2

The Bold Dash of the Rebels.

How They Turned McClellan's Flank and What They Did — The Rebel Version.

As we predicted, the rebels are rejoicing over the bold dash of their forces upon the right flank of Gen. McClellan's army. The Richmond Examiner of the 16th inst. contains a long and enthusiastic account of the demonstration, in which the highest compliments are paid to officers and men. We make the following extracts from this rebel version of the affair:

THE FORCE ENGAGED.

It having been determined upon to penetrate the enemy's lines, and make a full and thorough reconnoissance of their position and strength, Gen. J. E. B. Stuart ordered the 1st (Col. Fitz Hugh Lee,) 9th (Col. F. H., Fitz Hugh Lee,) and 4th Virginia cavalry, (Lieut. Gardner commanding,) to hold themselves in readiness. These regiments, however, did not turn out more than half their usual strength, the 4th not more than four companies in the field. The Jeff. Davis troop was also incorporated in the detail, as also two pieces of Stuart's flying artillery — a 12-pound howitzer and a 6-pound English rifle-piece — the whole force not numbering more than fourteen hundred men, if even the total reached that number.

PENETRATING THE FEDERAL LINES.

Carefully and cautiously journeying, the Federal lines were penetrated, when horse pickets discovering our videttes advancing, the videttes hastily retired, according to orders, upon the main body, concealed by woods and a turn in the road. Being near Hanover Court House, the Federals were wont to proceed thither daily for forage, as a captured picket informed the men, but on this occasion had orders to proceed as far as possible towards Richmond. It being thought possible to capture the whole detachment, dispositions were accordingly made, but upon the appearance of the second squadron of the 9th (composed of the Carolina Dragoons, Capt. Swan, and Lee's Light Horse, Lieut. Hungerford ccommanding,) under command of Capt. Swan, the enemy's outpost hastily gallopped back, and their main body took to flight, Capt. Swan's squadron dashing after them down the road, making a splendid race of two miles at a killing pace.

RUNNING THE CAMPS AND FIRING INTO CARS.

Successful pursuit being impossible, their camps were visited and destroyed; wagons on the road were overtaken and burned, and the entire route from Ashland, by Hanover Court House and Old Church, to Station No. 22, (Tunstall's, we believe,) on the York River Railroad, was naught else but a continuous scene of triumph and destruction. Commissary and quartermaster's stores were seized and burned at every turn; prisoners and horses were captured and sent to the rear, and by the time of the arrival at the railway station, more than $1,000,000 of federal property must have been captured and destroyed, besides scores of prisoners riding in the rear.

Upon approaching the railroad, cars were heard advancing and the whistles sounded. — By orders every man was instantly dismounted and ranged beside the track. Again the whistle blew, and thinking the force a friendly one, perhaps, the steam was stopped, when the Carolina troops opening the fire, disclosed the ruse, and putting on steam again, on sped the train toward the Chickahominy, and despite heavy logs placed on the track, made good its escape; but the carriages being but uncovered freight cars, and having soldiers on them, the slaughter that ensued was frigutful. Many of the enemy jumped from the train, and were afterwards captured or killed, the number of twenty or more. The engineer was shot dead by Lieutenant Robinson.

DESTROYING TRANSPORTS.

Still adding to their conquests at every step, a detachment was immediately sent to the White House on the Pamunkey, and dischvering four large transports moored there, and some hundred wagons or more, with teams, &c., in a wagon yard, all these were instantly seized, to the great fright and astonishment of the federals, and the torch immediately applied to all things combustible. — One of the transports escaped and floated down the river. The contents of the other three were chiefly valuable commissary and quartermaster's stores, vast quantities of army clothing, grain, fruit, and sutler's stores. Tempting as they were, all things were laid in ashes, the horses led off, and prisoners secured. Thinking that the enemy would send out an overwhelming force in pursuit, an unlikely route was selected, and the whole command proceeded to New Kent Court House. New Kent Court House being the rennezvous, the fourth squadron of the 8th, under command of Captain Knight, (consisting of the Lunenberg and Lancaster cavalry) having burned the transports and wagons, joined the column on its route thither.

PLUNDERING A SUTLER.

The advance guard having reached New Kent, and found an extensive sutler's establishment, some dismount and enter. Every description of goods that taste or fancy might require are found in profusion here. Clothes of all descriptions and qualities, cutlery, sabres, pistols, shoes, preserves, conserves, boots, stationery, wines, liquors, tobacco, cigars, tea, coffee, sugar, tapicca, maccaroni, champagne, sherry and Bergundy in great quantity; in fine, all that men could buy for money, was there discovered, while round the store lolled Federal soldiers, and the sleek, fat proprietor eloquently holding forth upon McClellan's wonderful genius as a military commander, and the speedy subjugation of the rebels. Our wearied horsemen called for refreshments, which the sutler handed to the "Maryland Cavalry" (!) with great alacrity; but when pay was demanded our troops roared with laughter, told the proprietor who they were, and, much to his surprise and indignation, pronounced them all prisoners of war.

As the other troops arrived it was found that a magnificent Federal ambulance had been captured on the route, containing many valuable medical stores. The vehicle and contents were burned when overtaken, the driver, a good-looking, well-dressed doctor, and companions, being accommodated with a mule each, and were at the moment to be found among nearly two hundred other nondescripts — sailors, soldiers teamsters, negroes, sutlers, &c., in the motley cavalcade at the rear. Helping themselves liberally to all the store afforded, our troops remained at the sutler's till near midnight (Friday,) when, being comparatively refreshed, and all present, the head of the column was turned toward the Chickahominy and home. Champagne, we are told, flowed freely while any remained — wines, liquors and cigars were all consumed. Yankee products of every description were appropriated without much ado, and with light hearts all journeyed by a lonely road, near the main body of the enemy, and a little before dawn on Sunday were on Chickahominy's bank, ready to cross.

WHERE THE REBELS WENT.

The sudden disappearance of the rebels on approach of our troops was a mystery, but the Dispatch explains it:

Our force was directed to cross at Blind Ford, but it was fifteen feet deep! The enemy had blocked up all main roads, and had thousands scouting the country, eager to entrap or slaughter them — but two miles from McClellan's headquarters, within sound of their horse picket — and without means to cross! Quietly taking precautions against all surprise, silence being enjoined upon the prisoners first one horseman plunged into the flood, and then another at different points — all too deep. No ford discoverable, no bridge. The horses, it was thought, would follow each other, and swim the stream — it was tried, and the horses, carried away by the current. — Breaking into small parties, the cavalry men swam and re-swam the river with their horses, and when some fifty or more had been landed, a strange but friendly voice whispered in the dark — "The old bridge is but a few yards higher up — it can be mended!" 'Twas found and mended it could be! Quietly working, tree after tree was felled, earth, and twigs, and branches were carried and piled up on the main props — old logs were rolled and pitched across the stream, yet after long and weary labor the bridge was built, and the long and silent procession of cavalry, artillery, prisoners and spoils, safely and quietly passed the frail impromptu bridge, scarcely any sounds being heard but the rush of waters beneath.

Once across, and in the swamp, all was industry and expedition. Artillery axles sank low in the mire — ten Yankees horses were hitched to each piece, and as the first rays of morning crimsoned the tree tops, the long line sought the shade of woods away from the Federal lines. Yet our troops had not proceeded far when the advance were halted. "Who comes there?" shouted a Federal horse man in the swamp. "Who goes there?" calls another, and quicker than thought our advance guard (by order) dash away into open ground; the Federals fire half a dozen shots and rush in pursuit. Into the thicket some half dozen Federal horsemen dart after our men and quicker than lightning are surrounded and prisoners!

Once more within our lines, all went merry as a marriage bell. Quickly the dirty, weary band sped along the Charles City road, dawn revealed them to our pickets, and they entered our camps faint and famished, but the noblest band of heroes that ever bestrode a charger, or drew a battle-blade for their birth-right as freemen.