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[352] by J. E. B. Stuart across the Rappahannock to Dumfries, where 25 wagons and some 200 prisoners were taken, and thence toward Alexandria and around Fairfax Court House, burning the railroad bridge across the Accotink, and returning in triumph with their spoils; another,1 by a party of Imboden's troopers, farther west, from the Valley to Romney, where the guards of a supply train were surprised and routed: 72 men, 106 horses, and 27 wagons taken and carried off; a third,2 by Fitz Hugh Lee, across the Rappahannock, near Falmouth, surprising a camp, and taking 150 prisoners, with a loss of 14 men; a fourth,3 by Gen. W. E. Jones, in the Valley, routing two regiments of Milroy's cavalry, and taking 200 prisoners, with a loss of 4 men only; while a more daring raid was made by Maj. White, of Jones's command, across the Potomac at Poolesville, taking 77 prisoners. Lee further reports that Capt. Randolph, of the Black Horse cavalry, by various raids into Fauquier county, captures over 200 prisoners and several hundred stand of arms; and that Lt. Moseby (whose name now makes its first appearance in a bulletin) “has done much to harass the enemy; attacking him boldly on several occasions, and capturing many prisoners.” One or two minor cavalry exploits, recited by Lee in “ General Order No. 29,” read too much like romance to be embodied in sober history; yet such was the depression on our side in Virginia, such the elation and confidence on the other, such the very great advantage enjoyed by Rebel raiders in the readiness of tle White inhabitants to give them information, and even to scout in quest of it, throughout that dreary Winter, that nothing that might be asserted of Rebel audacity or Federal imbecility is absolutely incredible.

The somber cloud is lighted by a single flash, not of victory, but of humor. In a Rebel raid far within our lines, Gen. Stoughton, a young Vermont Brigadier, was taken in his bed, near Fairfax Court House, and, with his guards and five horses, hurried off across the Rappahannock. Some one spoke of the loss to Mr. Lincoln next morning: “Yes,” said the President; “that of the horses is. bad; but I can make another General in 5 minutes.”

When General Hooker assumed4 command of the Army of the Potomac, its spirit and efficiency were at a very low ebb. Desertions were at the rate of 200 per day; soldiers clandestinely receiving citizens' clothing by express from relatives and others to facilitate their efforts to escape from a service wherein they had lost all heart. The number shown by the rolls to be absent from their regiments was no less that 2, 9922 officers and 81,964 non-commissioned5 officers and soldiers — many of them in hospitals, on leave, or detached on duty; but a majority, probably, had deserted. The frequency, audacity, and success, of the Rebel cavalry raids that Winter forcibly indicate the elation and confidence felt on one side, the apathy, born of despondency, on the other. Superior as its

1 Feb. 16.

2 Feb. 25.

3 Feb. 26.

4 Jan. 26.

5 So Gen. Hooker testified before the Committee on the Conduct of the War. But this enormous total probably includes all who had deserted from the regiments composing that army since they were severally organized, as well as the sick and wounded in hospitals.

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