Yesterday morning, about 7 o'clock, the Yankee gunboats appeared in the Pamankey river at the White House
The advance boat commenced shelling the woods, and in a short time nine other boats appeared.
After a brief shelling of the woods, they proceeded to land cavalry and infantry; but we have seen no one who saw the landing, and therefore no one who could form an estimate of the number of troops who were put ashore.
About 10 o'clock the Federal
apeared in considerable force at Tunstall's Station
, four miles from the White House
and twenty miles from this city.
Here the infantry deployed into the woods, and the cavalry, after coming past the station some distance, also got into the woods, for the purpose of catching the down passenger train, which was nearly due there.
The section master at the station, however, had, upon the approach of the force, promptly set off to meet the train, and stopped it before it got to Tunstall
's. The train returned to this city.
We conversed with several gentlemen who had been the Yankees
on the railroad, but none of them could form or give any idea of the force they had. One informant assured us that "for half a mile the railroad track looked black with them" and that was as near as we could get to their strength.
Another said there were about 17,000, but upon being asked why he thought so, said he didn't know, as he hadn't seen any but he "reckoned" there were that many.
A third, who was near the station when they approached, made a very liberal discount of 10,000, and said he thought there might be 7,000.
Of course none of these statements can be relied on. One of our pickets, had he gotten here, might have thrown some light on the subject, but as he was riding up to notify the train two Yankee dragoons rode out of the woods and gobbled him up. This operation was witnessed by some citizens a short distance off who rapidly fled from so dangerous a locality.
Many of the farmers in King William, New Kent
and Charles City counties
started their cattle and horses for Richmond
as soon as they got wind of the rail, and a number of them arrived last night.
The crops along the road were very fine, and about Monday next the oat crop would have been harvested.
Of course much of this will be destroyed, and it is likely that pillaging is after all the object of this advance.
With regard to the security of Richmond
we feel authorized in saying that the preparations by the Confederate
and State authorities are ample to ensure it against even 50,000 Yankees, were so many to move upon it. Several calls are published to day for meetings of the different organizations of Militia.
Let them be promptly attended to.