enemy, and forward to these headquarters all the information you may gather from her.
The names of these persons are omitted, lest they might suffer even at this late day for their loyalty.
— encountered no difficulty in crossing the river, and presented herself about ten o'clock in the forenoon.
The result of the interview with her will appear in the following reply to the foregoing letter, which was promptly forwarded to the general's headquarters:
I have the honor to report, for the information of Major General Reynolds, commanding the corps, that Mrs. —, named in your communication of this date, has called at these headquarters, and has given me the following information: “I live about four miles and a half from Martinsburg, on the road to Shepherdstown, in the lines of the rebel army.
The rebel infantry all left that neighborhood on Thursday night of this week.
I think the whole rebel army was there.
When they left they moved toward Winchester.
Stuart's cavalry have been left.
The number I do not know.
They have torn up the railroad and everything belonging to the road at Martinsburg, and down toward Kearneyville.
They took up the cross-ties and burnt them, putting the rails on the fire.
They are treating the Union citizens badly, and using and destroying their property.”
This is all of any importance that Mrs. — seemed to know in reference to the movements and conduct of the enemy.
The next day, the whole army was in motion for the designated points on the river, to cross in pursuit of the enemy.
It was reported, at or about the time, that for the reason that McClellan
was tardy in making this movement he was removed, a few days after crossing into Virginia
, from the command of the army, and was succeeded by General Burnside
This may or may not have been the reason.
It is only our purpose to speak of it as an interesting fact that made a deep impression at the time, and one that may be referred to, after a lapse of fourteen years, as an important and interesting crisis in the history of that army, that did the greatest amount of fighting, was the best disciplined, and the greatest army of the rebellion.
It is a well known fact that the removal of McClellan
caused an extraordinary sensation in the army.
There can be no gainsaying the fact that at this time he was the idol chieftain of the Army of the Potomac.
His taking leave, a final leave, of that great and noted army, a few days after, at Warrenton
, was an extraordinary spectacle, and one long to be remembered by those who witnessed it. In any army with less intelligence and less patriotism, demoralization and disintegration might have resulted.
This interesting occasion was an illustration of the oft-asserted fact that American bayonets think
, and that it is not man-worship, but patriotism; not the hero-chieftain, but the noble good cause, the flag of the country