whose HEADQUARTERS were near Chambersburg yesterday, is evidently massing his troops in that region, to encounter Meade. Heavy firing heard all day at Carlisle from the direction of Gettysburg. Railroad communication open from here to within 1 1\2 miles of Carlisle.
HARRISBURG, July 2, 1863-4. 30 p. m. (Received 8. 15 p. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
It having been ascertained that the rebels in front of this place were falling back, General Smith yesterday morning moved up the Cumberland Valley with some 2, 000 infantry and a battery of artillery, and reached Carlisle, which he found evacuated. Fifteen minutes thereafter, his scouts reported the enemy advancing on the York and Carlisle turnpike. He concentrated his force in the town, where the enemy attacked him about 8 o'clock. The force proved to be a cavalry one, with some artillery, under Fitzhugh Lee, who, it is said, expected to find the place occupied by rebels. Three several times, Lee, by flag of truce, demanded its surrender, which was as often refused. There was constant skirmishing and heavy artillery fire. At 10 p. m. Lee fired the barracks, which were destroyed. About 2, he retired on the Baltimore turnpike, toward Paperton. Our loss in action was trifling, though they may have taken some prisoners from the many stragglers on the march. General Smith's aide, Lieutenant Dougherty, in endeavoring to communicate with General Couch, was captured. General Knipe's force, some 2, 000, with a most indifferent battery of artillery, which encamped last night some 9 miles in advance of this, joined General Smith to-day. General Couch's whole force is about 17, 000, with which he guards the line from Altoona to Conewago Bridge, near the Maryland line, some 250 miles. The works in front of this place are poorly furnished with artillery-one 20-pounder Parrott, and the rest of smaller caliber, some being naval boat howitzers, and a Philadelphia battery of mountain howitzers. This latter is on its way to join General Smith. I recommend that four field batteries be sent here at once to replace the indifferent guns. Experienced men would be desirable with them, but this, I suppose, is impossible. General Couch has received one telegram from General Meade, dated June 30, 5 p. m., at Taneytown, via Washington. He reports two corps between Emmitsburg and Gettysburg, one at Little's tavern, one at Manchester, one at Union Mills, one between Taneytown and Emmitsburg, and one at Frizellburg. He was marching rapidly, and one the 1st instant would push in the direction of Hanover Junction and Hanover. Surgeon Palmer telegraphs from York to-day, at 1. 25 p. m., that a severe fight took place at Gettysburg last night. The rebels reported driven out, and town burned. No rebels near York at date of dispatches. The rebel cavalry are still in the mountain passes entering the Cumberland Valley and stretching toward York and Gettysburg, and we must rely upon the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac to drive them out, as the cavalry force here is not over 600.