--The last few weeks have witnessed a series of the most remarkable stampedes on the part of the enemy which can be found on record.
Four weeks ago our affairs around the horizon certainly looked somewhat gloomy.
The great naval expedition had silenced our guns on the forts of Port Royal
, and had effected a lodgment of troops on the main land, without the loss of a ship.
A large army under McClellan
was threatening our lines before Manassas
, at the same time that a naval assault upon Evansport
was daily expected.
was heavily bombarded, and it, was unknown what amount of metal would be brought to bear upon our batteries at that point.
A formidable invasion down the Mississippi
, as well by laud as by river, was preparing at Cairo
, and our Western Generals
and Governors were calling urgently for more troops, while bridges were burring and insurrection raising its fearful head in the interior.
In the Price
were pressed back to Missouri
, and in danger of attack from a mont, and afterwards Hunter
was considered in imminent danger from a very large force that was pressing him from the direction of Camp Dick Robinson
; and Nelson
was at Prestonsburg and Piketon
, preparing to cross the Cumberland Mountain
with ten thousand men. Finally, Rosencranz
was in force five to one against us in the Kanawha
In four weeks the aspect of affairs has completely changed.
The conduct of the enemy has been marvellous and even a musing.
The bombardment of Pensacola
proved to be a ridiculous failure.
Nothing has been effected beyond mere landing and entrenching at Port Royal
has not been bombarded; and the recollection of Leesburg
, has taught McClellan
and his army at Alexandria
, that discretion which is the better part of valor.
has gone off with all but two of his regiments from the Kanawha
to winter in Wheeling
; first putting Gen. West Point Benham
under arrest for failing to capture Floyd
's twenty-two hundred men with five to seven thousand.
, frightened by the daring and gallant expedition of our cavalry against Guyandotte
took a sudden and headlong retreat from the vicinity of Pound Gap
, dropping several of his cannon, drowning many of his horses in the river, and leaving tents, baggage, and supplies in glorious confusion all along the path of his unpursued retreat.
The enemy's force before Zollicoffer
caught the same Bull Run
fever that seems to seize his armies in turn everywhere with equal violence.
We published, a few days ago, their own melancholy tale of the dreadful flight.
It was the most marvelous phenomenon we recollect to have read of in all the history of wars and marchings.
The flight was precipitate and disastrous, and the loss of property immense.
It suddenly relieved us of the danger which threatened us in East Tennessee
and Southwestern Virginia
Then came the unaccountable retreat of Hunter
from Western Missouri
, and the capture of Montgomery
and a hundred Federal army wagons, with their freight of arms and provisions.
Finally, the array of troops and boats that was preparing in such formidable force at Cairo
strangely disintegrated itself, a large portion of it going off precipitately to St. Louis
to protect that city, supposed to be threatened by Price
from a distance of two hundred miles.
The effect of all of these strange manœuvres, and this unaccountable cowardice, has been to put a new face upon our entire affairs.
The ‘"cord"’ that was ‘ "tightening around us,"’ according to the strange fancies of timid people, and which was soon to crush us by its rigorous energy, has fallen to pieces like a rope of sand; and instead of the enemy being everywhere aggressive, he is all along our lines, retreating or standing timidly on the defensive.
At no period since the war began, has the hand of Providence
been more distinctly visible than in thus, by mysterious and unseen influence, scattering the hosts of the foe.