stated by the prisoners. Colonel Keyes immediately pushed on the advance brigade along the road, with a view to getting in the rear of the enemy, while General Tyler ordered General Schenck's brigade to form in battle array in the fields, to the left of the road. The Third and Fourth brigades, under Colonel Sherman and Colonel Richardson, formed on the road. But the rebels abandoned their position as soon as General Schenck's column commenced moving on through the fields and the other brigades up the road. With a spyglass the roads leading to Fairfax Court House could be seen covered with retreating rebels. The head of the First brigade came within a few hundred yards of a body of them, and Colonel Keyes ordered a section of Captain Varian's battery to throw a few shells among them, which was done with remarkable promptness. The enemy ran as soon as the first shot was fired. Hent's Hill, some two and a half miles west of Vienna, being reached, and the enemy being evidently still retreating, General Schenck's brigade again fell into line and the column continued its march in the order of the morning. A thick piece of woods was entered, in an opening of which tangible evidence of the hurry in which the rebels had retreated was found, in the shape of a large number of blankets, pistols, guns, canteens, &c., &c., that had been indiscriminately thrown away, and were immediately appropriated by our soldiers. A short distance from the abandoned rebel camp two more abatis were discovered in the road, and removed by the pioneers in a few minutes. The column was about pushing on, when scouts came rushing in and reported a battery of several pieces less than half a mile ahead. Colonel Keyes immediately started an aid to General Tyler, requesting him to send some rifled pieces to his assistance. About half an hour elapsed, when Captain Ayres' battery of eight pieces came thundering along the road. Meantime other scouts had come in and reported that the rebels had precipitately abandoned the battery, and were retreating in hot haste with their pieces. So it turned out. But Colonel Keyes, nevertheless, ordered the skirmishers to push slowly on, and Captain Ayres' rifled pieces to throw some shells in the enemy's work. Three shells were in a few minutes afterwards lodged in the breastwork. But the enemy had disappeared, and the intrenchments were quietly entered and taken possession of by the skirmishers. The position was a very strong one, and could have been easily defended. A large quantity of shovels, picks, bags of oats, buckets, &c., was found in the work, and camp fires were still burning in the rear of it. Half a mile further on, Germantown, a hamlet of half a dozen houses, was reached and found almost deserted. The only white person left stated that twenty-five hundred rebels, including Colonel Cash's South Carolina Regiment, had occupied the breastworks, and retreated only about fifteen minutes before the Union skirmishers appeared in sight of the town. A short halt is now being made for dinner by the First division, in the woods adjoining Germantown. The division will move on this afternoon to the vicinity of Centreville, where the enemy is said to be in strong force.
half-past 1, P. M.General McDowell and staff have just arrived, at the head of four companies of cavalry. He reports Fairfax Court House evacuated, and occupied by Colonel Hunter's division; Colonels Heintzelman and Miles's divisions are a short distance south of the Court House. All four divisions will move on towards the Junction tomorrow. The skulking of the enemy greatly disappointed our men. If he stands at all, Manassas Junction will, doubtlessly, be the scene of a decisive battle.
--N. Y. Herald, July 18.
New York times narrative.
Fairfax Court Chouse, Va., Wednesday night, July 17, 1861.The General decided not to move forward any further to-night, mainly because the troops had been so fatigued by their day's march as to render any further movement unadvisable. They are encamped accordingly in this vicinity, a large portion of the central column being in the village and its immediate neighborhood, though Col. Tyler's Division holds position about half way between Germantown and Centreville. Col. Heintzelman had not been heard from at three o'clock, and Gen. McDowell took an escort and proceeded to the point designated for him to occupy. I have not seen him since his return, but believe he found all right. Every thing we see here shows that the rebels left the place in the greatest imaginable haste. Judging from the camps in the vicinity, as well as from the statements of the inhabitants, there must have been from 5,000 to 8,000 rebel troops here this morning. It is said that Gen. Beauregard was here in person last night, and left word for the troops, who were commanded by Col. Bonham, to retire if attacked by a superior force. They are said to have commenced the retreat at about nine o'clock, when our troops were about five miles off. Why they should have gone in such extreme haste, it is not easy to see. The entrenchments thrown up a mile in advance of the town were so hastily abandoned, that provisions of every kind, rice, bacon, flour, etc., with blankets and clothing of the officers, were left behind. It was not very apparent that any guns had ever been mounted here, though the engineers thought that some eight guns had been placed in position. I saw no evidence of this, except the marks of what might have been artillery wheels, though they seemed to me quite as likely to have been the wheels of wagons used to bring the sand bags with which the embrasures were lined. If any