Incidents of the Rappahannock.
Quietness still reigns on the Rappahannock
, and there seems an absence of certain infallible indications which foreshadow a general movement.
The weather is fine, with just enough airiness to render camp-life at this season of the year agreeable.
's rumored movement up the river is still the subject of much speculation, and there are good reasons for believing that he has transferred a part of his force to the vicinity of Banks's Ford.
The river-pickets report that trains of artillery and wagons are heard nightly wending their way up the river, and the balloonist, stationed at present near the Wrotton House
, one mile below Banks's Ford, discovers a large rebel encampment opposite that point.
He also reports a large force still confronting our left wing, and opposite “Washington's Farm.”
This camp is, perhaps, three or four miles from the river, and is discernible only from the balloon.
But four or five small rebel camps are visible below and above Fredericks-burgh from our side of the river.
The secretiveness of the rebels is quite remarkable.
Not a single rebellious ensign can be seen up or down the river; buy why, is a matter of conjecture.
Possible, the price of bunting in Dixie is incompatible with the rebels' idea of economy.
Yesterday morning a party of rebels approached the river opposite Falmouth
with a seine, and immediately commenced preparations for a little piscatorial recreation.
The officer of our picket, acting in compliance with orders, called out his guard, and ordering the men to prime their pieces, hailed the would-be fishermen after the following manner:
Hello, over there!
What are you going to do?
,” was the brief response from one of the party.
“Don't you know that General Hooker
has forbidden fishing in the river?”
inquired the officer.
“Yes, but we thought you'd have no objection as long as we kept on our side.”
“But we do object,” replied the officer, “and if you put that seine in the river I'll order my guard to fire on you.”
A short consultation among the rebel party ensued, and in a few moments they withdrew, taking their seine with them.
Communication between the pickets is no longer allowed, but occasionally a brief conversation is indulged in. A picket informed your correspondent, yesterday, that, when last on picket, a rebel on the other side held up a paper as if to say: “Don't you wish you may get it!”
The Union picket beckoned him to come over, and finally the rebel waded to the middle of the river, but would come no further.
Finding that he could not induce the blue-jacket to meet him half-way, he returned to the other side.
On inquiring of the picket what course he would have pursued had the rebel ventured over, he replied: “I should have taken him prisoner.”
The vaunted discipline of the rebels is scouted by our men who can observe the movements of their pickets.
The sentries are relieved with any thing but military precision, and the relief goes shambling along like “the whining schoolboy unwillingly to school.”
With coats off, and with an air of lazy indisposition, they lounge, with their muskets behind them, along the other shore, gazing listlessly on our soldier-like pickets pacing with regular and stead step their respective “beats.”
Two deserters forded the river this morning below Banks's Ford, and were received by the pickets of the Third corps.
They told the usual story of destitution and suffering on the other side.