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[322] There are rumors, which we shall not now repeat for the want of reliability.

While the enemy was in occupation of the town the citizens were left free to pass through the streets from place to place, though passes were required to get out of town. Many horses and cattle were taken, and the losses of our farmers are heavy, though during the whole of the latter part of last week large droves with wagons were passing through across the river. In several cases the horses were returned on identification and demand of the owners. Guards were placed at the hotels, stores, etc., and the town was kept comparatively quiet, the soldiers being under very strict discipline. Places of business were generally closed, though in many cases were on request opened and articles were purchased, the soldiers and officers paying for them in confederate money. So far as we are informed, their promise to respect the rights of persons and property was kept.

The time the enemy remained here in force was nearly two days, and long weary days they were, rendered more dark by the gloomy weather which prevailed. The apprehension, excitement, and humiliation at the presence of the enemy, together with the total suppression of business, cast an universal gloom over the place, which we pray we may be spared from ever beholding again. But the people submitted with becoming resignation to imperious necessity. What shall yet be our fate or the fate of our beloved country must be developed by the future. God grant us a happy deliverance

The rebel force in and around the borough of York, consisted of Early's division, made up of Gordon's, Hoke's, Hayes's, and Smith's ( “Extra Billy,” recently elected Governor of Virginia) brigades, and numbered about ten in cavalry, artillery, and infantry. Their cannon were part of those captured from Milroy at Winchester, and consisted of heavy brass pieces and five-inch Parrott rifled guns. Some of these were planted on the hills commanding the borough early on Sunday morning.

The amount of money received by the rebels in York, on their requisition or demand for one hundred thousand dollars, was about twenty-eight thousand dollars. The compliance, in part, of their demand, beyond all doubt saved the burning of all the shops and buildings of the railway company and machine-shops where government work is done, the burning of which would have involved the destruction of an immense amount of private property in the immediate neighborhood of these shops.

Fight at Wrightsville.

Columbia, Pa., June 29, 5 A. M.
The conflict near Wrightsville, Pa., commenced about half-past 6 o'clock on Sunday evening last. Colonel Frick, with a regiment composed of men from the interior counties of Pennsylvania, principally those of Schuylkill, Lehigh, Berks, and Northampton, with three companies of Colonel Thomas's (Twentieth) regiment, the City Troop of Philadelphia, Captain Bell's independent company of cavalry from Gettysburgh, and several hundred men unattached to any particular command, aided by about two companies of volunteer negroes, held the enemy, supposed to consist of eight thousand men, at bay for at least forty-five minutes, retreating in good order and burning the bridge over the Susquehanna to prevent the crossing of the rebel cavalry.

The intrenchments of Colonel Frick were thrown up across the centre of the valley leading from Wrightsville, opposite Columbia, to York. They were simply trenches constructed by negroes, and commanded the turnpike approach to the Susquehanna. Had they been supported on each adjacent hill by other works, the position would have been tenable, but Colonel Frick had not a sufficient number of men to protect himself from a flank movement. The rebels came not only in his front, but sent flanking parties along roads leading to the river, which skirted his position on either side. After the contest commenced, it soon became apparent that a retreat was necessary.

The rebel batteries throwing shell into the intrenchments were stationed at various points. That the range of their guns was great, was evident from the fact that some of the shell passed over our troops, and either fell into the river beyond Wrightsville or into the town itself, doing an execution among the peaceable inhabitants, the extent of which is as yet unknown. As we stated yesterday, nearly all of the women and children had remained at Wrightsville.

In order to insure the safety of the command, should a retreat become necessary, a train of coal-cars was drawn across the entrance to the bridge, on the Wrightsville side of the River. leaving between them only an opening sufficient for the passage of our men. These cars protected the retreat during the time that a party of workmen, with torpedoes and axes, were preparing the structure for demolishment. After our men had all retired, closely followed by the rebel cavalry, the torch was applied to the fourth span from Wrightsville, and before the flames could be checked by the enemy they had enveloped the entire span and were making rapid headway toward the two ends, which they reached. The remains of the bridge, on Monday morning, consisted only of the piers, which stretched themselves across the river — more than a mile wide — like giant's stepping-stones.

It was almost eight o'clock in the evening of Sunday when the fire first gained headway, and the scene was magnificent. Some of the arches remained stationary even when the timbers, were all in flames, seeming like a fiery skeleton bridge whose reflection was pictured in the water beneath. The moon was bright, and the blue clouds afforded the best contrast possible to the red glare of the conflagration. The light in the heavens must have been seen for many miles. Some of the timbers as they fell into the stream seemed to form themselves into rafts, which floated down like infernal ferry-boats of the region pictured by Dante.

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