Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
THE WAR NEWS.
Rumours of all sorts were abundant yesterday [July 7, 1864]. It is not thought expedient to particularize them.
Persons who reached here yesterday morning from New Kent county, report that the Yankees were landing in heavy force at the White House. Some said there were an army corps of the enemy. While we cannot undertake to speak with any certainty of events occurring so far away, we think it probable that these Yankees are part of the disorganized bands left by Grant and Butler at Williamsburg, Yorktown and Gloucester Point. Their business at the White House must be to reconnoitre, as there is nothing there to steal.
The report first started on Wednesday [July 6, 1864], and industriously circulated yesterday, that an important Confederate post had been captured, was entirely without foundation. The position alluded to was not even menaced.
Quiet reigned along the lines in front of Petersburg yesterday [July 7, 1864], except that Grant kept up his usual shelling of the town. Grant’s inactivity does not seem to us difficult to explain. When he crossed the Pamunkey he believed that by a heavy sacrifice of life he could force his way into Richmond. He made the bloody sacrifice at Cold Harbour; he paid the price he had calculated upon, but got no equivalent. The morning of the 5th of June found him not one foot nearer Richmond than he had been on the 3d, but fifteen thousand of the flower of his army strewed the fields of Cold Harbour. He then attempted the capture of Petersburg by a COUP, and again failed as signally and with as terrible loss as on the former field. These failures taught him discretion. He has come to the conclusion that starving Richmond out is a safer plan for him, if not a surer one, than attempting to take it by direct assault. He has convinced his Government and people, and perhaps himself, that having destroyed our railroad connexions, he has only to bide his time, and General Lee will be obliged to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond, or march out and attack him in his intrenchments. Until these desired events shall befall, he sits quietly on the banks of the Appomattox and throws only enough shell into Petersburg to keep up the appearance of business. His Government and people are content with his plan, because they think General Lee’s army and all the inhabitants of Petersburg and Richmond are starving by inches. His army are more than content with the programme, because any thing on earth is to them preferable to meeting in battle the veteran army of Northern Virginia.
FROM GENERAL JOHNSTON.
The press telegram, to be found in another column, announcing the evacuation of Marietta by General Johnston, was received yesterday evening. About the same time the following was received. It is from an officer of high rank, and the information it contains may be relied upon as authentic:
“ATLANTA, July 5, 1864—The enemy to-day occupies a line of intrenchments about one mile beyond the Chattahoochee river, one corps being on the right of the railroad. All quiet to-day.”
A singular class of pilgrims are now wending their way to the land beyond the Potomac—to “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Our military authorities have determined to grant passports through our lines to women whose husbands have run off and joined the enemy; and all the women of this class who are able to defray the expenses of the trip across the border have applied, or are applying for these passports.
This is decidedly the most sensible thing the military authorities have done since they came into power. These women, nearly all Irish and German, are, almost without exception, idle consumers of our substance. They in no way contribute to the public weal. The nearest approach to work they ever make is the keeping of little dram shops and buying stolen goods from negroes. So good a riddance do we consider their being sent out of the country, that we recommend the Council of this city, at their next meeting, to adopt measures which will insure that none of them who wish to depart shall be compelled to remain from lack of funds to pay their passage. In no way that we can think of could the city spend one hundred thousand dollars so advantageously as in getting rid of this entire class of our population. To leave out of the account the great clearing of the moral atmosphere that would result, by spending money in getting rid of them forever, the city would save in dollars and cents in the long run. It is better to pay them two or three or even five hundred dollars each and let them go in peace, than to have to support them, as the city has been doing, and will have to do until the end of the war. Our soldiers and their wives and children want all the meal and flour and beef and bacon that our country can produce.
We invoke for this subject the attention of the City Council at their meeting next Monday. The Council will NOT entertain any proposition for supplying the city with provisions; perhaps they will give ear to a scheme for reducing the number of vicious and unproductive consumers.
A CLUMSY CANARD.
It was reported last evening that the New York HERALD, of the 5th, had been received, and that it quoted gold at 815. The Yankee printers all take holiday on the Fourth of July, and consequently issue no paper on the 5th. The individual who got up this rumour will never succeed as a sensationist, and had better turn his attention to some calling requiring less intellect.
Lists of the casualities of the Fifty-seventh Virginia regiment, from May 10 to July 2 , and of Harris’ Mississippi brigade, from the 12th of May to the 30th of June , have been received at the Army Intelligence Office, over the Bank of Virginia.
We are indebted to Mr, George W. Bishop, corresponding clerk of the Southern Express Company, for the Southern papers in advance of the mails, of course.1
- “The War News.” Richmond Examiner. July 8, 1864, p. 1 col. 1 ↩