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Progress of the war.

We make some interesting selections from late papers received at this office:

The successful foray on Hilton Head Island.

The Charleston Mercury, of the 16th records the particulars of what is considered one of the oldest and most successful feats of the war:

‘ The brilliant foray of Capt. John H. Mickler and a detachment of his company (11th regiment S. C. V.,) on last Thursday night, resulted in surprising and capturing a detachment of pickets and signal corps men at the Spanish Wells Observatory, on Hilton Head Island, a few hundred yards from a regiment of infantry, and within sound of the long roll at General Hunter's headquarters. By examining a map of the locality it will be observed that Hilton Head Island is separated from the main land by wide water courses, navigable for gunboats of all classes, which tenders all approach to it difficult, if not dangerous, except to men who can pull an oar lustily as well as handle the rifle with deadly precision. Washed by the Atlantic ocean on the front, and the rear so guarded naturally, Hilton Head, was in every respect what might have been thought a sate place for "Department Headquarters, " but it seems that our salt-water boys have found a way to get there.

On Thursday evening, all proper arrangements having been previously made, the "forayers" started in their causes, and followed May river down to its junction with Mackay's creek, where the union of the two streams forms Calibogue sound. Learning from close observation the picket stations they effected a safe landing. The night was dark and the wind high enough to send the tide to the shore with a heavy murmur. After making all necessary dispositions to insure success, the scouts moved cautiously to the high ground, and thence towards the house, which is used as a picket and signal station. Their plan was to approach the place in the rear, and if possible, capture or bayonet every one there without firing a gun; but they found that a sentinel guarded the approach from this quarter, and another was posted on the front Under these circumstances, there was no alternative but to shoot down the el at the back door, and then do their work with dispatch Bang went a musket, and, as target practice is not certain in the dark, away scampered the sentinel, followed by the attacking party, who rushed close upon his heels into the house. Before the sleeping guards could throw off their blankets they found themselves in the grasp of a band of stern rebels. Rather than take the twenty odd bright bayonets of our men, the astonished Yankees quietly surrendered. Meantime the noise below had a wakened the sleepers above, and a Lieutenant of the signal corps rushed down stairs, endishabills, to ascertain what had occurred; but he, too, was soon a prisoner in the hands of a sturdy grayback, with pistol cocked, whom he encountered at the foot of the stairs. This much having been accomplished, no time was to be lost. The prisoners were marched at the double quick to the landing, the Yankee Lieutenant suffering severely from briare and thorns, he being barefooted, without hat and coat. The retreat was safely conducted, and that, too, over nine miles of water courses, available for gunboats of large size.

A Lieutenant of the signal corps and a private, who remained up stairs escaped unobserved, and the pickets on the bluff made their escape. All the rest were taken and brought off the Island without the loss of a man on our side.

The Ominous Inaction at Vicksburg

From a late number of the New York World we copy the following:

‘ The capture of Vicksburg transcends in importance, as it doubtless exceeds in difficulty, every other military enterprise in the contemplation of the Government. The taking of Richmond, without the simultaneous destruction of the Confederate army in Virginia, would not fatally weaken the rebels; the capture of Charleston would give us another New Orleans to govern and defend. The possession of the exporting cities of the South amounts to little. so long as the country behind them allows nothing to be exported. But the capture of Vicksburg would cut the rebel Confederacy in twain. The countless droves of cattle from the Illimitable plains of Texas which are their main resource for feeding both the rebel armies and their home population, would be shut back, as well as the other supplies, and the military recruits they derive from that State and from Arkansas. It would sunder their connection with their Indian allies, extinguish their hopes of expansion in the West, and by reducing the area of the rebellion render its subjugation a more manageable problem.

The military wisdom at Washington resembles the Divine wisdom in this — that it is "past finding out." Success at Vicksburg is, and has been all through this winter's operations, a problem of engineering. And yet the Government keeps the best engineer in the army all winter in this city unemployed. This accomplished engineer, who is also the ablest of our Generals, could give unity to the dissentient Southwestern commands, and renew the decaying confidence of the soldiers. No officer in America has so fine a talent for organization or so rare a faculty or winning the regard and attachment of the men he leads. The proper place for General McClellan is, of course, at the head of the whole army; but as the Government has a right to command his services in any sphere it thinks fit, it would have shown more wisdom in sending him to the Valley of the Mississippi than it has in compelling him to stand idle awaiting orders in New York. Party malignity should not thus jeopard the success of a great military enterprise.

The Feeling in the United States.

The Nassau correspondent of the Charleston Courier writes, March 18th, as follows:

‘ We may as well make up our minds that the war will drag along until next fall or winter. --Foreign intervention will only intensify. My reading of Northern papers leads me to believe that the mass of the Northern people are indisposed to let the South go without other attempts to subdue it. The Democrats are only conditional peace men. John Van Baren advocates the conquest of the South first, and then if she is not willing to continue in the Union he is willing to say, "wayward sisters, part in peace." The peace men, like Vallandigham, Cox, and Seymour of Connecticut, call for a cessation of hostilities in order to bring about "reconstruction" it is evident that further defeats; more depredations on their commerce, an active financial panic, and practical foreign intervention must ensue, before the Yankees can abandon the hope of forcing back the El Dorado, from which they have drawn so much of their former prosperity.

Jeff. Davis's "black battalions."

The richest article we have seen in a Northern paper is the following, from the Nashville Union. In view of the negro regiment bill it is peculiarly racy:

‘ During the fight the battery in charge of the 85th Indiana was attacked by two rebel negro regiments. Our artillerists double shotted their guns and cut the black rebels to pieces and brought their battery safely off. It has been stated repeatedly, for the past two weeks that a large number, perhaps one fourth of Van-Dorn's forces were negro soldiers; and the statement is fully confirmed by this unfortunate engagement.

The Southern rebels have forced their miserable negroes to take up arms to destroy the Government and enslave us and our children.

Freemen of the North and of the South! does it not make your blood boil in your veins like a flood of fiery lava? Does it not make your hearts swell with indigestion, that your liberties, your Government, and your happiness, should be destroyed by the negro troops of Jeff Davis?

Will you stand it? Will you brook the outrage in quiet? Will you suffer your flag to be torn down and trodden under foot by the black battalions of Van Dorn? People of the North! shall rebel negroes slay your sons and strip their bodies on the battle field? Send out your new armies by millions--send them no more by regiments, or by brigades, or by divisions, but by millions! Let the tramp of your loyal armies cause the hills of the South to shake to their foundations, and the valleys to tremble to their centres! Rally to the defence of the dear old flag! Hesitate no longer!--Let history not record that while slavery was the cause of the rebellion and slaveholder the prime mover of the rebellion, you were such degenerate dastard, as to allow negro slaves to be the instruments of your country's downfall, and the agency which made the rebellion so successful.

Oh, consistency, what a jewel!

The graves of Confederate soldiers in Kentucky

A correspondent of the Atlanta Confederacy gives the following item:

‘ A chaplain who remained with our wounded who were left at Murfreesboro', when we retired from that place has arrived here. Before returning to our lines he went to Louisville, and describes in touching language a visit to Cavehill Cemetery, near that city. He was carried to this lovely city of the dead by a noble hearted citizen of Louisville, whose liberality and energy have given a proper burial to every Confederate soldier that has died in the city. Here, on the Northern border of Kentucky, he beheld a sight that should put to shame many who inhabit cities farther South. The grave of every Confederate was raised, sodded, and not a few surrounded with flowers. The name of the soldier, his State, and regiment, was lettered in black on a neat white headboard around which hung a wreath of myrtel, the Christmas offering of the true Southern ladies of Louisville, to the noble dead. In the grounds allotted to the burial of the Federal dead, he found the graves sunken and uncared for; but few having stones or boards or marks of any kind.

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