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From Harper's Ferry.
[Special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]

Harper's Ferry, April 23, 1861.
The population of this village having increased about three hundred per cent, in the last single week, it now claims to be of importance enough to have a place in the "Correspondence of the Dispatch."

Under telegraphic orders from Governor Letcher, received in Staunton on Wednesday, the 17th instant, Major General Harper immediately started with such of his command as could be called so suddenly in the field, and himself and staff traveling all night, reached this place about 12 o'clock on the night of the 18th instant, just in time to be too late to save the loss of 15,000 stand of the most improved arms, which were set on fire by the United States force in command of the Arsenal, on their abandoning the post. So much for not having a railroad from Winchester to Strasburg.

Volunteer companies have been arriving daily, and now number over 3,000 select troops, composed of the flower and chivalry of Virginia. The command, as near as I can represent it unofficially, is as follows:

Major-General Kenton Harper, of Augusta, Commanding. Staff--Col. Bolivar Christian, of Augusta, Adj't Gen'l of Division; Col. Geo. A. Porterfield, of Berkeley, Inspector Gen'l of Division; Maj. J. A. Harman, of Augusta, Quartermaster Gen'l of Division; Maj. Wm. H. Tams, of Augusta, Aid-de-camp of Division. Brigadier-General James H. Carson, of Frederick, 3d Brigade Comd'g; Brigadier General Wm. H. Harman, of Augusta, 13th Brigade Comd'g; Brigadier General Gilbert S. Meem, of Shenandoah, 7th Brigade Comd'g.

The great Union county of old Augusta has no less than eight fully equipped and well-filled volunteer companies here, and were among the very first in the field, although farthest off. Rockingham has five; Albemarle two, with two beautiful companies of University students; Culpeper has three; Orange has three; Louisa one; Shenandoah three; Warren one; Fauquier two; Jefferson about five; Berkeley about four; Frederick about four; and scattering companies from other neighboring counties.

These troops are skillfully posted, in fine spirits, and spoiling for a fight. The enemy are hovering in large numbers along the Pennsylvania border, making Carlisle barracks and Harrisburg headquarters, communicating by railroad to within 18 miles of this point; besides these, the Federal troops in Washington and Annapolis are near enough to us to be more "neighborly" than they seem inclined.

Although many fine arms were burnt or stolen, yet a decided acquisition in Old Virginia's present emergency was secured; and the General has employed actively a large force of the workmen in putting together the components of arms, to the number of near one thousand; thus nearly every volunteer on the ground rejoices in a first quality Minnie gun, and is as proud as a boy with a new toy. Machinery not needed for this purpose is rapidly packed off to Winchester, out of reach of re-capture. This expedition will prove most valuable in its results to the Republic and Dominion of Virginia.


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