day. Also that Jackson was going up the Valley toward Strasburg. This information came from a reliable soldier who was in the neighborhood of Brentsville, who came from Warrenton.
W. R. CREIGHTON,
The above is copy of a dispatch just received from Dumfries.
H. W. SLOCUM,
FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, VA.,
March 1, 1863.
Captain C. H. POTTER:
Your dispatch, containing dispatch from the Army of the Potomac, is received.* The enemy has made no demonstrations anywhere on my lines. I will inform the major-general commanding that I have discovered that our cavalry pickets do not keep up a connected line on our right. Thus, the right picket of Colonel Wyndham's right rests on the Ox road; then there is an opening of a mile or two before reaching the left picket of the command at Dranesville. This should be remedied, as it gives free ingress and egress to any wishing to give intelligence to the enemy. If anything transpires I will inform you. Last night, about 9 o'clock, while I was at headquarters, at the station, a man, undoubtedly a spy, was at the court-house, dressed as a captain. He interrogated all my servants minutely respecting the troops in the vicinity, asking if I kept my horse saddled in the night, and other suspicious questions.
E. H. STOUGHTON,
FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, VA.,
March 1, 1863-9.55 p. m.
I take leave to represent to the major-general commanding that it is absolutely essential to the entire security of the commands in this vicinity that the women and other irresponsible persons in this neighborhood be compelled to take the oath, or placed outside the lines. I cannot fix upon any one person or persons who are culpable, yet I am perfectly satisfied that there are those here who, by means known to themselves, keep the enemy informed of all our movements. Soldiers in the Southern service have even gone so far as to pay their families in the vicinity visits, for a week at a time, without it being discovered; and the few Union people there fear to give the intelligence they would like to, lest the rebels should be informed of it, should they again get possession of this country, by their neighbors, who are watchful spies, notwithstanding they have subscribed to the oath, which half of them will not respect. There are in our midst men who are on their parole, who have large families (mostly women) who are rampant secessionists, and disguise it on no occasion. They are themselves constantly informed of their friends in the rebel service, and, I have no doubt, are in constant
*See Hooker to Halleck, p. 113.