Newspaper of The New York Herald, December 19, 1861, Page 1

Newspaper of The New York Herald dated December 19, 1861 Page 1
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THE NEW YORK HERALD. WHOLE HO. 9231. NEW YORK, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1861.-TRIPLE SHEET. PRICE TWO CENTS. THE MILITARY POSITIONS IN WESTERN KENTUCKY. The Portion of Kentucky Under the Care of General Halleck, and to be Contested Between Him and the Rebel General Folk?The Rebel Position Below Cairo, and the Union Position at and Near it THE REBELS IN WESTERN KENTUCKY The Advance to be Made by the Union Forces Under Gen. Ilalleck. Padixcah versus Columbia? Halleck versus Polk. A Brilliant Suit for Right of Possession. Governor Magoffin Defines Bis Position. i Why Rentnrky Has Not Sent More Volunteers Info the Field. CEVEBJIL WELL'S OXWiRD IflOVEHEVF. &c., &c., &c. We give today a clear and comprehensive map of that, part of Kentucky, which belongs to tho Department of Missouri, with a portion of the Mississippi river, and the adjacent rbores. The official document pointing out the limits of this department is thus worded:? The Department of tho Missouri is to include the States Of Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas and that portion of Kentucky west of the Oumderl'inii river lobe commanded by Mojur General H W. Halleck, l'nited tnatcs Army. Our map shows on the west the important depot, at Cairo, which commands tho Junction of the Ohio and M s aissippi rivers. At this point Gon'ral Me?demand's force is Stationed. Near this place are Bird's Point, Fort Holt, Fort Jefferson and one or two other minor points held hy the Union troops. Passing down the Mississippi from Cairo tho first Important point held by the rebels Is the blufT north of Columbus, next Columbus itself, with Belmont; next 'Wolf Island, and, further on ''down South," Hickman. All these points are more or less fortified, an i the pussage ] along the river more or less impoded. Hickman and Co lumbns are connected by railroad, and rapid communlca tion and transport between them is thus maintained. Passing north from Cairo along the Ohio river, and fol lowing its winding course, the first important point is Paducob, now hold by a lurge force of troops under Gone rats Smith, Paine and Wallace A steamer lias recently leftl'adrteob with Wallace's brigade of four regiments, destined no one beyond the romm aiders knowing whither Much time and skill has hoeo devoted to per footing the two Zouave regiments of this brigade ,n drill, and we are confldont they will make their mark the first time they have a long-sought opportunity. In connection with Wallace's expedition, we understand that, a regiment or cavalry crossed from Cairo and struck ofT into the inte rior. By this we may Judge that some movements are afoot, but of what nature time alone will show. Pad-.cah, to some extent, holds Columbus in ch"ck, while the two principal pieces on the chessboard of the West?Polk and Halleck?are preparing to movo with vigor. What ever may be the plan of these opposing generals there is bo doubt but that a brilliant attack is to be made shortly, and Polk must take oare that be not only does not lose his game, but that he is not taken by bta opponent. The remainder of the map is so clear aed perfect fn Itself that nothing further is required to illustrate it ex cept a movement of troope and a battle. FROM SEN. HALLECK'S DEPARTMENT. Rolls. Dec 16,1161 Several citizens of Arkansas bave reached here during Ike past week, and enlisted in the Arkansas company under Gaptala Ware, iato member of the Legislatnre.from >hat State. These men ssy there was a Union society in lsard, Fulton, Independant and Searcsy counties, nuni fearing 2,600 men, which could bave made an organizer ?tend in two week* more, but it was betrayed by a re creant member and broken up and scattered. Many o: ?,base Union metf have bceu arrested and taken to J,Utl< Hock some have beta banged, wad a -!arfo immb'-r art now iu the woods, trying te effect their escape from (be Slate. Sr. Josrvu, Mo., Dee. 15,1861. Forty of Genera) Prentiss' command returned here last night, most of them sick with the measles. They report that iho Unionists had several skirmishr# with the rebels on their march, killing a few of tbem. When at the river oppotilo Lexington tliey were fired on by the relr-le at that place, and General Trentiss dispersed them with shells from three twelvo-poundcrs, but there being n? ferry or means of crossing the river, our forces were com pelled to return to Richmond for ferage. It was General Prentiss' intent ion, however, to cross the river Saturday, at a point above Islington, and the forces from Sedalia an>l Kansas Cuy would join him. The rebels are reported to be 2 000 strong. St. Lone, Dec. 16,1861. All claims against the Department of the West which originated prior to October 11th must he llled beforo the Examining Commission, now in session in this city, pre vious to January 10th, or tliey will not be paiil by the department. AIIcommissioned city officers and all county ollieers except nine have taken the oath of allegiance prescribed by the convention. None of the Judges of the Supreme Court and but one State officer, Colonel Moscly, Auditor, have filed their oaths. The secessionists here openly Tavow their joy at the prospect for war with England, while the Uniouists seem generally to hope thsf the administration w ill formally adhere to their already proclaimed position, and not de liver up the rebel ambassadors. John Hogan, who was arrested on Saturday for em bczzlement, in a card published Ibis evening, says his arrest was caused by a disagreement between him and the auditing officer of the General Post Olbce, which might have been prevented by a prompter examination of hi? accounts. OUR ST. I-GUIS CORRESPONDENCE. Sr. LOOTS, Dec. Id, 1861. The Pone of Brilith Kendrnfx if Missouri-?Arrival of a Con ntlar Representoriv?A Fortunate Occurrence?Amicnlk Relation* with the Military Authorities?Ai\ Interesting Negro Question at Ratio?Important Seiture, it-r . tfi . fince the arrival of J. Edward Wilkins, Esq., bur Britan nic Majesty ? Consul, in tins city, from Chicago, where lis was recently st ationed, the tone of Hritish suit ects. in cluding nativ" bo-m Englishmen, Irishmen and Canadians, has visibly improved. Before lhe restraints imposed upon them by the presence of a British consular agent there were no more hlaiunt secessionists in the State than certain subjects of Queen Victoria. Mr. Wilkins is a tho | rough neutral,and has made many enemies among his own countrymen by strict persevernoco ia a neutral course, if anything his sympathies lean in favor of the triumph of the government, and his efforts have been mainly directed to restricting his countrymen from aiding and encourag ing (he rebellion. There is no fear that those who live in this neighborhood w ill do anything to assist the United Status in its present struggle, and hence the restraint upon their conduct amounts to a positive benefit to the Union cause, by preventing aid und comfort to the enemy. The Britif.h Consul has hold several protracted inter views with General Halieck and General Curtis and the PruTOst Marshal, and it is probable that a correspondence will soon be published upon the rights and dibits of ecu trals The most pleasant relations subsist between our military authorities and the representative of the Queen An arrangement has been iierfected by which British subjects may procure Provost Mat glial'a passes di-rct from the Consul, without any tedious circumlocution. The ilassos differ from those issued to our own citizens by the omission of the oath of allegiance, and read as follows:? I " 1 = Omc* or pptwiST Man Hai.. 1 i >? St. I oris, Mo., , 186 J. f $.3 Permission is granted to , a subject - - \ Z of , to pass beyond the limits of the 2 ? i_ city and county of St. Louis, to go to o \S Issued by . jf* > ** GEO. E. UJIGHTON, Provost Marshal. -a ST j A . ^'ft 1 \# V ill.ituni I li Ua Vala a ? -e . m n t * 5 IS [Turn over.) Capt. Nineteenth Mo. Vol* g g j IISI Upnn the reverse the description of the party ami the billowing certificate, aigned in presence of the Consul :?? $**The subscriber, a subject of , accepts*thTTj^ 5 passport apon a full understaudlng of bis duties as a > |neutral pdraon during the present rebellion. > | rrrrrr-ir" .TT.',.! A gentleman who happened to undergo the process of procuring a pass from the British Consul lately says Mr Wilklns exacts the followjig oath ? "Von do solemnly swear that you ai e a subject of (Jueen Victoria, and have never,at uny timo, foresworn alie glance to Great Britain, bo help you God." The strictness of the Consul may be lufcrred from tho following conversation ? CoNStn^?Po you know what you have signed? (Al luding to tho pars above mentioned.) Hnmcum?Yes, Sir. fOKSPt;?Well, wb'lt is it? Bkitc-hkr?Why I have sworn not to take up arms on either Bide < f the war. CtoSBt'n?Yes, and If you are ('(night as a spy, by either the secessionist or t'ninn army, you may he shot as a spy, without one bit of sympathy from Fnglrtiid: remem ber that, now. Already a case has ar isen o dliiig for the ititervontion of Hie Rritsb Consul. Several days ago < upturn Wood. or the Kansas Hang-re, while on a scouting expedition from Rolla, found a negro chained to an ox wagon, to prevent his escape. His master was inn erf. The darkey wag released aud taken to Rolla. The next day a m. n named Wheelati.a prrtehdad Englishman, came into the I'm/>u catnp at Rolla and claimed the in gro as liis prnpapiy. He nuid he was on his way to Pent county, and glvftv i ? pass endorsed try T. W. Souper, English commercial agent at St. Ixxiis, certifying to his Brinrh ciii/' n hip. It appeals that Sniper had no authority whatever to sign sticli a document, and, moreover,t'apt. 'iVco/l, 'of th ? Kansas Rangers.obtained abundant testimony to prove that Wheelan Imd been n rank sec .ssionist a til violated a neutral position by dhoctiy giving aid and comfort to the enemy since the rebellion c m meticed, tlicrcby forfeiting 1 iglish pruto/ lion. An in vestigation w ig ord? red by tho commander of the post, Colonel Podge, of the Fifth Iowa regiment, pending which the negro himself claimed protection as a licit. li sul'iect, and dated that he was h i n m< a: ids. On this representation the British Connilof t' is city took the mutter in hand. and proci red a g ccal order ( n Saturday from General Halieck to have lie / olw td i.idi vidua) m question brought to at. Louis. wh re theip as tii n of British birthright will be invest),-ntcd. To g i all the information possible on the subject, the Couhu! b.i.t Bent a special messenger to Canada, wheie the lie .ro s .ys he waB lorn, to hunt up evidence, and also to the in teri- r of the Slate, where the darkey says there are parties who know all the facts < i his captivity. Thus we hive the ronsutar representMive of Great Rriiain stretching forth his hand to save u p cor, ignorant tiogro fnin ciipliyity. Hie case is like y li bccomo fa rm) s. The e a'niaiit. the man Wher'an, im-i-ls th t tho negro has been owned by him a great numher of years, nr.d says he was born on a farm within two and a hall miles of St. Louis. Judge (Jo >!c, the owner of thefarm, who owned the slave at the time of his birth, endorsed tlio testimony of tVhcelan. '1 tie secret uy of Consul Wilk.n* left for Rolla yesterday morning armed with the w cessnry papeiS to bring the dai key to thi city, and tho esse Will he regulaily tried before the Consul 011 the return of the messengers from Canada. In any event,it is doi htful whether Wheelan over recovers his negro. Twelve of the mortar boats destined to co-operate with (lie fleet of gunboats in tii expedition down the Mississippi left here early this morning for Cairo in tc.w el the steamer Sam Gates, Jhe Illinois River I'ucl.c t Company have taken the contract to tow these boats to Cairo at*eighty hilars each. As there are thirty eight bfthem, tic aggregate cost will lie only three thousand and forty dol.'a s. This is the sinaife-d sum ever paid for similar 'service oa Western waters. Tlio rest of the mortar fleet will itepiut in a day or iwo. The reported seizure o! the books of Child, Pratt Jfc Fox, the extensive hardware dealers, whose transactions in government contracts have bem to severely cotiimeiitoit upon,cauhissomething of n sensation. The testimony taken before the Congressional Committee will ih * thi? noted hai'/.r.a /? II m dealing in a I kin's of contracts, some of ? *u as foreign to liicir trade us the crater of Vo? \, is distant frmn the moon. Tlio exiles Horn the Southwest arrive s'.owly. Many of them find a elio.ter on the read iietwceti liiis city and Rolls, and as they sre broken down in spirits and fa; good from exposure, any rest is desirable. '11,0 pro' is ion made for their reception Is ample to Insure their com fui t during a tempoj ary sojourn in this clly. Tiie pcoote ot Illinois pave thrown open their houses and farms to these unfortunate men, and deserve great credit fur their benevolence. The river Is remarkably low at this |ioint, and the ferry boat, to got straight across tho river, is torced to describe a half circle, in order to avoid an ugly sand bar. The weather is unusually warm for the season. Sr. Lous, Mo., Pee. 13, lbOl. An'ihtr Important Order from Gen, Ilalleek?The Wealthy SrcMficmitU Called On for Ten 'Jhousand Dollart?Colonel V dlen to Investigate Charges Against General ferment and Captain McKsteer? More Camp Jacltton Prise nets Going South?Tiusttn Polk's Escapade?General Sherman Aot Insane, etc?, etc. General Halieck threw another bombshell into the ranks of the secesh to-day by the promulgation of the following important ordor:? GENERAL ORDERS?NO. 21. ilKADQl'ARRM l'ETARTMFKI KlSSOCRI, 1 8r. Lot-is, Mo., Pec. 12, 1861. / 1. The suffering families, driven by rebels from South western Missouri, which have already arrived here, have been supplied by voluntary contributions mads by Union men. Others are on the way, to arrive in a few days. Tin se must be supplied by the charity of men known to be hostile to the Union. A list will be prepared of tho names of ail persons of this class who do not voluntarily furnish their quota, and a contribution will be levied on Wvero of ten thousand dollars, in clothing, provisions and quarters, or money in lieu thereof. Ats levy will be made upon the following classes of persons, In proportion to lbs 5'illt aud property of each individual:?First, those iu ai me vfith the enemy, who have property in tils city; second, thoije who nave furnished pecuniary or other M4 in I he enemy, or i<) iHOTunv in ihc enemy's service. third, thorn- win) have vrlwlly, in writing, ui by publu aiii ii, given encuuracnunt to tm-urgcni: reff Is. li. Brigadier Wniii! S.N. Curl in, UniteI thates Vobm tier*; Lieutenant ColonM )i. (J. Kin n>r, l'rov<>*t Mamha1 General,and CHarles-dtorg, Esq., A tor ul ilia county of Kt. Lena, will const ii nto a 1 leant of Assess'TR lor lot i aig tlio aforementioned cootribnti n. In rte'erminffix tlio amount of |>ro, i'rty of tlio IndivMiutls uHsesseit the Hoard will take into niim,deration tti* olliciai sBBCsnmeut linUt for ni inci[ia! taxes. ;t. As soon *t ury part of this contribution has txsn assessed by tlio Hoard the Provost Marsh >1 General will notify the i?rtiej ussrsi-eti, theiragentsorrepresents t vi'H.Kt itin. the amount 01 j>r visions clothingor quer i' rs. unJ the m any viiltio thereof, re f imiI of m h. and if not fornix tod tvitbin tho time specified it .-ahn.tlie in' will issue an execution, and siilllclent, | roperty will lie mken and sold it public auction to satisfy tlio aster, neat, with coats,ami a penalty of twenty five per > ent i:i ailiiition. fTlicre huildinps, or parts nf buildings are to lie ns d, ami where nuy of the s itl'erers are to be quar lei 'd ou tarn lies, c ure Ftiould be taken to pritdin e as lit tie lUi-'tiicnlenco to the ownei* or fuiniiles as port l ie.

tins not baltig considered a mili ary contribution lei led i |rf.u the etieiny, but merely a n lire ion to tie made from f. i. mis of tlio enemy for charitable pnrpotos. & If any perron u; on whom ?uob assortment (ball b? nn e. shall file Willi the I'rot on Marshal Genetai an afii Cat i! il.nl he Is a I ', ul citizen ami hup bien true to hi; allwianct to the United states, he will be allowed one week to furnish evidence to tie It. aid tovi'iil. ate bis i li rmter. and it at the end of that tivue In 11 il not In sb'o to satisfy ti n Hoard of hin loyalty, the assessment bell ue inc. eased ten per cent, and the levy Homed aiety 0. 'Hie supplies so collected will be expended tor lUo object o' ign.i -d, under the direction ot ilia Provost Mm; liul Geiieial, with the advice of the state Sanitary Ci I did- n o. Where m le y is received ill Hsu of sup plies, it will b.; expended for them, us they may be re ;.; i ? d. Any inotitry not to expended ni l li. tu ned over t the K initu y i omnii.- ion f r the benefit of s i lt so' li ro A strict and arc irate sccount of these receipts and expenditures will be kept and icturned to there liettd qnartl rs. fi. Any on* who shall resist or attempt to resist die CXoi ',li"li of these o tlors, will lie immediately arrested Mid imprisoned, aod will be H u rt by it military vemi m, ,'ii. Ily oruci of M,t..'OK GXVKRAI. U M.I.ICK. J so. C. K ELi oft, A. A. G. 'Ibis is the second chapter iti the programme adopted by (moral lialb ck to make the wealthy secessionistsp< for the outrages committed by their friends on tho non. c imbntnnt Union men of the interior. If they don't wish to -ufier. let them persuade General Price and his rrb.! associates to decist from further outrages on peai cabin Union men. The President of tho Hoard of County As scsfOTB, Mr. Ilory, who is named as ore ofthe Cminis siou in.the foregoing ore'or, is a found Union German His Information being of an official character, there wiil be no escaping the penalty, so look out for a lively lime. Mr. ikirg has airea iv commence l to prepare a list "I per g.-ti.i upoti whom to'mak" the levy oi t?u thousand debars required by General Hnl.eck h oner. I luu 'n this morning that Colonel Tolteu, at present chief oi irtillcry in Gemrai Halbck'a staff, has aecpted tho appointment of Assistant Inspector General in (he regular army, with the rank of Major, and that he has I -on ordered to proceed with a thorough examination of the charges against Gene: al Fremont preferred by Col. lilac . and uga.nst Captain McKeever, by Ot neral Curtis. Thu inspectorof the disbursements una accounts of the Int.' Quartermaster of this department t.urn-nil Ho Kin-try, will devolve upon him in this connection. The t.vk is nn unenviable one, and wid create many enemies to the officer who performs lha d .ty. it would not sur prise Colonel Totten's friends if he asked to be relieved ft ni the older. Tho al trillion of the Provost Marshal Ins beeu culled to the reported escape of ?cualor Trusten PAiklroni this city with ul a proper peasport. A telegraphic dospatch has l ec-n sent to Wash.i.gton to ascertain whether Polk ha. been there since the first of last month and ihe ?n bwe. will probably ho in the affirmative. Hi* most inti mate friende of ilic lamily make no roiicfahqpni tow of the report that lie left the city clandestinely in a buggy, ant! is at present s?fe in the Koidhern confederacy. Another baich of ihc Camp Jack-on i rtsonersleft to-day by the steamer W. H. B., that steamer ha vug isceutiy brought from Cairn the guard who uccuni ani d the lor mcr batch of exchanged prisonei a to Cairo. The follow mg is the form of the certificate g ven to ca-li one of the ( amp.iuck-on prisoners who have l>f"n exchanged 1 am Indebted for th? copy to Gen. CurtP Haxixqixrants ItarxKi hum of Mtasocoi, l St. Lucm, , t8?H. J This is to certify that Capt. .Mm .tonus, a pi lai.nar of war, takou by tho Uuiiod (states forces at Camp Jackson, u- ar St. bonis, May 10,18?1. has hscu duly exchanged and released from parole in accordance with the terms of agreement made between Major g eneral J. U. Fremont mid Mu or General Sterling Price on the iifith day of Oc tobcr, 1801, and that pursuant to *uui agreement h* i* entitled to pr.ss to his homo or to the headquarters of the army or division to which heciaiaiR to belong, with Ida ramp equipage, aide arms and private property, at any lime within twenty day* from the date hereof. The pickets aiidoutpoats or the United Siot?< lorces and all others will ahow the said John Jones to pail, avoiding all improper disclosurcH as to strength and locality of force*, but otherwise giving all facilities to bis progress that may be accessary to bis convenience. By order of Brigadier General CURTIS. 1.vciKN J. Bxitxts, Lieutenant and Aid-de-t'amp. Only the officers are allowed to carry side arms, the %ien being rigidly confined to personal effects. General Sigel remains in the city, confined to bie bed by a severe attack of rboumatlsm. The glow ing accounts al days ago. that published in the Memphis papers sever* Figd wt.h surrounded at Kedalla by Hen Mr'.'ulloch. sunned the sick <icneral considerably. Ito quietly re marked that he never intended to be surrounded by an enemy hin.self, but if there was imy surrounding to be di ue, be proposed to do it himself?Ben. McCulloch wiT l*k?- notice. Affiles at Rolls are urn banged, Colonel Podge, of tbo Fourth Iowa, in in command of the poet and bit) own regiment, in the absence if General Asb'tll, whore dp -Ion is at R >lla. Kvery < oloncl commands hia own region ot. Thcie is reported to be considerable diflicuUy in llie government of the vi rions camps, owing to the absence ol a commanding genera!, who would have supervision of all General AMuitli s, and t enerul felgnl's, and Gon ial Slurgi3' dlvi- ioii* are all at Rolls and it is predicted that unless ibcy are immediately subordinated to one general, who shoii.d b" i a t! o ^ round, mueh trouble will > usee. u. H. llatton, who war arrested in Hoona county some time ago fur raising recruits for the Southern srmy, has been released on taking the oath of allegiance, ami has f an Iras to bis farm. Button's i am hasb > n used ex !?i. ively in .North Missouri m connection with tho de sirr.i to n of railroad bridges and other ont: ages. but since bis ? uulli enient many of Ins netghbc rs fv.li i aie vouclud for a i IV. on men by United c'tatcs military olfcers and others, wboliaveproved thotn.*olv nnrondtlloii.-il i'nl"m if ts by their acts) have come forward and hiked for his release on the terms slated. It ' cems Hatlou tins oit> n protei tod Vnlon men in Roonecounty and given them in formalIon to guard against lebel outrati s, und he has deeded his farm to a liuinn man as security for In future good behavior. Iilrcljdine is being enforced in this department hi tbo btri'test sense. A few days aj o, at .teffcrson Hutri ks. I saw a dozen oflinndersdressed in imiforni wotkio with a spade and piekaso, with a chain mid ball tied to th'-ir liiulis. They belonged to na artillery re,:t nieiit and were g.:II?y of various offences - principal ly atleinpts to deia-il?and druulcuness is now g vo ely punished. Whenever a private is convicto.,i. dnm', on: ss he is c ndenr e I to the guard hoi i b u "liber', front Si cond I.tqut n u ts to Urigadnr llenerais, t:-cni n> get off scot iiee. Tlieru is a little too much 01 tlia loir robin military in St. lymis for the goo 1 of the service and General Halleck ought to issue un ord-r fo flu- c.t;i; benefit of the olHcers. 'lTioir example is of more itrtpm la' i e than tb-< |iunishmerit of the men. Tho repei tod insanity of General W. T. Sherman is dis credited h 'le by his iT-iendc. 17is late Assistant Mjiit: nr. .1 IJ. Hammond, publishes a card in to day s torn ere', denying the charge of insanity, sod sb tiny that bis b Itli is impaired by nsiiima. General tdiei miiu is now in 'Ho wi h his family. IIo certainly acted strangi y while in Kentucky, and while at Sedulia, iti (pis Hiaie, but he lias been known for many years as an extremely eccentric, n.nn at d liable to all sort-' of freaks of jit b'.meiit. He is not likely to have mi important com man 1 again. Th ' late storms in tho northwest, and the warm wea tber mi lling the he and riiow, have caused the i iver.it Ibis point to rise nearly fourteen inches in forty eight boars. The Missouri is also hwe.ling at a rapid l ate from the same cause. The principal contribution to the ran in the MisH-'sippi flows from tboDesmoir.es. Tlieio is now plenty o1' water for tbo larg; st gunboats. The mortar licet, thirty eight strong, has all left this city lor Cairo. OUR CAIRO CORRESPONDENCE. Caiko, 111., Dec. 12, lgfil The Department of Subsift'iee for the Arm ;?Operation; of Maje.r ManeI?Ike Discipline of th/^Teoops?O/mra'ionj erf General Grant,?iVeto Arce.'sioni to the A'aml Servo e Description of Mortar Raft;?M< cements of Gunboats? Sketch of ffoUinr?A Svrpri/e, rfV, Tho present week lias been, liko its immediate prod censors, dull and monotonous, go far us any outward show has been concerned; but one having any idea of what is required for the subsistence and equipment of an army in a hostile country would see In many things ovldcnc,, tbiil the long looked for and long hoped for "exodus from Hi ypt" waq about consummation Mujor I.elanl is con parting for subsistence upon a scale that promises us an army of huge proportions, and it is safe to thu.k that ho takes his cue from good authority. Major Hatch is buy ing mules and horses and wagons in numbers such as a =mall army would have uo use for; and Colonel Dunlop is stiaining every nerve to equip our present force iu such h manner as shall secure it against disaster upon the flold. General llcC'iernaml Is tightening down terribly iu the way of enforcing "regulations," and taming h.s hosts of prairie natures into something like discipline, and General Grant can be found at all hours, day and niglii, in all conceivable places where work is to be done, directing, in bia quiet way, every department of his sor vies. Then an omen of gome Importance Is seen in the acietsiouH we are receiving to tho navy. Fivo of the seven gunboats are now at ( airo. two more, which have been aground for the last two days, will bo down to night, which, with the four old ones which have been here several weeks, make our naval strength too colcseal to be tbo subject of cachinadon. Be sides these there uro now completed some thirty "mortar rafu," which, to my eye, promise to be of more service thau their name or the notoriety they have acquired would seem to indicate. These last are a novelty in the way of naval architecture, and whan 1 have deacrtbed one you and your readers may form ?ome idea of what they may acomnpltsh. It li.aa its name implies, a men raft of squared timbers,flrmly double bolted together, layer u|>on layer, cross wise, to the depth of about five and it half or six feet. Koch Uyar or tier of limbers is (Irmly bolted to those above and h low it, ao tbut tlio whole is a solid b( djr of wood, about a hundred leet in length by lifty in width, with a c.ham ber in It.; centre for magazine. Honro a sli d may strike and tionotrate it, but it cannot tduk. and a sboll may ex fd' do upon it without further damage than would oneue upon the same area upon laud. I'p' n its deck arc ar ranged mortars of the Inrgc t.claw, si* In number; but no arrangements are mode lor victualling and lodging lb# ma li*B working them, as the gunboats will accompany them to furnish ordnance for the armament and house and culinary accommodations for the men. You may Judged the effectiveness of a squadron of thirty such ci aft, anchored at long range over against a town liko Colt.rub' s or Memphis, ami then u half dozen gunboats running hero and there, delivering their flro and scudding oft beb re a rebel battery can get a b arlng ujion them. The Maria conning lies anchored in the river, opposite Cairo, loaded down with the armament for the fleet, and i am informed that another boat will bo here In a few days from Pittsburg, with a liko cargo. To-day three ol the gimbals, the St. Louis, Tyler and l.exi: gion, went down the river as far as Norfolk, to I oca for lloillus' fleet, which rumor said was lying there; but the search was fruitless;for no Hotline and no "turtles" could be found or heard of. It seems to be settled now that the rebel 11 et of the Mississippi, Holllnaaiul all, are at M unpUte; but if the gunboats arc all like those that showed themselves ofT Fort Ho t a week ago last Sunday the <11 U of clearing the river of them will not, begs ar ch <>us rs some rebel sympathizers seem to behove, for a more gross libe! upon the name of "tnan-of war" 1 have m-v r seen. I met the rebel commodore, llolllns, the other day at Columbus, or rather on a steamer Just this t ide, end bud quito a long conversation with him, and yo' r Northern readers will thank mo and your bullhorn one? w ill pardon inn if 1 dag crreotypo him. He is short, (say live loot fight), sallow, restless and observing; site In hi* chair us if silvers v. ere perforating his trowscrs and penetrating his person , quick spoknn,earnest in style, d? eiuf'ly " tarish" in his manners, wants yon to uuder siMid Dial he it Hulling, and to acknowledge that ha is Holllns; gray haired and gray whmkerod, beard long and pui'fupinisb; hag a decidedly tobaccoey odor and com plexion; I *vus to toll a good glory, but bus not patience to hoar one. blows inordinately, and has figured himself up totho sum t"tat that ho is decidedly the biggest card in the rebellion park. After an hour's conversation v mi him one would romo to the conclusion that lie claimed no nationality, but was a cross be tween an Albany politician mid a French am bnsrader, with all the low cunning and bombast of the former, and the all important, superficial make op of the latter. As to his truthfulnegs, I may bo permitted to say, that If the stories lie told tn" arc true, then all the rest o the Confederate officers I have seen arc liars; for; Holiitis aid that he had the famous steam ram Mmaasae up at tip skirnd-h with 1'ort Holt, and all the rest said, in I the Memphis papers corroborated, that that wonderful piece of naval ingenuity w as still upon the docks ut New ii i a s. It may be, however, that all the rest were wrong and Hollius right. Yesterday two companies of the Second Illinois cavalry W( nt (a t as iar as Brtrand, in Missouri, an<l surprised a " ocesh " foraging party from Jeff. Thompson's army of ?' Atnorougtas," took sixteen prisoners, killed six or eight, took ail the rabel property, nud returned at night with the loss of one man killed. Lieutenant Colonel Mudd commanded. To-day we have been treated to a grand reviow of Gene ral MeClei mind's brigade. Nix regiments of infantry, two of cavalry and two companies of artillery were out and mado a very imposing appearance. Orilonel I>ick<y a Fourth llllmcs cavalry was the groat feat ueof the occa sion. They turned out full on? thousand, and really tbey looked leu times that number General McClernand re viewed them. Brigadier <? nerals Sturgis and Sweeney have arrived here and gone on up to I'adixuh, on wnat business I can not sa< but wo count upon the visit as another omen of the ' good time coming." (icnoral Jlaileck will bo here ou Saturday, says a despatch to-day to General Grant. I have soma new s thai w o-dd do the public good to read; b t the good of the service r. quires that I should keep it M St However, I will say to your readers, "Wait a little longer," ana then learn why and to what purjpos? has been our piotractod delay. FROM GENERAL BUELL'S COLUMN. Cincinnati, Dec. 17, 1861. 'l'ha -|<ec,als to the Giurtte and Commercial, per ma I. from Somerset, failed to come to hand to-day. General Knell is expected to take the field in person in a fow days. II is reported that our troops are croseiog Green river, and that Buckner is coming up the railroad to offer battle this side of Bowling Green. In the Kentucky Legislature several members beve made elaborate speeches in favor of the Union. The rebels are Jubilant over the prospects of a war with England. The Union men will come square up to the mark, and demand a war before a word of apology. There was a grand review and inspection of 17,000 troops at Cairo, Dird's Point and Fort Bolt yesterday. Indianatolis, Dec. 16,1861. Our army in Kentucky are wltbin a short distance of Bowling Green. They have repaired the Green river bridge, and will roova forward as soon as General Buell can brigade and otherwise dispose of the large number i of regiments now arriving When this Is done be will I take oommand and push forward to Nashville. I The Korty-sixtb, Thirtieth,Thirty fifth, ferty first and

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