Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
THE WAR NEWS.
Since our last issue nothing of moment has occurred on the lines about Richmond or Petersburg.
Picket firing in front of Petersburg has been kept up almost constantly during the past three days, with occasional artillery skirmishing.
It was reported yesterday that Grant was withdrawing a part of his forces from our front at Petersburg, but the rumour seems based solely upon conjecture. We have been unable to learn anything in confirmation of it.
The affair on our left at Petersburg on Friday evening1 is now represented by the Petersburg papers as “skirmishing only—nothing more.” From an intelligent officer who came over yesterday we obtained the facts of the “skirmish.” There was no assault by the enemy, and whatever fight there was was brought on by our own troops. About 5 o’clock Friday evening our troops on our left near the Appomattox made demonstrations as if about to charge the enemy’s works, whooped and yelled and shook the bushes and created a great commotion. The enemy, apprehending a serious assault, showed themselves above their breastworks, and many ventured beyond them. So soon as they did this all of our artillery on this part of the lines opened upon them. They were at once driven into their trenches, but our guns kept up the fire for an hour and a half. The enemy’s artillery replied to ours, and a great noise was made. There was no one hurt on our side.—This was the whole affair. We may have killed and wounded some of the enemy, but we do not know the fact. There is a report that the troops opposed to us at this point are negroes who had only on Friday relieved the whites who had been in the trenches since the beginning of the siege.
The Petersburg papers state that the enemy are suffering terribly for want of water. The springs being all dry they are dependant for their supply of water upon the Appomattox and James rivers, from which it has to be hauled great distances in barrels, during which process it becomes so heated as to be unpalatable and unwholesome.
Grant is said to have built an immense wharf, half a mile long, at City Point. He will find this very useful, in case he has to leave his present position in haste.
There was a brisk cannonade yesterday in the direction of Bermuda Hundred, of which, as yet, we have heard no explanation. We presume it was the usual harmless artillery firing, in which the enemy seem to delight, because it makes so much noise.
[SOPO Editor’s Note: Portions of this article not pertaining to Petersburg have been omitted.]
How narrow an escape from capture was made by the chiefs of the Yankee banditti who went a raiding recently on the Southside, may be inferred from the following letter, from which it will be seen that General Wilson lost two uniform coats, Custer one and Colonel McIntosh one. When a Yankee is run out of his clothes he is hard pressed indeed. There is humour in the disposition General Fitz Lee proposes to make of these garments:
“HEADQUARTERS LEE’S DIVISION,
“CAVALRY CORPS, ARMY NORTHERN VA.,
“July 9, 1864.
“TO THE EDITOR OF THE EXAMINER:
“Sir: It has been discovered that in the indiscriminate plunder by the Yankee raiders of everything they could lay their hands on, including the wearing apparel of both sexes, they have not confined themselves to our white citizens, but have taken clothing from the persons of negroes, allowing neither the fraternity they court, nor, as one would think, other more potent considerations to deter them. You will please give notice, through your columns, that four uniform coats, two belonging to General Wilson, one to General Custer and one to Colonel McIntosh, acting Brigadier-General, all of the Yankee cavalry, have been deposited by Major-General Fitz. Lee with Dr. F. W. Hancock, corner Third and Main streets, Richmond, subject to the order of any citizen whose faithful negro or negroes have been robbed of their clothing by the thieving scoundrels of Wilson, Kautz & Co., as a partial compensation for their losses.
“Your obedient servant,
“J. D. FERGUSON,
“Major and Assistant Adjutant- General.”2