[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Invasion of the Valley.
Winchester, March 5, 1862.
has been invaded by three hostile armies, all, seemingly, converging to this point.
On Friday last Charlestown
was occupied by the column of General Banks
The force at this time there is variously estimated from four to twelve thousand. Gen. Hamilton
was in command at Charlestown
when the latest authentic intelligence was brought from there.
had not yet arrived.
Several arrests have been made of citizens of Jefferson county
On Saturday night two regiments of infantry, with cavalry and artillery, under the command of Col. Leonard
, took possession of Martinsburg
, in the county of Berkeley
. Four additional regiments have since been added to his force.
Many arrests have been made in Berkeley
— amongst others, Daniel Burkhart
of the Bank of Berkeley; Geo. H. Murphy
, States Attorney; Dr. P. J. McGary
, Samuel Alburtis
, editor of the Republican,
&c. The enemy is in considerable force at Paw Paw
, in the county of Morgan
, and also further up the river in Hampshire
. Col. Ed. McDonald
, of the latter county, who arrived here to-day, estimates their numbers at ten thousand, under the command of Gen. Lander
, (since dead.) This column of attack, has not the advantage of the McAdamized roads which the two others have, and is slower in its progress.
with his gallant army to here, and presents the only obstacle to the entire occupation of this productive and Parfamed Valley.
We are daily expecting reinforcements.
Notwithstanding the powerful force now converging upon us, it is the unanimous wish of Jackson
's army to meet them and try with them the chances of battle; whether they will be indulged in this patriotic desire, rests with the commanding General
, and must depend upon events not yet ascertained.
The combined forces of the enemy at this time, in this Valley, cannot be short of thirty thousand.
Whilst its primary object is the occupation of this Valley, it cannot be doubted that it is intended to co-operate in movements East of the Blue Ridge
and in the direction of Richmond
to the East
, and Martinsburg
to the North
, are each 22 miles from this place, and Lander
's forces to the West
, about 30 miles distant from us.