From the army.
[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Berryville, Clarke Co., Va., October 21st, 1862.There was more excitement last week in the army to the Valley than has been since the army crossed the Potomac. Besides the conflicting reports of victory and defeat from the seat of war in the West, the impression prevailed with many that the army of McClellan was about to advance, and that the Dutch Sigel had advanced as far South as Culpeper with a force of 70,000 men. With the close of the week, however, the calm again began, and one who desires to communicate with the public for their especial edification will find it difficult to get an item that will repay perusal. On Thursday morning last the 12th Cavalry, picketing half way between Charlestown and Harper's Ferry, was attacked by superior numbers — infantry, cavalry, and artillery — and, after a slight brush, tell back this side of Charlestown, and the enemy occupied the place in force, and, it is thought, with the intention of holding it; but it is asserted that they were deceived in their speculations as to the movements of the ‘"rebels,"’ who, they thought, were burning their stores in their retreat, when in fact, the conviction was based upon the accidental burning of a barn in or near Charlestown. The indomitable ‘"Stonewall,"’ on Friday, had the pleasure of scaring them back to their old position on Bolivar Heigdis, by a movement in the direction of Williamsport, and there they still remain. In the skirmish of Thursday we loss one man killed and several wounded, while the enemy's loss has not yet been ascertained, though it is thought to have been considerably more than ours. On Friday Gen. Jackson drove the enemy across the river at Williamsport; but it is impossible to find out what losses were sustained on either side. It is asserted by some who were with Gen. Stuart in his late visit to Pennsylvania, that the people were utterly terror-stricken on his approach, and offered all they possessed to be spared with life. But the magnanimous man and incomparable General had a richer boon to bestow upon them, unworthy as they are. Horses were what he went for, and horses he obtained — horses of all sizes, shapes and colors. He spared not Mynheers, neither did he forbade the dashing equine of the sleek old farmer, who loved his steed more than his country. Many of the horses were large and utterly worthless, accept to pull a plow or a baggage wagon; but some of them make elegant cavalry horses, and have already been initiated. I saw paroled prisoners from the hospitals at Leesburg, Saturday, but hey were unable to estimate the probable number of Yankees between that point and the Rappahannock. either from Northern papers or from Yankee soldiers who continually pass through the town. There are probably three regiments in the Southern part of Loudoun county, two companies of which came up as far as Shickersville Thursday, but returned in haste, having been fired into by our pickets. They are certainly very cautious in approaching our lines, and so far as I can ascertain, depredate very little upon the property of the citizens of Loudoun; but their vandal propensities are only restrained by the decided stand taken by the Government to retaliate for their barbarous wrongs, committed by the infamous army of the more infamous Pope. It is suffering to hear the thousand rumors of ‘"peace"’ that are circulated in camp. One among the many declares that a Lieutenant-Colonel of the English army is now with this army, and asserts positively that the European powers will ‘"interfere" ’ if the Confederacy hold its own until the 1st day of January, 1863. Such a thing seems very improbable to sensible men. B. K. R.