Averill's movements — reported advance
towards Staunton.

The movements of the forces under the Yankee General Averill are involved in some mystery. On Saturday last the War Department was advised that, with a heavy force of cavalry and mounted infantry, he was advancing on Lewisburg, with the supposed intention of pushing his way to the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad with a view of intercepting railroad communication with Gen. Longstreet, and yesterday we had a rumor that he was approaching Staunton by way of McDowell. This latter report, we are inclined to believe, is without foundation, as the passengers by the Central train last night state that little excitement existed at Staunton yesterday morning. It is probable that the information received at the War Department more nearly approaches the whereabouts of Averill and his commands and he may are this have reached Lewisburg.

Since the above was put in type we are informed by a private telegram from Staunton that the enemy, in force believed to be pretty considerable, are really threatening that place. During yesterday active skirmishing took place between their advance guard and our forces in the neighborhood of McDowell, without any decisive result.

From the Lower Valley we have a report that the Yankees, about three thousand strong, moved up from Harper's Ferry, by way of Berryville, to Front Royal, last week. At last accounts they were in the Luray Valley. It was believed that this movement was made with the design of destroying the large iron furnaces along the river in that region. On Friday night last a detachment from the Yankee force at Moorefield, numbering about seventy-five, set fire to and destroyed the Columbia Furnace, about five miles north of Edinburgh, Shenandoah county.

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