A Better Look.
The news from the Rappahannock received yesterday morning and afternoon, so far as it became known, had a painfully depressing effect upon the public mind. Our dispatches received last night, however, put a very different aspect upon the case, and will go far to remove the general depression of yesterday. There is strong ground for the suspicion now that the news of yesterday was put forth for speculative purposes, or that the newspaper correspondents were the victims of a panic which was not at all shared by Hooker and his brave army.
The return to the north side of the Rappahannock seems now to have been a precautionary measure, demanded by the rise in the river and the danger of supplies of food and ammunition for so large an army being cut off — a result which might prove fatal to the whole army. It would seem that this retrograde movement is due simply to the unforeseen event against which no prudence or foresight could provide. In executing this movement our forces were not pressed by the enemy, no fighting having occurred since Monday.
The report concerning Gen. Stoneman's expedition, indicate that it was a splendid success, accomplishing all that was expected of it, and resulting in completely breaking up the rebel line of communication with Richmond. The Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroads are reported to have been seriously injured by the destruction of bridges, and the havoc among the telegraph lines has been widespread. It is also asserted that one of the detachments of cavalry penetrated to a point within five miles of the rebel capital, showing the daring and successful character of the raid.
The country will be gratified to learn that Gen. Hooker still holds in reserve forty thousand fresh troops who have not been engaged at all, which has no doubt already been augmented by thirty thousand more from Washington. — With these, constituting in themselves a splendid army, he will probably be in a condition to take the field again as soon as the state of the river and the weather will permit. Another most gratifying feature of the news is the fact that Gen. Howard's (formerly Sigel's) corps, which misbehaved badly on Saturday, have splendidly retrieved their reputation.
While these things have been taking place on the Rappahannock, our forces elsewhere have not been idle. The Richmond papers report Gen. Peck pressing after the fleeing rebels from Suffolk, while Gen. Keys is advancing up the Peninsula. Our dispatches also furnish us the glorious intelligence of the capture by General Grant of Grand Gulf, the key to the mouth of Black river, together with five hundred prisoners and all the guns and ammunition. This throws that river open to our forces, and the anticipated advance to the rear of Vicksburg will doubtless commence at once.