War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0115 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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should circumstances demand it. By information derived from a person who heard it through the wife of an aide of General Smith, now at Yorktown, I learn that the Confederates are at a loss to know whether our design is to move forward from here or only a feint.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General.

AQUIA CREEK, April 29, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Brigadier-General Abercrombie reports that enemy heretofore occupying the right bank of the Rappahannock at the crossing of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, nearly in front of Warrenton, have retired in the direction of Gordonsville. The reports of colored fugitives and Union men confirm previous statements of there being a force of the enemy at about 12 miles from Fredericksburg, on the railroad to Richmond-statements of strength varying from 5,000 to 10,000 men. The enemy's cavalry picket come in at night to Fredericksburg and have taken away several Union men, and it is stated they are carrying off grain and other supplies. Appeals have been made for protection against these parties. From a letter received from the aide-de-camp to General G. W. Smith, now at Yorktown, it seems the enemy below are puzzled to understand the purpose of the troops of the United States on the Rappahannock-whether they mean to advance or whether it is a mere feint.

The First Brigade, McCall's division, is now at Falmounth, just above Fredericksburg. The Second Brigade is on the march there from Catlett's. We are pushing the railroad repairs, and will work night and day. Colonel Haupt is fast at work, and will relieve me greatly. The bridge of boats at Fredericksburg is progressing, but will not be completed till ordered. The pontoon train will all be there to-night. The telegraph is nearly completed.

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,

April 29, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

A deserter came into lines this morning, having given himself up to the first cavalry picket he met. He tells the following story:

His name is Stanfield Triger, native of Virginia, resident of King George County, thirty-one years of age, having a wife and child. He was impressed into the Confederate service on the 4th of April instant, and marched the next day for Richmond. He arrived at Yorktown, or rather 3 miles this side of Yorktown, on the morning of Saturday, April 19. The following night he and four others similarly situated deserted, and made the best of their way back to their respective homes. By avoiding the highways and keeping to the woods they succeeded in effecting their escape. Triger was seven days on the road. He was not long enough in Yorktown to learn much about the Confederate