side, the whole train would have run off the track down a 12-foot bank. Before train was checked, 12, rebels in gray and blue coats and pants, and all with guns, pushed out of the bushes, whilst the guard of the Fourth Delaware then took a hand, and, after a few shots, jumped off the train, and had a foot-race through the woods after the rebels. One fat rebel particularly distinguished himself in getting out of sight. The guard saved the train and its convoy, and Providence saved a smash-up, which for some time would have prevented the Army of the Potomac from receiving supplies.
It is pitiful that a handful of rebels can be allowed the chance of so retarding the progress of our army in such measure as an accident like this might cause. I earnestly ask that 200 men be at once stationed from Accotink to Burke's . General Meade has ordered the road repaired at once to the river, and the Rappahannock Bridge rebuilt. All stores and material have been forwarded to-day on regular time.
J. H. D. [DEVERUX.]
July 26, 1863.
GENERAL: I think there is no danger of trouble so long as the men are left quietly to do as they please about picket duty, but Colonel Fanklin's fear is that they may decline, some of them, to go on picket, and then comes the danger of trouble. If I give any order, I shall certainly use my utmost force to carry the order out. I have McReynolds' troops on provost duty here and at Williamsport, and the militia surgeons are all relieved from duty with the hospitals, and everything is running along finely.
The question seems to me to be, whether, with Kelley occupying Martinsburg and Lee's army down near Front Royal, Franklin's brigade is wanted here. You can readily appreciate the value of old soldiers watching and defending fords, and the necessity of having troops that can be readily concentrated if a crossing should be attempted. I think myself that there should be a constant guard along the Potomac to prevent intercourse, no mater where our of its belonging to the Baltimore department.
Can you not get the change made, and bring in drafted men to do the word here? If so, it would relieve everything. I have been sick with a boil on my arm, but am now better, and can write more freely than yesterday. Colonel Thomas has promised to ascertain the temper of the troops and let me know.
WM. F. SMITH,
NORTH MOUNTAIN, VA., July 26, 1863-9 a. m.
(Received 12. 30 p. m.)
Chief of Staff:
Mu cavalry occupied Martinsburg yesterday; found no enemy in arms. There are quite a number of sick and wounded officers and