Mr. Seward to Mr. Taylor.

No. 15.]

Sir: Your despatch of December 31 has been submitted to the President, and is approved. He is entirely satisfied with the skill, discretion, and assiduity with which you have conducted the affairs of the legation since they fell into your hands.

We are on the eve of important movements, which as yet are but imperfectly understood by the public. A part of the force which so brilliantly carried the Post of Arkansas is understood to have ascended the White river. The remainder, considerably augmented, is supposed to have already returned to the siege of Vicksburg.

A long and very severe storm has suspended projected movements of the army of the Potomac, at Fredericksburg, and delayed for a few days the expedition against Charleston. We learn to-day that the two iron-clad vessels which encountered the storm on their way to the scene of war, not only are safe, but have proved their adaptation to the trials of the seas.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Bayard Taylor, Esq., &c., &c., &c.