Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
THE SITUATION AT PETERSBURG.
There is nothing new to report in the situation at Petersburg. The two armies continue to confront each other, with occasional shelling and skirmishing. On many portions of the line our troops and the enemy are said to be so close to each other that a man could almost hurl a stone from one line of intrenchments to the other; and it is reported, we know not with what truth, that newspapers are sometimes wrapped around a stone, and an exchange thus effected. A Petersburg paper gives the following news of the situation there:
We continue to hear from many sources, all of which are entitled to credit, that the enemy is suffering greatly for water. The correspondents of Northern journals complain of this great deprivation deserters refer to it, and persons who have resided all their lives in the section now occupied by the enemy, say that at seasons of dryness like the present, even the sparsely scattered population of the county feel most keenly the absence of water. The enemy have probably sixty thousand or more troops between our city and the two rivers, accompanied by thousands of horses, and our readers may form some idea of the quantity of water required.
Another rumour would have it that Grant was evacuating our front. Up to 8 o’clock this unfounded story obtained many believers, but at the hour mentioned there came thundering and crashing into the city a succession of 32-pounders, which proved beyond all controversy that there was no truth in the rumour, and sent many of its advocates to running and dodging about in cellars and basements, with a nimbleness of foot that would have been amusing if it had not been quite so alarming.
The enemy’s villainous practice of shelling the city is maintained with a steadiness and perseverance which would disgrace a Nero or a Caligula. But with all his thunders Wednesday but one solitary accident occurred, and that cost an old, wornout horse his life.1
- “The Situation at Petersburg.” Richmond Examiner. July 8, 1864, p. 2 col. 6 ↩