The War News.
The storm of battle which raged so furiously last week in the immediate vicinity of Richmond has been succeeded by a comparative calm, and matters are now almost as quiet as when the contending armies were seventy miles away. Grant has evidently become tired of "butting" against the rebel fortifications, and what he failed to effect by brute force he now essays to accomplish by strategy. Consequently we find him stealthily moving away from our front, and sliding down the south side of the Chickahominy, endeavoring, if possible, to reach the James, with a view of cooperating with Butler, who is still pent up between that river and the Appomattox. The uncommon stillness that prevailed along the lines yesterday has given rise to the belief that the Yankees were engaged in burying their dead, a privilege which they asked of General Lee under a flag of truce.
Notwithstanding the generally received opinion to the contrary, it may be that Grant will again offer battle on the memorable scene of Cold Harbor. He measured strength with the Confederates there last week, and failed, it is true; but as it amounted to only a check, with a heavy loss of his numbers, he had the hardihood to telegraph the Yankee Secretary of War of continued successes, with the object of securing the renomination of Lincoln at the Baltimore Convention, held yesterday. He doubtless feared to risk another fight until that purpose was consummated, for a decisive victory for the Confederates would have destroyed Lincoln's prospects completely.--The Convention over, and the renomination effected, it is not impossible that active hostilities may be immediately resumed.
Skirmishing continues at intervals on the lines. Some of our boys say that one of these skirmishes would have been called a "battle" twelve months ago.
From Bottom's Bridge.
Some firing is reported to have occurred at Bottom's Bridge yesterday, but without any important result. The situation at the that point remains unchanged. There is probably no truth in the rumor of the capture of a portion of Henley's battalion.
From the Southside.
There is no news of a renewal of active operations in Chesterfield county. On Tuesday a brisk little skirmish occurred on the south side of the Appomattox, between a portion of our forces and a party of mottled Yankee cavalry, (white and black,) who attempted to drive in our pickets, but were themselves repulsed, with the loss of a few wounded, which they succeeded in carrying all. No injury was done to our men. The Yankee force numbered about 150. On the same day a party of Yankees advanced from Temple's up as far as Green's farm, and after committing some depredations upon private property retired.
The enemy are erecting a "look out" below Fort Clifton, having already elevated it some distance above the tops of the trees.--The object is to command a clear view of the surrounding country.
From the Valley.
All sorts of rumors prevailed yesterday with regard to the situation of affairs at Staunton. It was stated that a dispatch had been received asserting that the enemy had burnt all the Government storehouses, depots, and public buildings in the place; but we could trace this report to no reliable source.
On the other hand, it was confidently stated that the Yankees had not yet occupied Staunton. We have every reason to believe that this is an error.
We heard last night, in a perfectly reliable quarter, that the enemy had left Staunton and gone in the direction of Lexington. In this connection it may be stated that a letter from a lady in Lexington, dated the 3d inst., mentions a report that Averell, at the head of a large cavalry force, was within three miles of the place. There was probably no foundation for this statement, though Crook, who was reported advancing by the Warm Springs road, was at Millboro', in Bath county, on Monday last.
Lexington is in Rockbridge county, 146 miles West of Richmond, on an elevated bank of the West side of North river, and is the seat of Washington College and the Virginia Military Institute.
--We have received from Messrs West & Johnston a copy of their latest publication, "Mistress and Maid," by Miss. Muloch, author of "John Halifax Gentleman, " &c. It is an excellent novel, and will be widely read. It is one of a set of standard novels that this firm is getting up in the handsomest style.
The Southern Literary Messenger, for June, has been received. Its contents are varied and very readable.
"The First Reader," is the title of what its name implies â€” a primary school book for children. It is edited by a "distinguished Southern teacher," and is clearly printed in large type by. A. Morris, publisher.
Confederate States Congress.
Senate.--The Senate met at 12 o'clock M yesterday. Prayer by the Rev. Dr. Read, of the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Walson, of Miss., introduced a bill to amend the act to establish Military Courts. Referred.
Mr. Graham, of N. C., presented resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, protesting against certain laws of Congress, suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, so much of the conscript act as puts into the service persons between 17 and 18 and 45 and 50 years of age, and the importation laws. Read, laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.
Senate joint resolution, to exempt the editors and employees of magazines and periodicals, sent back with objections, was taken up, and the Senate refused to pass it by a vote of ayes 11, noes 10.
Senate bill to authorize the appointment of additional artillery officers for ordnance duties, sent back with objections by the President, was considered and lost.
House bill, making appropriations for the support of the Government from July 1st to December 31st, 1864, was considered and passed.
Mr. Sparrow, from the committee of conference on House bill to regulate the pay of detailed soldiers, marines, &c, made a report, which was concurred in.
House amendment to Senate bill to authorize holders of eight per cent registered convertible ten year bonds to exchange them for coupon bonds, was concurred in.
Mr. Sparrow, from the Military Committee, reported the following, which, after discussion, was adopted.
Resolved, That the reports of officers of military operations which have been communicated to the Senate by the President at the present session, be placed on the files of the Senate, and that the Secretary be directed not to furnish copies of said reports to any one without the leave of the Senate.
House joint resolution of thanks to Lieut. General Richard Taylor, and the officers and men under his command, was considered and passed.
The Senate then resumed consideration of House bill to amend the tax laws.
The bill was considered until the hour of recess.
House of Representatives.--The House met at 10 o'clock A. M.
Mr. Hartridge, of Ga., asked and obtained leave of absence for his colleagues, Messrs. Anderson and Echols, on account of sickness of their relatives.
Mr. Goode, of Va., asked and obtained leave of absence for his colleague, Mr. Whitfield, whose home is threatened by the enemy.
On motion of Mr. A. H. Garland, the correspondence between the Secretaries of War and the Treasury was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, with instructions to report some measure to remedy the evils named in said correspondence.
Mr. Montague, of Va., offered a resolution, which was agreed to, inquiring into the expediency of increasing the pay of clerks in the civil and military departments.
Mr. McMullen, of Va., offered a resolution, requesting the Committee on the subject of the distribution of the mail to make an arrangement with the Post Office Department to have the mail from this House received on the train from the Doorkeeper, and distributed and forwarded promptly, and instructing the Doorkeeper to deliver the same to the mail agent on the train.
Mr. McMullen moved to rescind the resolution providing for a recess daily at 3 o'clock, which, on motion of Mr. Read, of Ky, was laid on the table.
Mr. Russell, of Va., offered a resolution, which was agreed to, instructing the Committee on Ways and Means to inquire into the expediency of authorizing the States to exchange their Confederate Treasury notes of the old issue for notes of the new issue, in whole or in part at par.
Mr. Chilton, of Ala., introduced a bill to facilitate the settlement of claims of deceased officers and soldiers. Referred to the special committee on that subject.
Mr. Foster, of Ala, introduced a joint resolution to allow sick and wounded officers of the army, on leave, upon the certificate of a Board of Surgeons, transportation to their homes and back to their commands, as in the case of enlisted men on furlough; the privilege granted in the resolution to extend for a period of ninety days.
The resolution was amended by adding at the end "after the next meeting of Congress, " and so as to allow sick and wounded officers in the military and naval service to receive medical treatment, and to draw rations free of charge; and as amended passed.
Mr. Foster introduced a bill to amend the act to reduce the currency and to authorize a new issue of Treasury notes and bonds.--Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Mr. Clopton, of Ala., offered a resolution, which was agreed to, instructing inquiry into the expediency of increasing the pay of chiefs of the different bureaus.
Mr. Bridges, of N. C., from the Committee of Conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the bill to provide for the compensation of non-commissioned officers, soldiers, sailors and marines on detailed service, made a report, which was adopted. It includes, in addition to the original bill, sailors and marines; allows two dollars a day, rations and compensation, for extra work.
Mr. Pugh, of Ala., offered a resolution adding fifty per cent, for one year to the compensation of the assistant clerks of the House, to be paid out of the contingent fund. Agreed to.
Mr. Lyon, of Ala., introduced a bill in relation to the pay of clerks in public depositories. Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Mr. Chilton, of Ala., offered a resolution, which was agreed to, instructing inquiry as to whether the salary of the Assistant Attorney General shall not be increased.
The morning hour having expired, the House resumed the consideration of the Senate bill to provide supplies for the army and to prescribe the mode of making impressments.
Pending the consideration of the subject, the House took a recess until 8 o'clock P. M.
Georgia Treasury notes.
--This is the title bestowed upon the militia and civil officers called out by Gov. Brown, now in camp Georgia, near this city. The reason given for the title is, that as the Georgia reserves, under Maj. Gen. Cobb and Brig. Gens. Gartrell and Jackson, were called the "New Issue." and they are under the immediate command of Gov. Brown and Gen. Wayne, they ought to be styled the Georgia Treasury Notes, as it is well known that Georgia Treasury notes are above par. We visited Camp Georgia yesterday evening, and found over 2,000 of the finest looking men we have ever seen. Among them are several Captains of the 48th Georgia. Colonel R. J. Wilson, of the Richmond county militia, went out as Captain of the Georgia Tigers, and lost his left arm in Virginia. He is now at Camp Georgia, prepared, with his right, to avenge the loss of his left arm. We saw many who have "done the country some service." on the tented field, and who are minus a leg or arm, and, unfit for active service, had returned home. Gray-haired sires are there, too, to dispute with the for the possession of the Gate City. Gov. Brown may well feel proud of his "pets," as they are derisively called by some. If brought into service they will cover themselves with immortal honors.--Appeal.