The lines East of the Blue Ridge — affairs in the Valley.
Affairs in the neighborhood of Gordonsville
remain comparatively quiet and at the date of our latest advices the enemy had made no demonstration in force on this side of the Rapidan
On Friday morning last an attack was made by the Yankee
cavalry upon a small body of the 6th Virginia cavalry, near Orange Court House
, which was gallantly resisted by our troops, who drove the enemy back killing and wounding several, and taking forty-four prisoners. The pursuit was kept up as far as the south bank of the river, across which the larger portion of the Yankees
succeeded in swimming their horses, and made good their escape.
The prisoners, who were brought to Richmond
on Saturday evening by the Central
train, belong abjectly to the 5th New York cavalry regiment.
There is no loss reported on the Confederate
Altogether, this was a brilliant little affair.
Our last accounts from Gen. B. H. Robertson
's command, in the Valley
, represent that he is conducting the campaign there with skill and success, and at the same time keeping a sharp eye upon the movements of the enemy East
of the Blue Ridge
A skirmish occurred about a week since between Luray
and White House Ford
, Page county
, in which the Yankees
were completely routed.
It appears that Capt. Harry Gilmot
, leading some five or six companies of Confederate cavalry, charged upon six squadrons of the enemy and drove them through Luray
, where the latter received reinforcements, and Capt
. G. retired in good order and without loss, to the Ford
Here he was reinforced and again started in pursuit of the enemy who fled before him and retreated through Thornton's Gap into Rappahannock county
By taking this route the Yankees
doubtless hoped to draw our cavalry on until they reached the main body of their army, but it is presumed that Capt. Gilmor
fully understood the motive.
In this affair the enemy lost several in killed and wounded.
A line of telegraph is in process of construction between Harrisonburg
, for military purposes, by means of which the army of the Valley
will be enabled to communicate directly with the capital.
By recent arrivals from Winchester
we are placed in possession of reliable and interesting information of the operations of the Federal
forces in the Lower Valley
The town, up to Wednesday last, was unoccupied by the enemy, but about two miles Northwest of the place they had strong fortifications erected on what is known as Shultz's Hill.
From these fortifications they occasionally saluted the inhabitants with shells, as if to test the accuracy of the range of their guns upon the town.
They state that their force on this bill numbers three thousand, but our informant does not think that they exceed fifteen hundred or two thousand at most.
Since their return to Winchester
, after the retreat of Banks
, the Yankees
have been decidedly cautions in all their movements, and manifest the greatest uneasiness in all their actions.
They seem to dread the approach of Jackson
and his forces, and are at all times prepared to skedaddle.
The appointment of Pope
had failed to lull their apprehensions.
The force now in the vicinity of the town is understood to be a portion of the command of the reckless and unprincipled Geary
On Tuesday evening last there was a fight at Middletown
, on the Valley turnpike
, about eight miles from Winchester
, between our cavalry scouts and the pickets of the enemy, in which they sustained a loss of eight killed and wounded. The only loss suffered on our side was the wounding of a horse.
This little skirmish had greatly excited the fears of the whole Federal camp, and they had withdrawn their pickets from that road entirely.--The gentleman from whom we obtain our information says that he came through from Winchester
in a buggy, without the slightest interruption the entire route.
Since the re-occupation of the town by the enemy after their expulsion by Gen. Jackson
, they have destroyed several buildings by fire, principally warehouses in the neighborhood of the depot, where they previously had stores deposited.
One of these was the large store house of Baker
& Bro., which, with all their stock, was consumed.
Desertions among the Yankees
were of frequent occurrence.
In one instance a guard of forty left Winchester
with a lot of Confederate prisoners who had been picked up at various points, and before reaching Harper's Ferry
thirty of the forty deserted, and forty out of the gang of prisoners made their escape.
When the gentleman from whom we derive our information left the town, the enemy had strong pickets on the Berryville
and Northwestern routes, as if anticipating a ‘"rebel"’ approach on those roads.
The crops in Frederick
, and Jefferson
, were unusually good, but owing to the scarcity of labor, only a portion of the wheat harvest would be gathered.
Many of the farmers were saving what they could, but others were permitting the wheat to start in the fields, without the entrance of a scythe.
The Yankee commandant had issued a circular to the farmers to induce them to gather their grain, assuring them the Government
would purchase it at a price hereafter to be fixed.
The news of McClellan
's defeat had greatly elevated the hopes of the loyal people of the Valley
, but for some days there was deep sorrow evinced by all in consequence of the Yankee
report that Gen. Jackson
had been killed.
This report, however, had received its proper contradiction, and it was believed among our people that the time of their deliverance was not distant.
Our informant does not believe that there is any Federal force between Winchester
and Harper's Ferry
, and only a small force at that point.