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The enemy in Stafford

--Probable Occupation of the Town of Fredericksburg.

Information was received by the citizens of Fredericksburg, Va., at 4 o'clock on Thursday afternoon, that the enemy was approaching through Stafford county, and the fact was at once communicated to our pickets and to Col. Lee's cavalry; but it seems that the latter previously had an intimation of the advance, and at once fell back, burning the three bridges across the Rappahannock, connecting Fredericksburg with Stafford, as they came into town. These bridges, as many of our readers are aware, were the railroad, Coaltar's, and Falmouth bridges. Yesterday morning, at an early hour, the Yankees reached Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg. On of our informants says that they threw a few shells across the river, but there being no response, the firing soon ceased.--Of this, however, we are not positive.--Meanwhile, the three steamers, the St. Nicholas, the Virginia, and the Eureka, and some thirty sail vessels, lying at the wharf, loaded with grain, with a considerable quantity of cotton piled near the depot, were set on fire by our men and destroyed. The troops that were in and near the place, very few in number, and utterly inadequate to make a defence against a considerable force, evacuated Fredericksburg after having performed the duties required of them. Many of the citizens also left, abandoning their property to the ‘"tender mercies"’ of the enemy.

On the night previous some small skirmish as took place above Falmouth, in which the enemy was repulsed; but our men afterwards fell back. Mr. Charles Ticket, of Stafford, was taken prisoner, and we hear that one of two were killed. A wounded Yankee was captured by our pickets and sent down by the train yesterday morning, but he died before reaching Ashland. This man stated that the Federal force amounted to six thousand, and that they approached Fredericksburg from Fauquier county.

Our late advices inform us that the Common Council of Fredericksburg held a meeting yesterday and agreed to surrender the place, there being no possible means of defence. The telegraph operator packed up his apparatus and left the place.

The train that left Richmond yesterday morning was stopped this side of Fredericksburg by a railroad agent. A regiment of troops was stationed some seven miles from the place, and the sick in the camp were placed on board the train. All the men retired in safety.

The enemy can easily occupy the town of Fredericksburg, if he has not already done so; but an advance to Richmond from that direction is probably not contemplated. The obstructions would not be easily overcome.

Most of the rolling stock of the railroad was removed. Nothing was left behind but a few cars, and measures were progressing to have them taken to a place of security.


Little importance is attached to the occupation of Fredericksburg, as it was an event anticipated when the army of the Potomac was withdrawn. There is nothing in the fact of the occupation to excite any alarm, or to create the expectation that the enemy will advance any great distance into the inferior. He will, perhaps, remain where he has found a lodgment for some time to come, unless our forces succeed at an early day in driving him back beyond the Potomac.

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