Military Affairs in Virginia.

The Washington correspondent of the St. Louis Republican, writes on the 18th:

The public hear no more of reinforcements to Gen. McClellan for the very good reason they are not being sent. Whether the government has no more troops to send to the peninsula, or whether a plan of new operations has been decided on which does not require a further increase of Gen. McClellan's force, are questions not easily answered. One thing may be put down as certain — that while the army of the peninsula is strong enough for defensive purposes, it is in no condition to resume the offensive. It was generally understood when President Lincoln returned from his recent visit to Gen. McClellan, that the entire resources of the government were to be directed to reinforcing that general, and placing him in a position to assume the aggressive, and take Richmond; but this delay shows there is either a lack of resources, or that the capture of Richmond by operations on James river, has been abandoned for the time being at least. Those who are acquainted with the strength of the army around Washington, and that in Pope's department, see no good reason why fifty thousand men are not sent to McClellan immediately, if it is intended he shall operate from his present base. There are hints that the head of the war department is disturbed by bug-a-boo stories of the confederates missing large bodies of troops at Gordonville and Staunton. If Secretary Stanton has not yet recovered from the fright into which Stonewall Jackson threw him two months ago, it is no wonder he keeps seventy thousand men watching for his reappearance in the valley, while McClellan is compelled to be idle for the wait of a part of them. There are men here whose position should enable them to judge correctly of the true situation, who say they would not be surprised if Gen. McClellan evacuated the position he now holds, and retired from the peninsula altogether. Such a movement would startle the country, but it would, no doubt, be made for the best reasons.


It will always be a question whether Gen. McClellan's efforts on the peninsula were rightly sustained by the war department, for, were Secretary Stanton to clear up the charges of mismanagement, his defense would not eradicate the deep-seated popular feeling against him. In connection with this subject, it should be known that official data, from Gen. McClellan's entire force on the peninsula numbered one hundred and fifty thousand men; but it should also be remembered he had this strength at no one time, his reinforcements being far between, so much so that it cannot with any truth be said he had at any time an effective force equal to the aggregate above mentioned. His enemies designedly omit this view of the subject when they undertake to prove he had a large army, and Senator Chandler, who appears to be the most vindictive of the lot, descended to direct falsification when he included two brigades of Shields' division in his army — making it 158,000, knowing, as he certainly did, that these troops arrived after the fighting before Richmond.

Notwithstanding all reports to the contrary, it is certain the war department up to yesterday had no information that the confederates were in any force north of Rappahannock, either at Gordonsville or Staunton. They keep up active guerrilla operations all along Gen. Pope's lines from Winchester to the Rappahannock, but there is no evidence to show they have an organized force anywhere in that region. Yet, there are many who persist in believing that the enemy will shortly commence aggressive operations in this quarter on a large scale, this impression being sustained by rumors of large forces coming north from Richmond, under Generals Jackson and Magruder.

In the meantime, Gen. Pope is quietly massing his army at Warrenton, showing that if we are to have active operations north of Richmond, it will be a question which side will commence first.