Army of the Potomac.
[our own correspondent.]
Fairfax Oct. 2, 1861.
The Federals continue to advance cautiously upon our lines, and how have considerable force in Falls Church
, on Munson's hill, Mason's hill, and in the vicinity of Annandale
Our pickets have fallen back from the village of Falls Church
, which is reported destroyed, us large volumes of smoke have been seen rising from the valley in which it lies.
They have advanced also nearly to Annandale
, and are now within eight hundred yards of it. This morning a party of scouts came on the hill opposite the village and fired on our videttes, who were posted to watch their approach.
The distance between them was so great that no damage was done.
Early in the morning a company of infantry appeared in a corn-field on an eminence, but retired immediately upon a sight of our pickets.
Along the line from Lewinsville to Springfield
seem to be advancing slowly and cautiously, scouring the woods thoroughly in every direction to discover our force.
The balloon goes up every evening, apparently from Mason's hill, and remains about two hours at a time.
The usual hours of Professor Lowe
's exhibitions are between four and six in the evening, although, by way of variety, he sometimes makes a morning trip in the pursuit of his serial fancies.
If he learns anything of our movements from his rutty point of view, he can do more than we who live within the lines of the Confederate army; for the secrecy with which all movements are made, and the reasons for the few one sees, would puzzle the best guesser that has existed since the days of the Spanix.
Last night we were very agreeably surprised by a visit from President Davis
He was escorted through the town, to Gen. Beauregard
's headquarters, by a troop of cavalry, and was greeted by a number of people, who were amazed at his sudden and unheralded appearance.
Nothing could have been more gratifying than this timely visit; for both citizens and soldiers were chafing at delay, and somewhat anxious as to what was to be done with the Yankees
, who were encroaching on us so steadily.
Confidence seemed restored as soon as it was known the President
was here, and people seemed to fancy him another St. George
, who had come to give a personal battle to the great Dragon
At 11 o'clock the Washington Artillery gave him a serenade with their excellent brass band, the finest probably now in the army.
After the music, the officers of the Artillery were entertained by his Excellency
in a style of hospitality that was extremely cheering to men for a long time accustomed to the monotony of camp life.
This morning at an early hour the President
rode around the town of Fairfax
and its vicinity, and made a personal reconnaissance towards the outposts.
The day was remarkably beautiful — cool, pleasant, and hazy--one of those delightful Indian-summer days that we so much admire.
The air was warm, and the sky a deep leaden color, while here and there were patches of white clouds, which seemed pendant from it like lichens from the old cypress of our Southern swamps.
The escort consisted of several army officers, and of the Adam
's Troops, of Natchez, Miss.
, Captain Martin
In the advance was the President
, dressed in deep-gray citizen's clothes, and a beaver hat. Beside him, also in citizen's clothes, rode Brig. Gen. Smith
Immediately following were Generals Johnston
, and after them came Col. John S. Preston
, Col. Thomas Preston
, Col. Davis
, Col. Randal
, Prince Polignac, Capt. Ferguson
, of Gen. Beauregard
's staff, Capt. Peyton
, Lt. Lane
, son of Jo. Lane
, of Oregon
, Lt. Twiggs
, and ‘"Your Own. "’ Following was the Adam
's Troop, dressed in a neat grey uniform, and presenting a truly imposing appearance.
The ride through the country, although an interesting one, showed few incidents that would bear recording.
On every hand could be seen the regard and the respect the volunteers have for President Davis
, and it was evident that the fact of his being in person on the field; his visiting the soldiers in their camps; his seeming solicitude for their comfort and safety, and the respectful manner in which he returned the salute of the humblest soldier, produced a deep impression upon those gallant men who have taken their lives in their hands and are enlisted in the defence of the country of which he is Chief Magistrate
There were no vulgar crowds to stare at him like some wild beast, no toadyisms or foolish parades at his approach, but a quiet look, a simple bow, or a military salute, indicated the feeling that prompted it. At Gen. Bonham
's a few hundred men had gathered hastily, and as the cortege passed three hearty cheers were given for President Davis
In return, his Excellency
raised his hat, and bowing gracefully, said: ‘"Gentlemen — I thank you heartily, and I hope that sooner or later you may have an opportunity of meeting the Yankees
, and that you may return home with a good account of yourselves."’ Three cheers were then given for Gen. Beauregard
and three for Gen. Johnston
In the evening the President
returned to Gen. Johnston
's headquarters to dinner, and later passed through the streets to Gen. Beauregard
's. During the day he has examined carefully the country for several miles around, and has a thorough understanding, probably, of all the plans of the able Generals
who lead our army.
The contrast between the chief rulers of the two Governments now at war with each other was never greater than to-day.
One sits, with all the pomp of some Eastern prince, behind his army, pushing them into battle where he dare not follow; the other rides along the outpost, examining in the face of the enemy every point of defence or attack, and inspiring those soldiers with courage he would gladly lead into any danger they may have to encounter.
God bless and protect our first President
is the prayer of every soldier he has passed to-day.
The Federals have commenced the business of negro-stealing in good earnest, and for the purpose of speculation, unless prevented through fear of some law. A negro man escaped from them a day or two ago, and says that he heard that it was the intention of the Yankees
to collect as many blacks as possible, send them privately to Cuba
, and sell them for what they would bring.
There are schooners and sloops enough, with practical commanders, to engage in this contraband trade, on account of the large commissions they would receive.
Many of the negroes now in the enemy's hands are endeavoring to escape.
Night before last, a man by the name of Dolan
, living near Falls Church
, seeing he was in danger of being within the Yankee
lines, determined to remove his negroes to Fairfax
Preparations were made to remove in the morning, but when morning came the Yankees
were upon him, and he barely escaped, leaving his property behind him.
Among the many sufferers now in Fairfax
is Dr. James A. Harrold
, formerly of Murfreesboro', N. C.
, who, with his family, are stopping at the hotel.
For some time past he has preached in Washington city
, but was driven from there on account of his evident Southern sympathies.
With a few articles of furniture, and his valuable library, Dr. Harrold
took a house in Falls Church
, where he has held service for some time, and has been the means of doing much good to our cause by his example of patriotic devotion to his country, and of his love of liberty, and hatred of tyranny.
The enemy again pursued him, and in their recent raid upon Falls Church
, destroyed, probably, his house, library, and other property.
It will be gratifying to Dr. Harrold
's many friends in the South
to learn that he has been appointed chaplain to the 1st Virginia regiment now stationed near this place.
This evening, when the stage arrived from Manassas
, quite a crowd of individuals alighted, with deadly weapons enough strung around them to arm a regiment.
They had come up for a fight, and blustered about in fine style, boasting what they were going to do when they got a sight of the Yankees
The modest soldiers, who have been six months in camp, enduring its hardships; and who fought in the battle of Manassas
, looked on the well-dressed, well-armed amateurs with envy, and thought what brave fellows those must be!
It was a grand sight to see them curse and drink brandy out of wicker flasks hung around their necks, and one could but remember the old Flemish warriors, who swore like buccaneers and drank a gallon of beer at a single draught.
Something must be done to stop the advance of the Yankees
and these sleek and shining warriors, with white linen shirts and wicker-covered brandy flasks, swore by the ‘"splendor of God, "’ like the Norman King
, they would fight a whole regiment of Federals by themselves.
There need be no further fears as to the result of the fight, for we now have the fellows who can do the business for us. They will not be afraid to charge a whole army with a pistol in each hand and a bowie-knife between their teeth.
They have been in a great many fights where the odds were tremendous, but always whipped.
The fact of the case is, they are perfect-wild- cats.
It will be a great sight to see these men pitch into the ‘"Grand Army"’ without even giving them time to say their prayers, and to see them cut the threats of every one of them until the blood gets knee-deep on the battle field.
Fortunately for the enemy, there will be no attack to-night.
The wicker-covered flasks are empty, the brave fighters are sleepy, and have stretched their limbs on the floor with reckless disregard to their fine clothes.
If they do not wake with the headache, to-morrow will tell a tale that will be worth the time it occupies the pen of your correspondent.