Intelligence was received here to-day of an important arrest at Falmouth
, the headquarters of the army of the Potomac.
No doubt has existed for a long time that the rebels have had some secret means of knowing every thing that transpired within our lines, and that such information was instantaneously conveyed.
The orders for recent movements had not reached the circumference of the military circle formed by our army before the pickets on the opposite bank were calling out, in mocking tones: “How are you
An't those eight days rations mouldy yet?”
These facts have caused the deepest anxiety at headquarters, as, until now, the means adopted by the rebels have baffled the vigilance and labor expended to detect them.
, the Provost-Marshal
of the army of the Potomac, was, however, determined that the secret should be brought to light.
The guards stationed along the river-bank, and in situations favorable for signals, have been constantly enjoined to use the utmost care and watchfulness to discover and expose the iniquitous system.
Yesterday their efforts were crowned with success.
One of the guards in the town of Falmouth
, stationed outside a dwelling adjoining the brick church on the river-bank, heard a clicking like that of a telegraph instrument.
He advised his superior officers, and was directed to enter the house and investigate.
This was done, and on opening a door he discovered a party of four or five persons, one of whom was seated by a telegraph instrument, sending messages by a submarine wire across the Rappahannock
They were all arrested, and as their offence is of extraordinary atrocity, a just and speedy punishment will, doubtless, be at once meted out to them.
This punishment, according to the laws of war, is death by hanging.
The danger that would have resulted from a continuance of this means of conveying information, it is, of course, impossible to estimate; but it must also be borne in mind that General Hooker
has displayed the most extraordinary reticence with regard to his plans, so that any facts about a movement that could have been revealed by the wire, would, a short time later, be made known to the enemy by deep-throated cannon, announcing the “opening of the ball.” --Philadelphia Inquirer