The War news.

For the first time in several days the shelling of Dutch gap by our batteries was audible in the city. With the exception of this shelling, there was quiet on all the lines below Richmond and about Petersburg. Even if Grant proposes to do anything more this winter, he will hardly move before the return to camp of the troops sent North to overawe the Democrats and furloughed to go home to vote. These may all get back by the latter part of this week.

At Petersburg, nothing has occurred for several days worth mentioning.

Among the citizens of Prince George held as prisoners at City Point is Dr. Peter Eppes, who was arrested on the charge of having given General Hampton the information upon which that general captured Grant's drove of beeves last summer.

From the Valley.

So far as the movement of troops in the Valley is concerned, all is again quiet save the steady advance of our picket lines.

On Tuesday week, the 8th instant, a number of the most prominent citizens of Winchester, among them Rev. Dr. Boyd; Robert Y. Conrad, Esq., formerly a member of the Virginia Convention; and Phil Williams, Esq; Mr. John Bell, a merchant; Jacob Miller, and others, were arrested by order of Sheridan.--They were allowed to take each a carpetbag of clothing and some bed- clothes, and were told they might expect a long sojourn in Yankee land. No reason was assigned for their arrest.

From East Tennessee.

General, Breckinridge reports that, on the evening of the 11th, he drove the enemy from Lick creek into Bull's gap, and the next morning forced them back a mile, and captured a line of works, but was unable to expel them from the gap.

He re-occupied the position held in the morning without molestation. Our loss slight.

On the night of the 11th, Major Foote attacked the enemy near Morristown, captured fifty prisoners and burned a train landed with commissary stores and nine was gone.

Later — official Dispatch.

The following official dispatch was received at the War Department last night:

"Headquarters army Northern Virginia,

"November 15, 1864.
"Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War:
"General Breckinridge reports that, on the night of the 13th instant, he turned Bull's gap, when the enemy attempted to retreat.

"About 1 o'clock on the 14th instant, with Vans has and Duke's commands, he struck their column and routed it. Several hundred prisoners, ten stands of colors, six pieces of artillery, with caissons and horses complete, fifty loaded wagons with teams, and ambulances with medical supplies, &c., were captured.

Sherman's movements.

The Yankee newspapers are, just now, filled with a deal of nonsensical speculation as to Sherman's movements. All unite in stating that he is about to execute a grand move, but none of them agree in what it is to be. The most popular, because the most absurd and sensational idea is, that, having laid Atlanta in ashes, he is marching across the country to Charleston, four hundred miles distant. We have no official information of Sherman's designs, but we are in possession of authentic information which convinces us that the Yankee newspapers are as far wide of the truth in their speculations on the subject as they usually are in their pretended statements of facts.

Sherman has not been to Atlanta since Hood struck the railroad in his rear, more than a month ago. Leaving six thousand men as a garrison, he moved out of Atlanta when Hood tore up the track of the Northwestern railroad at Big Shanty. Hood, after French's failure to take Altoona, left the railroad, and making a detour to the southwest, again tapped it at Resaca; and on the approach of Sherman, pushed west through North Alabama to Florence. Sherman followed him into Alabama with the hope of bringing on a battle somewhere on the Coosa river; failing in this, and believing Hood to be making for Nashville, he turned his front northward and marched towards the Tennessee river at Bridgeport, with the purpose of being within striking distance should he suddenly assail Thomas at Nashville. At last advices, Sherman had reached the neighborhood of Bridgeport, which is on the Tennessee river between thirty and forty miles below Chattanooga; and Thomas had marched out of Nashville to Pulaski, which is some fifty miles north of Decatur and rather further northwest of Bridgeport.

It has been quite a week since we heard directly from Hood's army. At that time it had crossed the Tennessee river not far from Florence, and was believed to be marching towards Nashville. It may be the object of our generals to strike Thomas before he is joined, or shall join Sherman.

As to Atlanta, that Sherman should order its evacuation is not unlikely; but if he does so, it is simply an acknowledgement that he is unable to protect the railroad between that point and Chattanooga, and that its capture, which sent such a thrill of joy throughout the United States, has proved a barren victory.

Sherman's transportation is in a woful state. Persons lately from his lines say that mules drop dead daily in their tracks. The country around Atlanta, and the vacant lots in the city, are fetid with decaying horse and mule flesh. A prisoner made the statement that it was almost an impossibility to get a mouthful of hay or oats, and their draught animals were dying of starvation. He expressed surprise at the splendid condition of our horses.

Thus it will be seen that it is impossible for Sherman to make a move of any moment; and he is believed to be in a desperate condition. With no stock, and no railroad transportation, he is powerless, and all his efforts will be futile. Hood, on the other hand, has an abundance of transportation and that of the choicest quality, while his army is efficient, high spirited, and anxious to engage the enemy.

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