THE WAR NEWS.
Nothing was talked of yesterday [July 15, 1864] but the invasion of Maryland, and by two o’clock in the evening reports were as abundant and sensational as ever we have known them. This was the sum and substance of the stories which were eagerly circulated with countless variations. Baltimore had been captured, fifteen thousand of the natives armed with brick bats and bowie knives having assisted our troops in the assault; Washington, also, had been carried by storm and Lincoln and his cabinet taken prisoners.
This report was asserted to have been confirmed by a New York HERALD of the 14th[of July 1864] which a great many people were willing to swear, or bet all they were worth, had been received and read at the War Department. We will not assert that there is no truth in the report of the capture of Washington and Baltimore; our armies in Maryland are well calculated to take both places, and whip every Yankee North of the Potomac, but we must contradict the report about the HERALD. No Northern paper of the 14th had been received in this city up to seven o’clock last evening; and a gentleman who left headquarters at Petersburg yesterday informs us that no paper later than the 12th [of July, 1864] had been seen there.
The most important thing that we learned yesterday [July 15, 1864] in relation to our affairs in Maryland, and the circumstance that convinces us that the work of invasion goes bravely on, was that the Yankee troops near Petersburg positively refused to exchange papers with our troops, as they have been of late in the habit of doing. If our armies had met with any disaster, or even check, the Yankees would have been but too eager to furnish us with their newspaper accounts of the event.
The Yankees on a part of their line at Bermuda Hundred made such a cheering and hurrahing yesterday [July 15, 1864] that our pickets called out to them to know what was the matter. They replied that they had just received intelligence that seven thousand of our troops had been captured in Maryland. This may be regarded as a very moderate lie, considering the source from which it emanated.
The latest authentic intelligence we have from our troops in Maryland is derived from a gentleman who arrived here last evening [July 15, 1864] direct from the Relay House, at which point he left the main body of our forces last Monday evening [July 11, 1864]. He says he does not know whether we had taken Baltimore or not, but if we had not it was only because we did not choose to do it. This gentleman brought a large quantity of calicoes and other LOOT.
Another gentleman, a blockade runner, who left Washington Monday evening [July 11, 1864] and arrived here yesterday [July 16, 1864], reports that during Monday fourteen transports loaded with Yankee troops arrived at Washington.
Late last night the Washington STAR of the evening of the 12th [of July, 1864] was received. A summary of its news will be found in another column.
THE VERY LATEST.
A letter dated 13th instant [July 13, 1864], received here late last night [July 15, 1864] from a trustworthy gentleman in Maryland, says: “Washington city is completely invested from the Potomac to the Eastern Branch of Anacosta river. Every railroad north of Baltimore has been cut, and the telegraph wires destroyed.
“To-day (the 13th) everything has been unusually quiet. Not a gun has been heard up to this time—6:25, A. M. It is believed they are negotiating for the surrender of Washington, or giving time for the removal of the women and children. Two forts that defend Washington—Forts Lincoln and Stevens—have been taken. Wallace, who fought our forces at Monocacy Junction, is supposed to have had fifteen thousand troops. A large number of them were one hundred day men, who, when repulsed, threw down their guns and scattered to the winds. Kautz’s cavalry, who figured in the raid below Petersburg, were with Wallace.
Our men have captured the outer works before Washington.
Twenty six transports and steamers, loaded with troops, supposed to be from Grant, passed up the Potomac yesterday [July 15, 1864]. Martial law has been declared, and no one is permitted to enter or leave the city.
It is rumoured here that New Orleans has been captured by Dick Taylor and Price.
THE LATEST RUMOUR.
It was currently reported at a late hour last night [July 15, 1864] that a despatch, dated New Market, Virginia, had been received at the Central depot, announcing a battle at Point of Rocks, Maryland, between a portion of our army in Maryland and a Yankee force, supposed to be Hunter’s. The enemy was routed and pursued.
A citizen of Loudon county who, after having been confined several months at Point Lookout, arrived here on Thursday [July 14, 1864] by flag of truce, says that when he left that place there were there fourteen thousand prisoners and five hundred of our citizens who were guarded by three regiments of hundred day men and four gunboats.
The enemy shelled our lines in front of Petersburg furiously yesterday morning [July 15, 1864]. We replied with shells. During the day Grant fired about the usual number of shots into the town. Nothing else occurred worth mentioning.
The impression still prevails that Grant is moving off his forces. The Petersburg papers state positively that two corps were sent off to Washington last Saturday and Sunday [July 9 and 10, 1864]. But, on the other hand, persons in positions to know, tell us that Grant has not yet sent off any considerable body of his troops.
The latest news we have from Atlanta will be found in the despatches published in the telegraphic column. Though General Johnston has been now more than a week across the Chattahoochee, Sherman has not yet ventured to follow him in force. His tardiness in advancing may be accounted for in several ways. He hesitates to put a bold stream in his rear when he has so formidable a foe in his immediate front. His communications, if not cut, are rendered precarious by our cavalry. He may be meditating another of those extensive flank movements for which he has become almost as notorious as Grant. Whatever the cause of his delay, we feel that we have nothing to fear either from it or from his advance, whenever it shall suit him to make one. 1
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- “The War News.” Richmond Examiner. July 16, 1864, p. 1 col. 1-2 ↩