Progress of the war in Maryland.
THE REBEL ARMY RETREATING IN CONFUSION.
Great and Decisive Union Victories.
THOUSANDS OF ARMS AND PRISONERS TAKEN.
THE WHOLE REBEL ARMY OF VIRGINIA BELIEVED TO BE BROKEN UP.
ENTHUSIASTIC ADMIRATION FOR McCLELLAN EVERYWHERE EXPRESSED.
GLORIOUS CONFIRMATION OF THE GOOD NEWS.
45,000 Prisoners captured since Sunday.
THE WHOLE REBEL ARMY TO BE TAKEN OR KILLED.
Telegraphed to the Rock Island Argus.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17. — The Herald's correspondent says:
At 3 o'clock this p.m., intelligence was received that since 5:30 this a.m. the fiercest and most sanguinary battle of the whole war has been in progress.
All the corps d'armee which McClellan took with him to Frederick were massed at the point indicated, and the engagement is believed to have been between the whole of the two armies.
There is reason to suppose the loss on both sides is very great, as requisitions for medical stores and arrangements for wounded, which were to be sent to Poolesville immediately, are heavier than have ever been made at any time.
Information has been received that McClellan destroyed the aqueduct at the mouth of Anticastain creak, and the bridge across that creek, upon the road leading to Sharpsburg, thus cutting off the rebel's retreat in the direction of Shepherdstown.
Later reports from Hagerstown state this p.m., that the rebels were retreating in great confusion and disorder, and subsequently heavy and rapid firing was heard in the direction of Williamsport, which induces the belief that McClellan has pursued the retreating rebels to that point, and that they made a stand there to cover the passage across the Potomac.
A reconnoissance, made by Col. Davis' cavalry, who made a dashing foray towards Hanover Junction, from Fredericksburg, and now under command of Heintzleman, shows that since Friday last the rebels have evacuated Leesburg, and that a force of ten thousand men, with 30 pieces of artillery, and a supplying train, two miles in length, has gone in the direction of Harper's Ferry.
Information received here, which, however, is not deemed altogether reliable, that a large rebel force was crossing northward on the other side of Bull Run Mountains. Measures were promptly taken to ascertain the truth of the report.
A gentleman of this city, who is conversant with the region about Sharpsburg, says the Potomac can be forded at Shepardstown, at Ancatim Creek, at Dam No. 4, and at Harper's Ferry.
Later, received to-night, from Lieut. Russell, 96th Pa., states their loss at the battle of Pass of the Blue Ridge to be 156.
Maj. Martin and Lieut. Dougherty were killed.
Special to Tribune.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17th — 12:10 p.m. — Very little is known here in regard to to-day's fight, except the fact that the contest is still going on.
The government has preserved silence in regard to whatever information it possesses, but we learn from more official circles that tenor of advices is favorable to the union cause.
Private dispatches, believed to be correct, inform us that the enemy had destroyed the turnpike running over Antictam creek, and had thrown up and made earth works to defend the fords of said creek.
Later — We learn they have been driven steadily back towards the Potomac, and it was believed the fighting was mainly by the enemy's rear guard, which was contesting the advance of our troops and covering the retreat of their main body.
A special train, with medical stores and surgeons, leaves here to-night for Frederick.
Heavy firing was heard here to-day in the direction of Drainsville which gives cause to believe that one of our columns may have encountered a force in that neighborhood.
Special to New York Herald.
HARRISBURG, Sept. 17. — Evening reports just came in state that the whole rebel army have been driven this way and are retreating to Hagerstown.
D. H. Hill, killed; ten thousand Pa. militia will meet the foe at Hagerstown, to invade Pennsylvania backward.
A severe engagement occurred yesterday between our army and the rebels near Sharpsburg, in which the enemy were well thrashed, with terrific slaughter. 500 of their dead were buried by us early as 9 a.m. to-day, and work still going on.
This morning the battle recommenced near Gettyville. Jackson joined Lee's forces at Antinctam creek, while our forces were reinforced by 30,000 men from Washington.
Jackson's reinforcements to Lee were reported at 40,000.
Up to Saturday, my last advices, victory illuminated our standard, and the impression prevails at Hagerstown that the whole rebel army of Virginia is annihilated.
Confidence prevails here and enthusiastic admiration of McClellan and his army.
We have undoubtedly won great and decisive victories, both yesterday and to-day.
Among our trophies are several batteries and thousands of small arms and prisoners.
He also dispatched hither a large train of medical supplies, immense hospital accommodations being provided at Washington.
Gen. Hatch arrived here to-day. He was wounded in the right leg.
BALTIMORE, Sept. 17. — Over 1200 prisoners captured in the recent battles, arrived here this morning and will be sent north to-morrow.
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 18. — A special dispatch dated Hagerstown, yesterday, to the Press, says of the fight on Tuesday:
The battle rage with great spirit. The firing on either side was very heavy until towards sundown, when the rebels were flanked by Hooker and Porter and severely punished.
Their fire became desultory, and it was evident their ammunition was giving out.
This morning the battle was resumed by the rebels with renewed energy.
They acted as if they had been reinforced and supplied with fresh ammunition.
The battle lasted till 4 p.m., when the rebels retreated leaving Longstreet and the remnant of his division in or hands as prisoners.
The entire rebel army will be captured or killed. There was no chance left for them to cross the Potomac, as the river is rising and our troops are pushing them continually, and sending prisoners to the rear.
Six batteries of artillery, belonging to Gen. Longstreet's division, were captured yesterday and to day.
It is said we have taken nearly 15,000 prisoners since Sunday.
Stonewall Jackson's army is with Lee, and with other distinguished officers, will be compelled to surrender in a day or two at farthest.
Our immense army is in motion and our generals are confident of ultimate and decisive success.
Stores for our army are coming by way of Harrisburg and Baltimore.