Telegraphic News. — Battle at Bull's Run, Va.
WASHINGTON, July 18. — Reports are prevalent and credited, that a fight of minor importance took place at Bull Run, five miles from Manassas Junction, and several were killed and wounded on the federal side, from a battery.
An officer, from the seat of war, who reached here to-night, brings information that the troops which marched from Fairfax court house, appeared before Centreville about one o'clock this morning. They halted within half a mile of the enemy's entrenchment, and instead of a battle, they suddenly saw the national flag hoisted over the town, and a solitary man running down the line, announced that the enemy had fled. The band played the Star-Spangled Banner, amid the cheering of the federal troops. It is said that there were 7,000 or 8,000 confederates at Centreville, but the number was probably much exaggerated. They took their cannon with them.
It is stated on the authority of several officers, that the news of Gen. McClellan's victories was generally known at Manassas. The army was to march on Manassas Junction this P. M.
The Herald's camp correspondent says the fact is established that the rebel force at Fairfax was composed of their crack regiments. The retreat of these, without showing fight, will demoralize the whole force at Manassas Junction.
A signal dispatch from Gen. Beauregard to Gen. Cooke, commanding the rebel forces at Germantown, was found. He instructed him to keep a particularly careful lookout on Thursday evening, thereby showing that some traitors in Washington apprised the rebels of the time of the advance.
Late this afternoon a gentleman arrived direct here, by way of Manassas Junction. He left there last night, and reports that there were at Manassas last night, and reports that there were at Manassas last night only 12,000 men. Their means of defense were elaborately prepared, but it is his opinion that they will not withstand an assault. They had, at the Junction, 150 railroad cars. On Sunday night Beauregard went to Richmond. The command at the Junction devolves on Gen. Crenshaw, second in command. At Richmond there was a military consultation as to what course would be pursued. It was after this conference that the immense train of cars was sent to the Junction. This is a significant fact. It is believed that the rebels will leave the Junction and make their first great stand at Richmond. They have already mounted seventy cannon of large calibre, and have some 10,000 whites and negroes at work day and night on the defence.
The Tribune's special dispatch says Gen. Tyler's column moved at 4 o'clock this morning, and passed through Centerville without firing a gun. They halted about two miles, beyond, while a reconnoirtering party went to a creek called Bull's Run. A concealed battery opened on our troops, wounding a sergeant. Two of our heavy guns were brought to bear on them and soon silenced the rebel battery. Col. Richardson's brigade was then sent out skirmishing and soon woke up the rebel batteries on the other side, which were followed by a heavy fire of musketry, which was returned by our men. The engagement lasted half an hour, but they were too well protected, and were too much for the small force opposed to them. Our men fell back somewhat, but in good order. The rebels, whose flag floated from a mill, cheered lustily. At this moment a shell from the now battery to the left, hitherto silent and unknown, burst on the top of the hill where our first battery had been stationed and where there were a number of civilians. Several casualities occurred, but no one was mortally wounded. Several were wounded by bullets. Edmond Morse of Company A, of the 3d Michigan regiment, was struck by a bomb on the knee; the wound is regarded as severe but not dangerous. All on the hill, both civilians and military men, deemed it prudent to withdraw. The telegraph operator at Springfield station, however, reports that heavy cannonading was heard there between 5 and 6 o'clock. We have mentioned above the names of all the wounded whom we saw, but there is no doubt that a considerable number of our men fell, who were taken to the rear after we left.