From the Rappahannock lines.--the pursuit of the enemy--Pope Abandoning his wounded.
An officer from the Rappahannock river
gives us some highly important intelligence from our operations in that vicinity.
The positions and movements of our army need not be mentioned; but we can state that the enemy is in full retreat and closely pursued by our troops.
On Saturday morning heavy and continued cannonading was heard at Orange Court House
up to the time that the train left.
about 10 o'clock A. M., on Wednesday, a party of our cavalry encountered a large body of Yankee cavalry and a brisk skirmish ensued.
The enemy retired slowly and in good or for, and were perused to within two miles of the Rappahannock
, when a charge was made with great gallantry by the Confederate
horse and sixty odd of the Yankees
were taken prisoners.
On Thursday a portion of our troops were engaged with the enemy at Kelly's mill
and another portion at of near Beverley's Ford, the artillery on either side contending for some hours late in the after soon.
without, however, any material result as far as known.
It was supposed that Pope
had fallen back as far as Warrenton
, and would not give battle this side of that point, if at all. He abandoned a large number of his wounded at Culpeper C. H., estimated at not less than two or three hundred.
These men had been wounded in the battle of Cedar Run
Mountain, of the 9th of August, where the Yankee
prisoners confess to having been thoroughly ‘"used up"’ by old Stonewall.
A melancholy picture of desolation and devastation is exhibited by the county of Culpeper
An unbridled license has prevailed among the Yankee
soldiery, and the country is now almost a desert.--Unoffending citizens have been impoverished in a single day, their negroes all carried off, their fencing destroyed, their sheep and hogs and cattle butchered, their grain entirely consumed, their horses all stolen.
A farmer, whose house Milroy
made his headquarters, had a magnificent field of corn, from which he expected to realize 1,000 barrels. The Yankee General refused in insolent language, to spare his crop, and gave his hirelings a carts blanche
The result is that not five bushels can be made from the field.
In some in stances colts only a year old were forcibly carried off despite the entreaties of their owners, and old hens with flocks of chickens have been killed.--Many a family has been left in a condition verging upon absolute want and starvation.
Our informant says that the scene of joyous delight manifested by the inhabitants at their deliverance surpassed anything he ever witnessed.
Ladies brought pails of water on their heads to distribute among the worn and dust-covered heroes of the South
Old men wept for joy. The girls waved their handkerchiefs and cheered the army from early morning till late in the afternoon, and all praised God for their deliverance.
From passengers who came through from Orange Court house
on the Central
train last night we learn that a severe engagement took place at the Rappahannock river
, a few miles below the railroad bridge, on Saturday morning, commending about sunrise and continuing some four hours. The enemy attempted to dispute the passage of our troops across the river, and a heavy artillery fight resulted, in which we lost about one-hundred and fifty in killed and wounded.
The loss of the enemy was believed to be much greater.
The troops engaged on the part of the enemy were the army corps of Gen. Burnside
The enemy were finally driven back and our forces crossed the river, capturing about four hundred prisoners. A report was also brought by passengers that our cavalry had advanced as far North as Bristow Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, within seven miles of Manassas Junction
, and that our troops had occupied the town of Warrenton
, but these reports seem not to be well authenticated.
It was further stated that our troops were pursuing Burn-side in the direction of Fredericksburg
, and that the main body of the latter's army had reached that town, as early as Saturday night. Those familiar with the distance between the two points will at once detect the improbability of this statement.
To sum up the information as received by us, we accept the conclusion that the Federal
forces have retreated in the direction of Washington
; that the fight of Saturday at Rappahannock river
was an effort to cover that retreat; that they were defeated with the loss of prisoners stated, and that our army, having crossed the river, is pursuing them northward.
Any speculation as to when the foe will be overtaken, or where the next fight will occur, would be uselessly consuming space in our columns.