Important from the seat of war.
The information received from the seat of war since our last issue is so meagre in its details that it is exceedingly difficult to arrive at any direct conclusion as to the operations of the contending forces.
From the remarkable reticence that is observed, and the astonishing success which attends the efforts of the Government
to withhold all intelligence of the movements of our forces, it is inferred that some magnificent plans for the annihilation of the Federal
army are on the eve of execution, and that a few days will demonstrate the wisdom with which these plans have been devised, and the spirit and vigor with which they have been carried out.
It is asserted, on what ought to be regarded as reliable authority, that our forces, in large numbers, have gained the rear of the enemy, and that on Saturday, and perhaps yesterday, a bloody struggle was in progress on Bull Run
, in the immediate vicinity of the battle-field of the 21st July, 1861. Coupled with this statement is another, to the effect that other divisions of our army were pressing the enemy from this side, and forcing him on in the direction of our forces that have already been thrown between him and Washington
These statements we believe to be entitled to fuller consideration than should be given to mere street rumors, but we do not claim for them the sanction of unquestionable authority.
We give them because we think them not at all improbable.
There are also reports of a heavy battle on Friday, near Bristow's Station, four miles, south of Manassas
, between the division of Gen. Ewell
and the forces of the enemy, in which it is said that our forces were twice driven from their position, with severe loss, but receiving reinforcements, finally drove the enemy back, capturing several batteries and some five thousand prisoners. Reports conflict as to the precise locality of this engagement, one representing it at Bristow's Station, and the other near the Plains
, on the Manassas Gap road.
If such a fight really took place, we think it more than likely the latter location is correct. --It is also stated by some that the divisions of Jackson
, A. P. Hill
, and Ewell
, were all in the battle, and others that it was fought by Ewell
's division alone.
Another report, which was brought to the city by passengers on Saturday, and again yesterday, represents that Gen. Stuart
has taken Harper's Ferry
and holds possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Bridge at that point.
No particulars of the capture of this place are furnished, but those familiar with Stuart
's dashing exploits are generally ready to believe any report with reference to his daring feats.
The latest information from Harper's Ferry
placed the Federal
forces there at four regiments.
This force may have been withdrawn, or it may have been increased.
The Federals have for some time boasted that the town was strongly fortified and prepared to resist the attack of a vastly superior force.
How much truth there was in these boosts will be shown by a confirmation or contradiction of the report of its capture.
If it has fallen into our hands, it has been captured by a cavalry force, unsupported by infantry or artillery.
A member of Congress, who came down on the Central
train yesterday afternoon says that the Baltimore Sun
, of Thursday, had been received in the Valley
, in which it was stated that our forces had captured at Manassas
, on Wednesday, five trains of cars loaded with provisions, and that later on the same day five other trains, on board of which were some two thousand Yankee troops.
This affair was commented upon by the Yankee
press as very discreditable to their commander, and some harsh reflections as to his fitness for his position indulged.
Our own account of this affair reports that a portion of our cavalry had advanced on the Orange and Alexandria railroad to Bull Run bridge, about five miles beyond Manassas
, and having burned the bridge continued their advance to Dye's Station, where they concealed themselves, and arrested the approach of a number of trains of which they had previously received information.
After the trains passed the concealed position of the cavalry the track was torn up behind them.
When they reached the bridge, the officers on board finding that something was wrong, determined to return to Alexandria
, but before backing far they found the track torn up, and their retreat effectually intercepted.--The cavalry then approached in superior numbers, and the enemy surrendered without firing a gun. The number of prisoners reported captured agrees with the statement of the Sun,
being estimated at 2,000, together with all the officers, regimental and company, and a quantity of arms and ammunition which were being conveyed to Gen. Pope
After this brilliant affair the cavalry returned to Manassas
, without sustaining the loss of a single man.
Some fifteen hundred to two thousand Yankee prisoners were yesterday between Rapidan Station and Gordonsville
, and may be expected in this city to-day.
It is supposed that these are the prisoners captured at Dye's Station by our cavalry.