a vote, the subject was postponed till Friday next. The report of the Conference Committee on the bill providing for the completion of the defences of Washington, and the employment of Home, Guards in Missouri and Maryland, was agreed to. Several private bills were passed.

Both Houses adjourned till Monday.

The Abolition War on General M'Clellan.

The Abolition organs, says the New York Herald, of the 7th instant, have been taking a remarkably deep interest in the reconstruction of the English War Department lately. They have been circulating a report that the Duke of Cambridge is about to resign, and that it has been determined to abolish the post of Commander-in-Chief and vest it in the Secretary of War. Simultaneously with this appeared a statement in the Washington correspondence of one of them that the President and Mr. Stanton had determined upon assuming the complete direction of the affairs of the army, and confining Gen. McClellan to the command of the Army of the Potomac. In yesterday's Tribune we again find a paragraph which was followed up by an attack on the General-in-Chief in the Post. The Tribune says:

General McClellan's New Rank.--The better opinion is that General McClellan will not resign in consequence of the change which the censor allowed us partially to indicate last night, but will strive in the Department of the Potomac to rival General Buell in Kentucky and General Halleck in Missouri, on a level with whom the new arrangement places him. It is understood that he has consulted with several of his Generals respecting the course proper for him to pursue.

Now this is the meanest kind of journalism, says the Herald. Failing to directly affect General McClellan's position with the President and the country, it seeks to curtail his functions by raising an agitation in favor of a change in our present army organization, which many might be disposed to favor, under the mistaken notion that it was based on the results of English military experience.

Sad Effects of the War upon Newspapers.

The New York Herald, of the 8th inst., says editorially:

‘ We have it upon the highest authority, no less than that of the Tribune itself, that that journal has been losing money ever since the beginning of the war. We now learn that the owners, some thirty of them, all with long, lank hair, and shaggy beards, except Greeley, have held a meeting to take into consideration the propriety of suspending publication till the war is over, as the rapid rate at which they are losing their capital just now will soon clear them out, whereas by suspending they could save something out of the wreck to start afresh with when peace is restored. Now, instead of this, we would strongly recommend an amalgamation of the Tribune and the Independent --that the Tribunes swallow up the Independent, or the Independent the Tribune --it makes no matter which. By this arrangement both will probably disappear some fine morning before the end of the war, and never be heard of again.

"Treachery of the rebels to one another."

The New York Herald, of the 8th instant, says:

‘ By our latest reports from Paducah, it appears that General Grant and Gen. Smith were pursuing the flying rebels, to the amount of four or five thousand, on each side of the river, and it was reported that many of the garrison of Fort Henry abandoned the fight, leaving the artillery corps alone to defend it, not having much sympathy with the cause of rebellion. Several gun- boats left Paducah yesterday for the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, and Gen. Grant was to attack. Fort Donelson to-day. It is thus evident that the blow struck at Fort Henry is to be vigorously followed up by our Generals.--The details which we give of this brilliant affair from various sources to-day will be found of the highest interest.

The Government of territory recovered from the rebels.

The necessity of providing organized governments in all the territory recovered from the possession of the rebels is recognized by all the members of the Cabinet. A difference of opinion, however, exists as to the form and details of such government. A number of propositions have been submitted, some of which will be forwarded to the Herald by mail. A majority of the Cabinet are in favor of the establishment of civil government under the protection of the military power, as at Port Roal and in other places in the South where the Union flag has lately been unfurled again.

The recent flag of truce from the rebels.

Washington, Feb. 7.
--There is the highest authority for stating that there is no truth in the report that the recent rebel flag of truce brought to headquarters here a communication threatening the lives of the hostages, Col. Corcoran and others, in the event of the execution of the Missouri bridge burners. There is in the communication no allusion whatever to that subject, and it is not believed that the contents will be officially made public.

Another Senatorial inquiry probable.

The expulsion of Mr. Bright is likely to prove only the beginning of the war against Senators suspected of disloyalty. Attention is already being directed toward Mr. Powell, of Kentucky. It is said that shortly a resolution will be introduced into the Senate directing the Superintendent of the Document room to inform that body what public documents Mr. Powell has ordered to be sent to members of the Southern Confederacy since the formation of the Provisional Government.

Threatening aspect of things in East Tennessee.

Our Tennessee exchanges give us gloomy prospects for the future in that part of the Confederacy. Several of the leading journals intimate very plainly that there is ‘"really a threatening state of affairs in East Tennessee,"’ growing out of the ‘"idolatrous love"’ of many of these people ‘"for the old Union." ’ A correspondent of the Avalanche writes thus of this feeling:

‘ The rumored condition of the interior counties of East Tennessee is not improved by the lapse of time. The people apprehend an immediate advance of the Northmen, and traitors to the South evince their joy in every village and neighborhood. Johnson and Maynard have advised their friends that they would soon return to their homes, and that the ‘"grasp of secessionism should he relaxed."’ The scouts of the enemy have penetrated, so dame rumor tells us, to Jamestown, within fifty miles of Knoxville. Many of these stories are unfounded, and others, perhaps, exaggerated. Still the actual condition of popular sentiment in East Tennessee is ill understood by Southern statesmen and military chieftains. There is at this juncture a peculiar value attached to the possession of East Tennessee, not only because it gives us a railway connection with Virginia, but its productive hillsides and valleys must furnish vast supplies for our armies during the next year.

The enemy are reported 35,000 strong at Beech Grove, the scene of the late defeat. The Unionists are making demonstration in many of the northern counties, and even here there were exhibitions of joy on the arrival of the news from Beech Grove. Armed bands of Johnson's and Maynard's followers are prowling about in all directions through the mountains. In remote counties many have been shot at night in their own houses, who adhered to the fortunes of the South.--Men stand as sentinels by turn at every house, and the farmer no longer opens his door to every wayfarer. You can imagine no condition of society more deplorable than that which will exist in East Tennessee, should the Lincolnites succeed in sending an army into our midst. A brother shall imbrue his hands in a brother's blood, private wrongs and personal hates will be terribly avenged. The assassin will do deeds of fearful violence. From a contemplation of all the horrors which stalk abroad at noonday and make night hideous, humanity will start back aghast. Villages will be burned and towns laid desolate.

If by mere force of numbers the North expects to overpower and humiliate us, there is one recourse left — we can desolate; the country as Northern armies advance; we shall burn villages and towns; the crops and cattle must be utterly destroyed, and invading armies must be starved into helplessness. The Russians acted well and patriotically when their empire was assailed by Napoleon's irresistible hosts; but the South, when penetrated by invading armies, will leave a history which shall be as most extravagant fiction in point of self-inflicted sufferings, when contrasted with that which details the sacrifices of the Russians.

Tennessee Bridges.

The Memphis Avalanche says:

‘ We learn from a gentleman, who has just passed over the line, that all the bridges are up on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad--the cars having run through for the first time on Sunday. In a few days the immense quantities of flour, which have been awaiting shipment for months, will probably find its way to our city.

Parson Brownlow.

Parson Brownlow's case may be briefly stated. He desired to go North, but before he was ready he was taken sick. He was arrested to protect him from violence. He still continues sick at his own house, being too unwell to be removed. When he recovers he will probably be suffered to depart ‘"to the other side of Jordan,"’ together with his family. He can do no harm there to our cause, while his presence among us might do injury.--Memphis Avalanche.

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