From the North.
[from our own Reporter.]
[from the N. Y. Herald, March 13.]The Situation.--The news from the Rappahannock is unimportant. The pickets on the opposite side along certain portions of the line are one-half negroes and one half white men. The negroes are armed and uniformed the same as the whites. Only 150 yards intervene between our people and the enemy's and they are plainly to be distinguished, without the aid of a glass. [What a whopper even for the Herald.] The whole of Van Dorn's force retreated towards Shelbyville on the night of the 11th and the means of crossing Luck river are destroyed. This postpones the expected engagement. At Fort McAllister the Montank was struck with solid shot 70 times, and was lifted clear out of the water at the bow by the explosion of a torpedo, but not injured. The action was a terrific one, no less than 301 shells were thrown by our vessels, and 277 solid shot and shell by the enemy. Our firing was magnificent. The impregnability of our iron clads under the heaviest fire is pretty well established. The attack on Charleston has not yet commenced. Charleston papers say neither the Indianola nor Queen of the West have been destroyed. A captured rebel officer states that negotiations for peace have been under consideration for the past three weeks at Richmond, but the fact had not been permitted to go before the public. The British steamer Queen of the Wave ran ashore near Charleston, and Dupont was using every exertion to save her. The British steamship Douro, captured off Cape Fear on the 9th by a U. S. gunboat was brought to New York on the 12th as a prize. Her cargo was 420 bales of cotton, and some turpentine and tobacco. She ran the blockade at Wilmington and was making for Nassau. Gen. Hunter's quarrel with Foster is still unsettled. Hunter has ordered Gen. Neglee to New York, and in his farewell to his division he predicts that "truth is mighty, and will prevail." The prize steamers Adela and Virginia and bark Moblen Williamson and brig J. W. Sawyer, with prize cargoes of twenty-seven vessels, are on the way from Key West. The steamship Peter Hoff, with a valuable cargo, was captured February 25th, off St. Thomas, by the Vanderbilt. Three prize schooners have also arrived at Key West. The Florida is reported to have been at several places at the same time. The Anglo Saxon arrived on the 12th. The London Times says the conservative States, (Illinois, &c.,) are taking steps which prove their object is peace, and finding a Federal Government unwilling to give effect to their desire, have superseded its action, and thus commenced "the second stage of this tremendous American revolution for themselves." Discussing the conflicting statements of Seward and Mercier, relative to the latter's mission to Richmond, the Times regrets Seward's denial of the humane act impaled to him by Mercier, which would reflect credit on him, and, at the expense of Mr. Seward's veracity, expresses the belief that Seward did listen to Mercier's counsels. The London Globe thinks it the duty of either France or the United States to demand an apology for the contradiction existing between Seward and Mercier. The Kangaroo, from Liverpool, arrived on the 11th and brought 825 bales of cotton. The City of Baltimore brought 369 bales. Mr. Alexander Ramsay appeared and was sworn in as U. S. Senator from Minnesota on Thursday. An engagement between Russians and Polish insurgents is reported, lasting eight hours. The Russians were defeated and fled, and took refuge on Prussian territory. In Liverpool American cotton advanced ¼ to ½ penny, and other qualities declined ½ to 1 penny. New Hampshire Election.--Returns show a decided gain for the conservatives and a corresponding falling off of the strength of the nigger heads. The conservative gain is in almost exact proportion to the Republican loss on the vote of last year. The Democratic gain in 91 towns is --the Republican loss is 1,712.
Concord, N. H., March 12--P. M.--The returns from several towns in the 2d Congressional District received since this forenoon brings Mr. Rollins's majority down to so small a figure that it may require the official returns to settle the question. In the U. S. Circuit Court J. F. North pleaded guilty to the charge of cruel and unusual punishment in hanging up a negro to the rigging on board the ship invincible, which caused his death. He pleads that he acted under the orders of his superiors, who are not yet amenable. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment and hard labor. Gold jumped up to and closed at 161. Exchange 175, but rose to 177@178. It is surmised that the Secretary of the Treasury will soon pay out his new Treasury notes to the extent of $20,000,000 or so convertible into legal tender notes on presentation.
From Washington.--An early strategic triumph on the Mississippi is anticipated by the War and Navy Departments. In a very few weeks, perhaps days, rebel communication across the Mississippi will be completely cut off, and they will thus be surrounded and reduced to a state of actual stage without the necessity of a large expenditure of life and blood in attacking Vicksburg or Port dson Yankee ingenuity is relied on more than the courage and muscle of armies. It is believed a majority of the South are sick of the war, and would gladly return to the old Union, even with the peculiar institution impaired. The "turreted monster," Admiral Porter says, was an old coal barge, with pork barrels piled on top of each other for a smoke-stack, and two old for quarter boats. Her furnaces were built of mud, and only intended to make black smoke, and not steam. She was towed within two miles of the first battery and let go, and soon Vicksburg was in a stew. Never did her batteries open with such a vim. The earth trembled, and the shot flew round this "Monitor," which returned no shot with her long wooden gun. She ran safely past and drifted down to the lower mouth of the canal. At daylight the rebels opened on her again with all their guns. The shot went through her without causing her to sink, as she was full of water already.--Our soldiers shouted and laughed like mad; out the laugh was somewhat against them when, at daylight, the Queen of the West was discovered at Warrenton, and the question arose, where was the Indianola? The Monitor was again act out in the stream and let go down on the Queen. All the forts got to firing and signalling, and as the Monitor approached, the Queen turned tall and ran down stream as fast as she could go, the Monitor after her, making all the speed of a five-knot current. The Warrenton Fort fired bravely and rapidly, and, it was reported that the Monitor in "a very vulnerable spot." The Government is advised of rebel movements for privateers on the Pacific ocean. Four Secession females were to-day arrested by the Provost Guard, on Pennsylvania Avenue, through which they were riding in a carriage, cheering for Jeff. Davis and singing Secession songs.
Latest.--London, Feb. 27.--The Spanish Ministry have resigned. It is reported that Norway is forming a new Cabinet. The Polish question is unchanged. General Magles's removal caused great regret.--Two or three Generals said "they would not be far behind Gen. Nagles in their journey northward." The belief is he has been removed because he does not sympathize with the Generals in the Department of the South, whose sympathies are altogether with the negro. The famous steamer Union, one of the fastest afloat, is at Fortress Monroe, and, it is rumored, will take a cruise after the pirate Alabama, if the Captain can procure letters of marque for that purpose.
Cincinnati March 12.--A skirmish took place yesterday twelve miles east of Paris Ky. A forage train was attacked by fifty guerillas who were beaten off by the teamsters and the guard. Reinforcements have been sent.
Fort McAllister, &c. It says its capture was not the object of the expedition. The Fort is of "no consequence." The object was to last the strength and capacity of the and to train the gunners. Success is due as much to Commander Worden as to the qualities of the Monitors. "The time is not far distant when our iron-clads will give such a report of themselves as will be heard at the ends of the earth." [A loud report.]