The Yankee advance — a change of Base.
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Our scouts were busy during the day in the country below the city, but did not gather much information that we have had access to. At one time the report was that the enemy were at Diascund bridge and numbered 23,000. This report, it was said, might be relied upon. We conversed with an intelligent gentleman, who was a prisoner within the enemy's lines on Friday, but, after being paroled, made his escape and walked to Richmond. He was captured Friday morning while within a short distance of the Pamunkey river, near Cumberland. The Dutch Yankee who arrested him carried him to the headquarters of General Keyes, who was in command of the division which landed at the White House. The division was drawn up in line of battle. He reached the headquarters near New Kent C. H., and upon being carried before the commanding General was closely questioned. During the examination, Gen. Keyes spoke several times in a very boastful manner of the ease which he would enter Richmond.--He said that Wise was "a d — d old coward," that Wise had challenged him for a fight anywhere between Williamsburg and Richmond, and that now he had come Wise had run away. The officers at headquarters participated in the confidence of their braggart chief, with the addition of the lie that they had 50,000 men. Our informant, who is a soldier himself, says he thinks they had about 15,000 men — cavalry, artillery, and infantry. He counted sixteen pieces of artillery. They claimed to have a brigade of cavalry, but he only saw two regiments. The infantry was composed chiefly of foreigners, the Dutch predominating. After being paroled the prisoner was allowed to go at large, and escaped by way of Charles City county, arriving in this city yesterday morning.By the evening train on the York River road we have the latest intelligence of the movements of the enemy. Saturday evening the force from Diascund bridge, in James City county, arrived at the White House, after a march of 15 miles. That evening a Lieut.-Colonel, who was with McClellan while he occupied that point, made a visit to the farm of a lady near by and stated in conversation that the Federal force on the Peninsula numbered about 11,000, and was under the command of Gens. Keyes and Gordon, the former being chief. Persons who saw them at theThe Yankees have committed very few depredations in New Kent, but on Friday a raid was made by them across the Pamunkey into King William, during which they destroyed a good deal of property and carried off a large number of negroes. The soldiers making this incursion into the country were carried over from the White House in gunboats, and returned with their plunder by the same conveyance.A report was in circulation here on Saturday that a body of Federal had been seen or the Mechanicsville road, nine miles from Mechanicsville.From all the facts, we conclude that Keyes, with about 5,000 men, came up the Pamunkey, landed at the White House, and proceeded to the vicinity of New Kent C. H., from whence his cavalry raid on the Central Railroad at Hanover C. H. was made. Gordon marched from Yorktown and took up his position at Diascund Bridge with about the same number of men, and on Friday advanced and formed a junction with Keyes's division, after which on Saturday, both divisions marched to the White House. What will be their next move it is of course impossible to know, but the general opinion of those who came up on the York River train yesterday evening was that they intended to embark for Yorktown.. . .