The Invasion of Maryland.
Our Army Advancing Slowly.
The Soldiers Gaining Needed Strength.
True Position of the Rebel Army Unknown.
Contradictory Reports as to their Strength
Farmers Stripped of all their Produce.
Supposition that the Rebels will Escape.
General Wool Commands in Pennsylvania.
The People Rushing to Arms.
Special Dispatch to The N. Y. Tribune.
Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 1862.
One of your special correspondents in the front, writing from the camp beyond Middlebrook yesterday evening, says that the army is advancing so slowly that the soldiers have ample time to recover their strength, worn out by the Peninsula and Rappahannock campaigns.
There is little news to communicate. In the skirmish on Tuesday, Farnsworth’s Illinois Cavalry charged and broke two Rebel regiments of horse, and took Poolesville for the third time, at least according to authentic accounts.
Franklin was reported to have used his artillery in front at Barnesville, and there were indications that the Rebels were in force a few miles beyond Middlebrook. Your correspondent expresses the opinion that the Rebel strength will be found between Sugar Loaf Mountain and Monocacy Bridge. Their mask is so complete, he says, that it is literally true that our Generals know neither the position, strength, nor purpose of the Rebel leaders.
In high quarters, it is said, theories entirely irreconcilable and equally plausible are advanced with equal confidence. They agree, however, in regarding a movement by the Rebels on Baltimore as improbable under the rules of military strategy. The Rebels can fight or retreat as they prefer, since they hold the Upper Potomac fords.
The Frederick army had but 500 wagons last Saturday, which were all filled with green corn to be used as food for men and horses. If Maryland ever held out inducements to invasion, and promises of assistance, she has not kept her word to the Rebels, who find little active sympathy and no real cooperation.
Your correspondent estimates the force at and about Frederick at 80,000, and we understand that some at least of our Generals set the whole of the enemy’s force in Maryland at not less than 140,000 or 150,000. Per contra, a clever, active officer, who was within four miles of Frederick day before yesterday, estimates the Rebel strength at less than 10,000.
His testimony is rendered unusually valuable by the fact that he has been stationed near Poolesville for the past seven months, and is acquainted with many farmers in that neighborhood and on the roads towards Frederick. A Union man with whom he had been acquainted for months, and whom he considers entirely trustworthy, assured him that the column which marched past his house to Frederick from the river was not more than 8,00 strong, and that it consisted entirely of cavalry and artillery.
Persons from Frederick with whom this scout conversed made a similar statement as to the force there.
Some farmers on the road, whose testimony he regarded as of little value with our Generals, say that there were from 140,000 to 150,000 Rebels in the State.
This scout also says, that from all he could learn, Jackson has not been in Maryland at all, the whole army of invasion being under the command of Gen. Fitzhugh Lee. The main force of the Rebels, he believes, to be several miles back of Leesburg, and to be between 100,000 and 150,000 strong.
He regards Fitzhugh Lee’s force as a foraging party, with the farther design of occupying the attention of as many of our troops as possible. On the farms along the roads over which it had passed neither cattle, grain, nor vegetables remained. Every farmer had been stripped of all his portable property, the Rebels paying for it not in green backs, as is falsely reported, but Confederate notes, if the seller would take them, otherwise not at all.
The scout expressed the belief that after delaying our advancing army as long as possible, and making its campaign as ridiculous as possible in the eyes of the world, Fitzhugh Lee would make good his retreat, with all the supplies he has gathered, going by way of Hagerstown and Williamsport.
The report that the Rebels have occupied Hagerstown, which is positively asserted to-night, favors this supposition, and it is not inconsistent with it that the Rebels give signs of an intention to hold, for a time, the line of the Monocacy, on which there has been skirmishing to-day. The scout saw one or two Rebel ragged and barefoot soldiers.
He says that Lee had, when he entered Maryland, 30 or 40 12-pounders, but a very small amount of ammunition, and that he hopes to supply this want in Maryland as well as the necessities of his men and horses for food.
Scouting parties of Rebels have recently been within 40 miles of Baltimore, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and have carried away telegraph instruments from several stations.
Special Dispatch to The N. Y. Tribune.
Harrisburg, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 1862.
At 9 o’clock this morning, 50 Rebel cavalry entered Hagerstown. The telegraph operator withdrew, and established his office at the State line, five miles north, on a rock, in the rain.
The inhabitants are flying north. At latest accounts 200 rebels occupied Hagerstown, and their cavalry are moving toward Greencastle.
The authorities here have information that Jackson’s immediate force is 20,000 strong, and believe the aggregate Rebel force in Maryland is over 150,000.
That they first propose to capture our forces at Martinsburg and Harper’s Ferry, and then strike Washington and Baltimore in detail.
Gentlemen from Frederickstown report the free admission of all Marylanders to and from the Rebel lines. A company of 60 Rebel recruits were raised in Emmettsburg immediately on receiving Bradley Johnson’s proclamation.
The Rebels are all well armed, but utterly undisciplined, and when turned into the corfields [sic] seized and devoured the ears like hungry cattle.
Gen. Wool arrives to-day to take command of the State forces. The people are responding en masse to Gov. Curtin’s proclamation. There will be forty or fifty thousand here within three days. Arms are plenty here for all. The railroad to Baltimore is unbroken.
Correspondence of the Associated Press.
Rockville, Wednesday, Sept. 10—evening.
Poolesville, about ten miles from here, is the furthest point up the river we now occupy; but as to movements generally, it would be improper to speak.
No word has recently been received of Col. Miles, who has been occupying Harper’s Ferry. The impression is that he has left that point by this time, as it would be impossible for him to hold that position while the enemy occupy Frederick, and may march upon Hagerstown, which is anticipated.
No one seems to have any definite knowledge of the numerical force now in Maryland.
There is no doubt the enemy are throwing all their available force into Maryland. Two deserters from the 24th North Carolina regiment arrived here to-day. They state that two of their brigades marched directly from Richmond to Frederick.
The supply trains of the Rebels continue to cross into Maryland, but none are known to return.
Our troops advanced this morning.