The enemy's lines before Washington.
The report of the enemy's raid upon the town of Gordonsville
has been contradicted in time to present any undue excitement here, but it seems to have been the prevalent impression among the people of Orange county
that Gen. Pope
's army was coming down upon them in terrible army, dealing death and destruction at every step of their progress.
The telegraph operator at Gordonsville
caught the alarm and with the abrupt announcement, "I'm off," packed up his instrument and deported discontinuing, for the time being, all communication between the capital and a point whereon public interest so suddenly concentrated.
A citizen, who numbered himself among the stempeders, telegraphed from the nearest station that the enemy had actually entered the town; but somehow or other nobody had seen the Yankees
, and all information respecting their movements was necessarily vague and uncertain.
Matters, however, soon assumed a more definite shape, and it was ascertained that a small force of cavalry had advanced as far as the Rapidan
, destroyed the Grange and Alexandra railroad bridge over that river, and retreated to their main army without any further demonstration.
Intelligence received in official quarters on Monday night represents that the enemy's forces was in the neighborhood of Culpeper Court-House to the number of about 8,000, and that the town of Gordensville still remained undisturbed by anything save a causeless alarm.
All circumstances tend to show that the movements of the enemy in that direction are incited by apprehensions for the safety of Washington
; yet if he choose to attempt an advance towards Richmond
, from the Valley of Virginia
let him try it.
The storm of last evening prevented the receipt of any later telegraphic advices; but the foregoing statement of the situation of affairs is believed to be substantially correct.