By Richmond papers of the 22d, under date-
BRISTON, December 21.
Officers from the front state that our Confederate forces are moving forward in the direction of Knoxville. Three hundred prisoners captured in the engagement at Bean's Station. Reports from below state that Imboden and Echols have surrounded the Salem raider, Averell, and that the entire party will probably be captured. The enemy have burned their wagons and destroyed their artillery to prevent their falling into our hands.
CHALRESTON, December 21.
Little change in the position of affairs. No important of the fleet. A calcium light has been displayed for two nights past, reflecting on the city. No other news of importance.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
WAR DEPARTMENT, December 23, 1863-9.40 a.m.
Major-General BUTLER, Fort Monroe:
Your extracts from Richmond papers received. Averell has got safely back with loss of 6 men drowned, 4 wounded, and 90 missing. He reports having reached Salem; burned three depots with a large amount of stores; destroyed 15 miles of railroad and 5 bridges. The enemy made vigorous and extensive combinations to surround him, but he got through with the loss stated, having burned some ambulances, a few, and two caissons.
The Adjutant-General informs me that the order assigning Point Lookout and Accomac and Northampton Counties to your command has not been acknowledged.
You will please report if received.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES, Near Portsmouth, Va., December 23, 1863.
Major-General BUTLER, Fort Monroe, Va.:
Lieutenant-Colonel Stetzle, commanding outpost at Suffolk, reports this morning that there were sixteen companies of rebel cavalry in Suffolk last night from 9 till 11 o'clock, at which time they retired. They came from Elizabeth City to Suffolk, and have gone back to the Blackwater.
GEO. W. GETTY,
NORFOLK, December 23, 1863.
General Wild has just arrived here. His command will be in this evening by 11 o'clock. He has lost 4 men killed, 1 mortally wounded, and 2 taken prisoners; about 12 men wounded. I will send