ericksburg to state that a portion of Ewell's corps had been sent to South Carolina, and we have evidence to show that besides Cooke's brigade at Fredericksburg, another brigade has arrived at Gordonsville to replace those sent south. Our men were within the rebel lines during the cavalry fight on Saturday. The troops in their vicinity were entirely stampeded, and the citizens began leaving their homes.
An extraordinary state of excitement is pervading all classes of Southern society in regard to the late retreat of General Lee. A disagreement has sprung up between himself and the Confederate cabinet, and General Lee has tendered his resignation. He desires to retire to the line of the James River, and Mr. Davis urgently insists upon his defending the line of the Rappahannock. Much recrimination exists in regard to the immense loss occasioned by the advance into and retirement from Pennsylvania. All agree that the line of the Rapidan will only be defended for the purpose of retarding our movements.
The foregoing is not enlarged upon, being obtained from such sources as to make it entirely reliable, the details thereof being personally communicated to the commanding general.
It is needless to say that our men were afoot, and that the foregoing location of the enemy's troops was, on their arrival this evening, two days old. Prior to their return there were indications of the enemy's intention to retire beyond the Rapidan, fully confirmed this evening, and forwarded in a special memorandum for the information of the general.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. SHARPE,
Colonel, and Depute Provost-Marshal-General.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, August 4, 1863
(Received 6 p. m.)
Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:
An intercepted dispatch read by our signal officer is as follows:
Orders to go just received; will do so at once. Enemy in same position.
A previously intercepted dispatch says:
Our left is left open by the withdrawal of Colonel Lomax.
Picket and artillery firing is now going on. Think enemy's movements will be developed soon. Will telegraph you. The enemy reported advancing.
HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, SECOND DIV., TWELFTH A. C.,
Near Ellis' Ford, Va., August 4, 1863.
Captain THOMAS H. ELLIOTT, Asst. Adjt. General:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to the general commanding that I have this morning examined the line of our pickets along the