Federal cavalry raid.
During the strategic movements and fighting on the Rappahannock
, which have resulted so gloriously for our arms, a large Federal cavalry force, under General Stoneman
, made a raid across the Rapidan
to the line of the Central Railroad, striking it first at Trevillian's Depot, where, on Saturday, the track was destroyed.
We have already published some rather vague accounts of his subsequent movements upon other points of that road, and also upon the Fredericksburg
road at Ashland
It has been further stated that the same body, or a detachment of it, had reached the canal, at Columbia
, in Fluvanna
, and made a breach in it. Sunday evening the raid makers were at Ashland
Of their movements yesterday we give such information as we have elsewhere.
They no doubt heard Sunday evening and early yesterday of their reverse at the Rappahannock
, and moved rather rapidly towards the Peninsula
, in their route doing damage to the York River Railroad.
What the enemy did, where exactly he did go, and what were his numbers, are facts yet to be ascertained; for the information received up to the time of writing this is indefinite, and no doubt greatly exaggerated.
This raid was a part of Burnside
's original plan.
That was to endeavor to flank our force at Fredericksburg
by crossing above and below it, and contemporaneously to dispatch several bodies of cavalry to get behind our army, destroy its railroad communications with the capital, cut the canal, and even penetrate as far as the High Bridge
, which was also to be destroyed.
This plan was changed into a simple direct attack upon our army by order of Lincoln
, who endeavored to mount to fame through Burnside
's disaster, has now adopted that officer's plan.
The raid was bold and has caused, perhaps, more than its due share of alarm in this community.
will crow over it as much as they can in order to diminish the force of the terrible blow General Lee
has given them.
's raid was evidently never intended to reach this city, although the apprehension that it was aiming for Richmond
was not confined entirely to the unmilitary citizens who promptly and properly enlisted for defence, just as they did in the never-to-be-for gotten Pawnee war.
The achievements of this bold raid, though in no wise affecting the glorious victory on the Rappahannock
, is not without its humiliating reflections.
That it should make so great a circuit, and get off Scott
free — as we fear it has done, or will do,--is certainly a mortification.
We know nothing about the circumstances of our own military situation, or whether they might have been with due discretion modified.
But we are sure of one thing, and that is, that the feeling of chagrin occasioned by the affair will be felt fully as much in military quarters as amongst the civilians.
We refer the reader to the news column for such information as we have.