back to Manassas Junction, and whether they make fight there or not, I consider a little doubtful, though the chances are that they will. Gen. McDowell intends, I believe, to stop at Centreville to-night, and push on to Manassas in the morning. The whole army will be with him, and it will sweep before it all the forces that may oppose its progress. The onward movement has fairly commenced and it will not stop this side of Richmond.
H. J. R.
From another correspondent.
Fairfax Court House, Wednesday--12 o'clock.In company with some friends, we started out at sunrise this morning to accompany the advance of the Grand Army into Virginia. It was understood that Patterson had commenced a forward movement towards Winchester, and that this was to be in combination with his. Our ride in the morning was through a beautiful wooded country, with gentle slopes, and in some places hills of considerable size. We avoided the marching columns and by a cross-road struck upon the line near the front. Here we left our carriage and marched along by the side of the troops. It was one of the most inspiring sights I ever witnessed: the long line of glittering bayonets marching up hill and down, as far as the eye could see, the cavalry, (a few companies of regulars,) and the rumbling artillery, with here and there a white-covered artillery wagon. The men were in fine spirits, and marched along in the loose style of a regular march, but with quick step. We had some pleasant words with Col. Hunter, and Gen. McDowell, and then walked quickly to the front. On either side, the skirmishers spread out, the bayonets glistening through the corn-fields, the line advancing very carefully, though occasionally nothing could prevent the men stopping for the delicious blackberries that filled the fields. Gen. McDowell informed us that he was concentrating four columns at Fairfax Court House--one on the right, under Gen. Tyler, of about 12,000 men, through Falls Village and Germantown; one on the left, of about 5,700 under Miles, and the left wing, under Heintzelman, with about 6,000. Suddenly, as we were picking berries by the road-side, came the word “Halt!” An orderly rode up and said, “General, we are in a trap; trees are cut down in front of us; there seems to be a masked battery beyond!” The General took it calmly, and ordered the skirmishers to advance, while we poor civilians were expecting every instant to hear the whistling of the balls over our heads. As we approached the long line of earthwork, we could see our skirmishers slowly approach it, while our pioneers were clearing out the trees cut down in the road. At length the bayonets can be seen shining on the mounds, and we breathe freer, and hurry on. It is a line perhaps 50 rods long, with embrasures, lined with sand-bags, very poorly built, all say. We mount it, and shout, and then proceed to cut the name from the sand-bags, “Confederate States,” as a trophy. Soon the glorious old stars wave from it, with a cheer from the tramping columns, that shook the trees. Behind it was the camp of the enemy, apparently just deserted — a very fairly-constructed camp with drains systematically made. Every tent had had a little bower of leaves near it. Our men rushed in with “Hooray! Took the seceshers' camp!” and poked over the rubbish, finding some meat and eggs and other little matters, which showed that the enemy were not starving. One of the Rhode Islanders captured a little raccoon, which he tried to store in his knapsack, but did not find an agreeable prisoner. There seemed to have been some two or three regiments there, and as we learned soon after from the negroes, they had only left about two hours before. We stopped beyond, and had a talk at an old farm-house with the negro women. They said the people had all run, and told them they would be murdered, but, as one old woman said, she thought she would stay, “for she might see the salvation of the Lord!” In the next house, a white woman stood at the door very pale and weeping, as the column thundered by. She said she had a husband in the secession army. Soon after, we passed a nice house abandoned. Our men had entered it, and were searching every nook and corner. I looked over the books. They showed an intelligent family, with interest in scientific and agricultural matters. One man picked up a letter with the following passage: “Give my love to Susey and to Aunt M., and tell John to shoot a Yankee for me!” At precisely 12 o'clock, the advance-guard of the Grand Army entered Fairfax Court House with tremendous cheers, and a kind of a rush that for a moment looked as if they might go to plundering. But there was nothing of the kind, except the searching for papers in the Town Clerk's office, and some little pickings from the deserted workshops. Soon a man climbs up into the Court House and hauls down the secession flag amid groans and cheers, and up goes the bright Union banner. I am writing in the office of the tavern where the secession officers have left some of their luggage, and the Rhode Island Second are marching by with wild cries, their battery in the van. They sleep and bivouac in the yards of the houses. The handsome figure and face of Col. Burnside can be seen everywhere. Col. Hunter, with his quiet, gentlemanly manner, is directing the lines, and Gen. McDowell, with Maj. Brown and Maj. Wadsworth, are sitting their horses, and watching with their glasses the very dark lines on the hills about a mile to the south, which show that Gen. Tyler is approaching. Now the Rhode Island First goes by, and the New Hampshire Second, (a New Hampshire pioneer comes in and boasts that he was the first New Hampshire man on Virginia soil.) A lady comes out of a house near,