To-day that committee had an interview with Augur, and we are in the hands of the Philistines. We learn from him that yesterday General McDowell and his division landed at Aquia; that he was expected at his (Augur's) position, just opposite, to-day or to-morrow, and since we left we have seen a large gathering from the position northeast of Augur's brigade. We have reason to suppose this is the arrival of McDowell's brigade, and they say - that is, Augur said - [they had] the means of throwing a bridge over the river in a few moments. He said it might be a day or two before he would cross. I think they are fully informed of your position and numbers. I give you the information, such as it is, that I have. My opinion is that the enemy means to advance; that they have McDowell's division, whatever it is, and that their object is to conceal their purpose by stating that they should require support; should take what is necessary, but would respect private property, & c. I have but a moment to indite this hasty note. The messenger waits.
With much respect, yours,
T. B. BARTON.
APRIL 19, 1862 - 8 p. m.
DEAR SIR: The Rev. Mr. Lacy conversed with three generals this evening, of whom Augur was not one. They said that General King commanded that division, and it amounted to 13,000; that General McDowell's command landed at Aquia to-day, and the whole amounted to 30,000; that they were on their way to Richmond; that McClellan's army was the finest ever seen in this country; that McDowell's was the flower of that force, & c. That they stated this to Mr. Lacy is certainly so; that a very large accumulation of force is opposite Fredericksburg is also true. I give you the intelligence for what it is worth.
T. B. BARTON.
This is just received from old Mr. Barton, of Fredericksburg, whom no doubt the general knows well to be reliable. I send it for his information.
C. W. FIELD,
NEAR PORT ROYAL, CAROLINE COUNTY, VA.,
Sunday Morning, April 20.
DEAR SIR: Seven steam tugs anchored at Port Royal yesterday evening and spent the night. They have but few men aboard. I suppose they are carrying provisions up to the army at Fredericksburg. The passing of steamers up and down the river breaks into my arrangements. I must have security of coming back after I cross to the other side. To get over there is easy enough, but coming back is the thing. There are so many negroes to inform against me that I shall have to move with the utmost precaution.
W. W. D.