Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
The Petersburg papers say that there is nothing stirring along the lines of the two armies in front of Petersburg, except dust, which in clouds and volumes fills every conceivable thing. This, added to the sweltering heat, makes it any thing but comfortable. A Petersburg paper gives the following summary of the situation there:
SHARPSHOOTING AND SHELLING.
On some parts of the lines the sharpshooters on both sides have an ugly practice of shooting at everything they see, and then again the shells—those awful things—are ever and anon hurling through the air to the terrour of all non-combatants, and to the occasional annoyance of the straggling soldiers.
PRISONERS AND THEIR STORIES.
Several prisoners were brought in Thursday [SOPO Ed.: July 7, 1864], among them a lieutenant of cavalry, “just all the way from Cork.” He represents the cavalry arm of the Yankee service as being in anything but the best plight. In other words, he says it is “used up,” and will not number one fourth of what it did when the campaign commenced. Their operations on the north side of the James and on the south side of the Appomattox rivers, will lay them on the shelf and render them useless for weeks to come.
The other prisoners say that Burnside is still in our front.
DESERTERS FROM GRANT’S ARMY.
A gentleman who arrived in Petersburg from Ivor, reports that the country there and thence to Suffolk is lined with stragglers and deserters from Grant’s army. He represents the numbers to be extremely large, and the men as exerting every effort to escape arrest. The country around Petersburg does not suit them. The weather is too hot for comfort, good water is too scarce, and Confederate bullets too unerring.
The limited crops in that section have been completely destroyed by the enemy’s foraging parties, and but little is left the remaining inhabitants to subsist upon. If Grant’s army remains on the Southside much longer, the counties open to his troops will be desolated and ruined.1
- “From Petersburg.” Richmond Examiner. July 9, 1864, p. 2 col. 6 ↩