This morning about five o'clock, a courier dashed into Fredericksburgh, Va., with the startling, exciting intelligence that the Yan kees were crossing the Rappahannock in that vicinity. Immediately the Episcopal church bell, the ring of which had been previously agreed upon as a signal, sounded the alarm, and the streets presented a busy spectacle of military preparation, and women and children leaving the scene of danger.--Richmond Examiner, May 1.
Fairmount, Va., was this day captured by a strong rebel force under General William E. Jones, after a desperate resistance and contest by the garrison of the place, under the command of Captain Chamberlain, of the One Hundred and Sixth New York volunteers. The Union party had only one of their number killed and four wounded, while the rebels had nearly one hundred killed and wounded.--(Doc. 178.)
General Stahel, with about two thousand cavalry and a light battery, left Fairfax Court-House on Monday morning last, to make a reconnoissance in force toward Warrenton and the Blue Ridge, taking the Aldie Pike. The column moved on to Aldie without meeting any force of the enemy. Several captures of Mosby's bush-whackers were made, some on foot, who were  hoping to pick off a scout or two for the sake of the horses. At Aldie the advance-guard run a small party of Mosby's men out of the town, capturing three. From Aldie to Middleburgh light skirmishing was continued on all sides with guerrillas. At Middleburgh, Mosby, who preceded the command up the road with about fifteen men, succeeded in getting from fifty to sixty together. A charge through the town by the advance-guard routed them, however, and drove them to the woods beyond, from which they were dislodged and scattered by a half-dozen shells from Captain Daniels's battery. Camping at Middleburgh on Monday night, scouting-parties were sent out toward Snicker's and Ashby's Gaps, but found nothing but scattered bodies of guerrillas. Yesterday the march was resumed to Salem. Skirmishing with other parties of guerrillas took place along the route, and at Salem, Mosby, with one hundred and fifty men, was driven from the place. From Salem the column moved on to White Plains, which place was reached about dark. Here a rebel lieutenant in Stuart's command was round, who was wounded. From White Plains the force made a night-march back to Middleburgh. Halting a few hours, they moved on to Aldie, which place they reached about four o'clock. After resting a few hours at Aldie, the line of march was taken, and the troops reached camp about five o'clock this morning. This reconnoissance demonstrated that there was no regular force of the rebels in the valley between the Bull Run mountains and the Blue Ridge.
Grand Gulf, Miss., was this day attacked by a fleet of seven U. S. gunboats under the command of Admiral Porter. After a bombardment of five hours duration, the rebel batteries were silenced, but not without considerably damaging the hulls of the fleet, and killing twenty and wounding a large number of their crews.--(Doc. 179.)