WASHINGTON, March 15.
A Cavalry reconnoisance, under General Stoneman, made a thorough examination of the country for a distance of 25 miles, in a straight line. No armed rebels were seen. It has proved that the rebel retreat was a perfect rout.
Our troops are engaged in securing valuable property left by the rebels at Dumfries. It is said to be immense, consisting of ammunition, stores, tents, blankets, &c.
McClellan’s proclamation excites enthusiasm in the army, and is applauded by the people as important and conclusive.
Information has been received here of the late rebel strength at Manassas and Centerville. It comes from four men lately employed on the railroad from Manassas, who deserted and came over to our lines. They assert that up to Friday week the rebel force at and near Manassas was about 90,000, 25,000 between Manassas and Aquia Creek, 12,000 at Winchester, Leesburg, &c. All could have been concentrated at Manassas at a day’s notice. The rebels never talked of evacuating until the fall of Fort Donelson, when it was freely said that they would have to retreat when McClellan advanced.
The roads for sixty days past have been horrible.
The grave of Col. Cameron is said to have been found at Bull Run. His body has been sent to Harrisburg.
At a station 12 miles from Manassas, we found 52 freight cars loaded with commissary stores, worth $20,000. The enemy had kindled a fire under them, which fiald to burn.
The rebels burned Warrington Station, 14 miles from Manassas; also the hotels and several dwellings.
Yesterday parties started from Quantico Creek, and occupied Dumfries, which had been occupied by troops from Texas, Alabama, and South Carolina, under Wigfall.
– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Tuesday Morning, March 18, 1862, p. 2