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Monthly Record of Current Events, November 8.

OUR Record closes upon the 8th of November. The most important event of the month is the departure of the great naval and military expedition for the South. The vessels having been collected in Hampton Roads, set out on the morning of the 29th of October. The expedition comprised 84 vessels of all classes, of which 18 were steam gun-boats, 23 steam transports, and 32 sailing vessels. The military force embarked is estimated at 20,000 men, made up mainly of the choicest regiments from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. This force is under the command of General Thomas W. Sherman; and the naval force under Captain Samuel F. Dupont. The destination of the expedition was not divulged. Before any intelligence was received of the fleet, after its departure, a violent tempest sprung up, which increased in force as it passed northward. Two or three vessels belonging to the fleet returned, more or less disabled, bringing accounts of severe storms. For a week serious apprehensions were entertained for the safety of the expedition. But on the 4th of November news was brought to Hampton Roads by one of the blockading vessels, that she had passed the fleet on the night of the 2d; that the storm, which appears to have been comparatively light toward the south, had passed, and that the expedition was within 80 miles of Bull's Bay, which lies about 23 miles northeast from Charleston; and that this commodious port was apparently the destination of the expedition. Port Royal Harbor, 50 miles south of Charleston and 35 miles north of Savannah, and Brunswick, Georgia, about 50 miles south of Savannah, have also been conjectured to be the destination of the expedition. These are all excellent harbors. It is surmised by many that all are to be occupied. At the time when our Record closes no account of the landing of troops at any point has been received, and our intelligence only renders it probable that the expedition has received no serious damage from the storm.

The National forces have experienced a severe check on the Upper Potomac. On the 20th of October General Stone, who commands the army of observation posted on the Maryland side, determined upon a reconnoissance in force of the position and numbers of the enemy near Leesburg. The troops sent over for this purpose soon found themselves in presence of a superior force. Colonel Baker, Senator from Oregon, commander of the "California Regiment," so called out of compliment to him, though composed mainly of volunteers from Pennsylvania, was ordered on the 21st to cross the river to support the reconnoitring party. The means of transport were deficient, and totally inadequate to afford facilities for retreat in case of being overpowered. The reinforcements under Colonel Baker consisted of a part of two Massachusetts regiments, the 10th and the 20th; the New York Tammany regiment, and a part of the California Regiment, numbering in all about 1900 men. The fighting was kept up the whole day, the enemy being continually reinforced, until their numbers greatly exceeded ours. Baker was killed while encouraging his men to hold their ground. A fierce struggle ensued over his body; but his men succeeded in carrying it from the field: it was taken to Washington, whence it will be conveyed to his home in California. Our troops were pressed back to the river by the force of numbers. There were no sufficient means of crossing. Many plunged into the stream and were drowned. Many more were taken prisoners. We had about 1900 men, all told, in this battle; of these about 200 were killed, nearly as many wounded, and according to the Southern account 529 were taken prisoners — a total loss of more than 900 men. In a preceding part of this Magazine will be found a biographical sketch of Colonel Baker. This disastrous engagement will be known as the battle of Ball's Bluffs. The Confederate loss is stated by themselvesat about 300 killed and wounded.

Several skirmishes have occurred during the month in various quarters, of which the following are the chief: On the 16th of October a party of the Confederates appeared at Bolivar Heights, near Harper's Ferry, and began cannonading the National forces across the river. Three companies from the 3d Wisconsin Regiment then crossed, charged upon the enemy, captured a cannon, and fell back to the river. Here they were reinforced by companies from the 28th Pennsylvania, under Colonel Geary, and made a renewed charge, driving the enemy back with great loss, the attacking party suffering but slightly. — In Kentucky, on the 21st of October, General Zollicoffer attacked the National forces at Camp Wild Cat, with vastly superior forces, but was beaten off with great loss. — On the same day, at Fredericktown, Missouri, 5000 Confederates, under Generals Jeff Thompson and Lowe, were attacked by 2500 National troops under Colonel Plummer, and completely routed. — In Western Virginia, General Relley, who commanded at Philippi, attacked the enemy at Romney, on the 25th of October, and after a sharp action of two hours, routed them, taking their camp equipage, cannon, and many prisoners, with but trifling loss on his part. — On the morning of the 9th an attack was made upon the camp on Santa Rosa Island, near Fort Pickens, occupied by about 200 of Wilson's Zouaves. The enemy, 1800 strong, embarked at Pensacola Navy-yard, and in the darkness succeeded in reaching within 600 yards of the camp before being discovered. The Zouaves, after a sharp light, were forced back from the camp, which was burned. Assistance was sent from the fort, and the Confederate troops began to retreat to their boats, pursued by the regulars and Zouaves, who kept up a sharp fire upon them, which was continued as long as their boats were within range. Their loss, as acknowledged by themselves, was 350 killed, wounded, and missing. Of the Zouaves, 10 were killed, 16 wounded, and 9 taken prisoners; the


regulars lost 4 killed, 20 wounded, and 10 prisoners.

From Missouri the most important intelligence is that General Fremont has been removed from the command. Much dissatisfaction has been for some time expressed at his conduct. He was involved in personal difficulties with some of his officers; was charged with wasteful and useless expenditures of the public funds, and with general incompetency in military affairs. It was said that had he acted with proper energy both Lyon and Mulligan might have been reinforced, and the defeat at Springfield and the surrender at Lexington prevented. The Secretary of War and the Adjutant-General made a journey to St. Louis to inquire into the state of affairs. Meanwhile General Fremont had set out to encounter the enemy with all the forces at his command. They fell back as he advanced, but whether to avoid an encounter or to concentrate their troops was a matter of doubt. Lexington was re-occupied by the National troops. Fremont, in the mean time, with the main part of his forces, proceeded from St. Louis toward Springfield. A body of about 2000 Confederate troops were posted here. A sudden charge was made upon these, on the 24th of October, by a portion of Fremont's bodyguard, numbering scarcely 150 men, commanded by Major Zagonyi. The enemy were routed with considerable loss, and driven from the place. Fremont's Guard lost 15 killed, 27 wounded, and 10 missing. Four days later General Fremont entered Springfield. The Confederate Generals, Price and M'Culloch, having effected a junction, were reported to be advancing upon Springfield, with the purpose of offering battle to the National forces. At this moment, on the 2d of November, orders came from Washington removing General Fremont from the command, which was to be assumed by General Hunter. General Fremont resigned his position in a brief "order," urging the troops to give to his successor the same cordial support which they had given him, and regretting that he was not to have the honor of leading them to victory.

Winfield Scott has resigned his post as the head of the army. In his letter of resignation, dated October 31, he says: "For more than three years I have been unable, from a hurt, to mount a horse or to walk more than a few paces at a time, and that with much pain. Other and new infirmities — dropsy and vertigo — admonish me that repose of body and mind, with the appliances of surgery and medicine, are necessary to add a little more to a life already protracted much beyond the usual span of man. It is, under such circumstances, made doubly painful by the unnatural and unjust rebellion now raging in the Southern States of our so lately prosperous and happy Union, that I am compelled to request that my name shall be placed on the list of army officers retired from active service." The entire Cabinet waited upon General Scott on the following day, and the President read to him an order stating that "upon his own application to the President of the United States, Brevet Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott is ordered to be placed, and hereby is placed, upon the list of retired officers of the army of the United States, without reduction in his current pay, subsistence, or allowance." The order contained an appropriate recognition of the services and patriotism of the retiring veteran. General M'Clellan was by unanimous vote of the Cabinet notified that the command of the army would be devolved on him. General Scott left Washington on the 5th for New York, with the purpose of embarking for Europe, hoping for benefit to his health from change of scene and climate.

On the 14th of October Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, issued a circular to the Governors of the States situated on the sea-board and the lakes, stating that the agents of the Confederate States were endeavoring to embroil this country in hostilities with foreign nations; that though these efforts had been unsuccessful, and that there was less prospect of disturbance now than at any time since the commencement of the insurrection, still it was proper to take every precaution to avoid a foreign war. The complete fortification of our sea and lake ports was one of the most obvious precautions. Congress had not at the late extra session sufficiently provided for these defenses; and the Secretary suggests that the several States make appropriations for the fortifications within their limits, with the expectation that the sums would be repaid by the General Government. — Lord Lyons, the British Minister, addressed a note to our Government, in relation to two British subjects who, under the suspension of the habeas corpus law, had been imprisoned at Fort Lafayette. He took the ground that under the Constitution of the United States such imprisonment could only be made by authority of Congress, and by order of his Government remonstrates against these "irregular proceedings." — Mr. Seward replied, detailing the facts in the case; and stating that the proceedings of which the British Government complain with regard to these gentlemen, were taken upon information conveyed to the President by the legal police authorities of the country, and they were not instituted until after he had suspended the habeas corpus writ, in just the same extent that, in view of the perils of the State, he deemed necessary. For the exercise of that discretion he, as well as his chief advisers, is responsible by law before the highest judicial tribunal of the Republic, and amenable also to the judgment of his countrymen and the enlightened portion of the civilized world. Mr. Seward further reminds Lord Lyons that, although the United States Government does not question the learning of the legal advisers of the British Crown, or the justice of the deference which her Majesty pays to them, nevertheless, the British Government will hardly expect that the President will accept their explanations of the Constitution of the United States. He adds that at the time when the arrests were, made it was not known that the prisoners were British subjects; but infers that a knowledge of this fact would have made no difference, for "the safety of the whole people has become, in the present emergency, the supreme law, and so long as the danger shall exist to all classes of society equally, the denizen and the citizen must cheerfully acquiesce in the measures which that law prescribes."

Messrs Mason and Slidell, appointed Commissioners from the Confederate States to England and France, have set out to their respective posts. They embarked at Charleston on the steamer Theodora, which succeeded in avoiding the blockading vessels, and reached Cardenas, in Cuba, whence they sailed for Europe. The Theodora is said to have returned to Savannah with a valuable cargo. — The Confederate States have now an almost continuous line of batteries upon the Virginia shore of the Potomac from Matthias Point to Freestone Point, a distance of twenty miles. These batteries command the river so completely that navigation is almost wholly closed, and the supplies for the army have to be transportedby railway. — General Beauregard's


official account of the battle of Bull Run has at length been issued. He states that his entire force was 28,000, of which only one-fourth were actually engaged. His loss was 399 killed and 1200 wounded. The Federal loss, he says, was 4500 killed, wounded, and prisoners.

The officers and crew of the privateer Savannah were brought to trial in New York on the 23d of October on charge of piracy. The facts in the case were undisputed. The Judge instructed the jury that by the general law of nations a pirate was one who roved the sea in an armed vessel without a commission from any sovereign state, on his own authority, and for the purpose of seizing by force and appropriating to himself, without discrimination, whatever vessel he might meet. Such pirates, being declared enemies of the human race, the vessels of every nation have a right to pursue, seize, and punish them. But the evidence in this case showed that the design of the prisoners was to depredate upon the vessels of only one nation — the United States — an offense which fell short of piracy under the general law of nations. But there were special laws of the United States establishing and defining piracy. The particular law applying to this case was the third section of the Act of 1820, which says, "If any person shall upon the high seas commit the crime of robbery in or upon any ship or vessel, or upon the ship's company of any ship or vessel, or the lading thereof, such person shall be adjudged to be a pirate, and upon conviction shall suffer death." By this Act robbery upon the high seas, committed upon an American vessel, is made piracy. The commission issued by Mr. Davis could not be admitted as a defense; for the Courts of the United States could not recognize the Southern Confederacy until the Government had done so. The question for the jury to decide was, whether the act of the prisoners was one which, if committed upon land, would have been robbery. This is defined to be the felonious and forcible taking from the person of another any goods or money by violence or putting in fear. The felonious intent, which is an essential element, of the crime of robbery, consists in the design of taking the property of another for the sake of gain. If this was wanting in this case the offense, whatever it might be, was not that of piracy under the statute — the crime for which the prisoners were indicted. The trial lasted eight days; the jury, after deliberating twenty-four hours, being unable to agree upon a verdict, were discharged, and a new trial was ordered. — While this trial was in progress in New York, one of the crew of the late privateer Jeff Davis, "who had been taken on board of a recaptured vessel, was tried in Philadelphia on charge of piracy, and was found guilty.

Mr. Breckinridge, late Vice-President of the United States, and subsequently Senator from Kentucky, has at length gone over to the Confederates. From their post at Bowling Green, under date of October 8, he issued an Address to the People of Kentucky, explaining and defending his course. The United States, he says, no longer exists; the Union is dissolved; Kentucky exists as an independent Commonwealth, with the right to choose her own destiny. She may join the North; she may join the South; or she may remain neutral. A large majority of the people, according to Mr. Breckinridge, in the August election voted for neutrality, and this was the acknowledged attitude of the State. The Federal Government has violated this neutrality by establishing camps, recruiting soldiers, and taking military possession of great parts of the State. A majority of the Legislature have sustained the usurpations of the Federal Government, by passing bills of pains and penalties, depriving the Governor of his authority, and inviting a Federal military force to take possession of the State. The people, though taken by surprise, have risen to repel their Northern invaders. When this is accomplished, and the people of Kentucky by a fair election shall determine their destiny, it will be the clear duty of every citizen to acquiesce or to retire from the State. For himself, Mr. Breckinridge intends to resist the Federal authority he will avoid conflict with Kentuckians except in self-defense; but will unite with his fellow-citizens to resist the invaders; and for this purpose "exchanges, with proud satisfaction, a term of six years in the Senate of the United States for the musket of a soldier."

In Great Britain the impending scarcity of cotton forms the leading topic of discussion. The fact that one-sixth of the population are directly or indirectly supported by this manufacture, and that a want of the raw material will deprive them of employment, and consequently of bread, is earnestly brought forward. The Government is urged from many quarters to break the blockade. What its present views are may be gathered from a correspondence between Earl Russell, the Foreign Minister, and Mr. Hayman, a Liverpool merchant. On the 29th of August, Mr. Hayman wrote to the Foreign Office that, in conjunction with other merchants, he contemplated fitting out a number of ships for the purpose of trading with New Orleans and other ports of the United States. He thought, as amicable relations were undisturbed between Great Britain and the United States, British ships had a right to enter and leave the ports of the latter. He asked, however, that the British cruisers in the West Indies should be ordered to protect the vessels of this proposed expedition; or if that were inexpedient, he said that they would be amply prepared to defend themselves, and asked to be authorized to do so. The Foreign Minister replied, on the 19th of September, that "Her Majesty's Government will not afford the slightest protection or countenance to the projected enterprise," and warned Mr. Hayman of the serious consequences which the measures contemplated would entail on all concerned therein, "If any neutral ship knowingly attempts to break an effective blockade, she is liable to capture and condemnation. If such ship defends herself by force against a national vessel enforcing such blockade, such defense is a breach of the law" of nations, and will expose the ship and cargo to condemnation as a prize, and those persons who commit the act to personal responsibility and severe treatment, according to the law of war." The law of trading with belligerents is thus laid down by the Minister: "I am to state that the general rule as to trading by neutrals in time of war with belligerents is that they may freely trade; but that they are bound to respect every effective blockade, and that if they carry contraband of war to either belligerents, they do so at the risk of capture and condemnation by the other, if discovered." — Some weeks after Mr. Hayman again addressed the Government, arguing in favor of his views and hoping for a more favorable answer. To this letter no reply was given, beyond a formal acknowledgment of its reception.