September 25.—At Trenton, New Jersey, the Grand Jury came into the United States Court, and made a lengthy presentment “that complaints have been made before this Grand Inquest concerning certain newspapers published in this State, and copies of the following papers issued during the last few months have been submitted, and carefully examined, namely: The Newark Evening Journal, The Warren Journal, The Hunterdon Democrat, The New Brunswick Times, and The Plainfield Gazette; that during the most critical period, while the capital of the nation has been besieged by armed insurgents, while eleven States in actual rebellion have been striving, by invasion and treachery, to plunge other States still remaining loyal into open opposition to the National Government, these newspapers have been, up to a very recent period, persistently denouncing and libelling these to whom the great duty of National defence is necessarily intrusted; in thwarting their efforts for self-preservation, and fomenting rebellion by discouraging and opposing the only means by which it can be put down. While they cherish a due regard for freedom of speech they feel it their duty to repudiate and denounce the conduct of these journals; that while the Press may freely criticize public men and measures in the peaceful contests of party, yet in a war for the life of a nation, the Press, as well as individuals, should uphold the existing Government or be treated as its enemies. They consider their duty fully discharged in reference to these newspapers by this presentment, leaving them to the wholesome action of public opinion. They recommend all loyal citizens, all public officers, all municipal corporations, vigorously to withhold all patronage from such newspapers as do not hereafter give their unqualified support to the National Government.”
—Smithland, Kentucky, was occupied by the National troops to-day.—Stocking-knitting associations were organized by the ladies of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania,
—This day General William F. Smith, with a force of several thousand men from the camps in the vicinity of the Chain Bridge, on the Potomac, proceeded to Lewinsville, Va., for the purpose of reconnoitring and obtaining forage. Upon arriving at that place his troops were permitted to rest from about half-past nine o’clock A. M., till three o’clock P. M., when there came in sight a large force of Confederate troops, consisting of four or five regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and six pieces of artillery. They came from Fall’s Church, and in a few minutes opened a fire of shot and shell upon the National troops, without, however, doing any other harm than slightly wounding one man. Their fire was returned by the batteries of Captains Griffin and Mott, who had thrown only Twenty-six shot and shell when the secessionists deemed it prudent to retire from the field. Their loss is not known. The object of the expedition having been accomplished, Gen. Smith, at about five o’clock, returned to his camp. He brought with him ninety-two loads of hay and corn, twenty sheep and twenty beef cattle— the sheep and cattle being the property of Quartermaster Means, of the Confederate service—and one prisoner, who mistook the National pickets for his own. He represents himself as an aid of Gen. Stuart. The Union troops of the expedition consisted of the New York Seventy-ninth, Third Vt., Nineteenth Indiana, and a portion of a Wisconsin regiment, with eighty regular cavalry, Griffin’s West Point battery, and a section, two guns, of Mott’s New York battery.
—This afternoon Lieut.-Col. Letcher, with a detachment of Col. Woodward’s regiment, captured James B. Clay, with sixteen of his men, while on his way to join Zollicoffer. They were taken to Camp Dick Robinson. John C. Breckinridge was with their party in Cincinnati, Ohio, but escaped.—National Intelligencer, Sept. 28.
—Lieutenant McCrea, with the steamers J. Bell and Seminole, made an attack on a rebel battery at Freestone Point, on the Potomac River.—(Doc. 59.)
—An action took place at Chapmanville, Va., between a force of National troops under Colonel D. A. Enyart of the First Kentucky Volunteers and a party of rebels. The latter were completely routed and lost sixty killed and seventy taken prisoners. The rebels in escaping were intercepted by Colonel Piatt of the German Ohio regiment, who surprised them and killed forty beside capturing a large number of prisoners.—(Doc. 59½.)
—A Skirmish occurred near Osceola, Mo., between a part of National troops of General Lane’s army, and a body of rebels, the former losing one killed and four slightly wounded, and the rebels having ten killed.—(Doc. 60.)