e 1st Virginia started, also, for picket duty, and at an early hour we were roused by the music of their band as they passed through the town.
They will bivouac near the Accotinck, about a mile from Annandale.
Yesterday some scouts went into Springfield, but found none of the enemy there, nor could any signs of them be seen in the vicinity.
His principal strength seems to be in the direction of Munson's hill.
The fine grove of trees I mentioned in a previous letter upon the summit of Taylor's hill has been destroyed, and the fortification on White's hill, which we called Fort Walton, extended to that point.
The pickets on each side remain as they did a week ago in the vicinity of Falls Church.
Sometime ago the ladies of Warrenton completed a box of clothing for the soldiers, and forwarded it to the 17th Virginia.
The articles were well chosen, well made, and of excellent material, consisting of jackets, pants, shirts, and other substantial wearing apparel.
As cold weather
river opened with shell, to aid the exit of the rebels and to cover our advance.
Progress of the advance.
The rebel infantry having fallen back to their first line of entrenchments and rifle pits, their batteries opened with a vigorous and rapid fire upon our columns, which now had come to a temporary halt, awaiting the result of the artillery fight — For some time our artillery on the bluffs kept up a heavy fire upon the rebel batteries with such success that the batteries on Taylor's Hill, nearly opposite Falmouth, and commanding our right flank, were finally silenced.
During this time the artillery of the rebels was almost entirely devoted to shelling our advanced troops.
Occasionally they would send a shot towards our batteries, but they fell short or lodged in the town beyond.--Hancock's division had the advance, supported by the other divisions of the corps, while the 9th corps, Gen. Wilcox, remained under arms in town, in readiness to obey the signal to advance to
I at once informed him of the fact, and asked for reinforcements.
With several batteries, which were under the command of Gen. Pendleton, and a single brigade of infantry, I had a front of not less than three miles to defend, extending from Taylor's hill, on the left, to the foot of the hills in rear of the Howison house, and not "the short line in rear of and to the left of Fredericksburg," as stated by Gen. Early.
The 21st regiment was posted between the Marye house and the plankroad, thren his purpose, turned the head of his column down the river again; but it was impossible to tell whether he had abandoned the attempt or intended to advance again upon the same position with a still heavier force.
Gen. Wilcox had now reached Taylor's hill with three regiments of his brigade, one of which he promised to send to the right in case it should be needed.
This regiment was sent for, but there was not sufficient time for it to come up before the action was over.
With a line as exten