THE WAR NEWS.
Yesterday [July 22, 1864] passed without news, but not without a rumour. It was reported that our forces in Northern Virginia had again encountered and beaten Hunter, this time somewhere in the neighbourhood of Winchester. This account, we learn, was based upon an unofficial telegram from some point north of Staunton. No information of any such fight reached the War Office yesterday.
A report was in circulation last night, which came by telegram from Staunton, to the effect that instead of our gaining a victory we had sustained a defeat in the affair above alluded to. In the absence of all official or authentick information, we have nothing to say on the subject.1
OUR VICTORY AT SNICKER’S FERRY LAST MONDAY.
We have received authentick intelligence in regard to our victory at Snicker’s Ferry, Clark county last Monday [July 18, 1864]. Previously we have been under the impression that Hunter advanced against our forces from towards Winchester. This, it seems, was not the case.
Our forces, in returning from Maryland, crossed the Potomac into Loudon, thence taking the stage road due west to Winchester, which crosses the Blue Ridge at Snicker’s Gap, twenty miles west of Leesburg. The Shenandoah river runs on the west side of the Blue Ridge, about four miles from the west end of the gap. As we were passing through the gap on Sunday, the 8th [of July, 1864], the enemy, pursuing from towards Leesburg, attacked our rear and captured thirty wagons. Our columns halted, and, in turn, attacked the enemy, re-taking all of our wagons, capturing two guns and driving the enemy back some distance. We then resumed our march towards Winchester.
On Monday [July 18, 1864], when we had crossed the river and gotten several miles beyond, the enemy crossed also in heavy force. About three o’clock in the evening we attacked and routed them, and drove them across the river in confusion.
The enemy’s loss in killed and wounded in this affair is estimated at one thousand men; our loss will not exceed two hundred and fifty.2
Our forces now hold the entire Shenandoah Valley, from the Potomac to Staunton.
The telegraph informs us that there was great mortar firing in front of Petersburg Thursday night [July 21, 1864], and some musketry skirmishing up to noon [of July 22?], at which time it ceased and unusual quiet succeeded. The Petersburg papers which have come to hand tell us nothing more, in fact not so much. These papers claim to settle the vexed question of Grant’s reported death on the authority of a Yankee who was taken prisoner near City Point on Wednesday night [July 20, 1864], and who says if Grant “has died, he has yet to be informed of it,” and who is of opinion that “if it had occurred he would have heard of it.”
There was nothing from General Hood’s army yesterday by private, press or official telegram.—We shall not be long without news from that quarter. At last accounts Sherman was threatening to envelope Hood’s army, Atlanta and all.—Whatever General Hood intends to do must and will be done quickly.
An official despatch, received at the War Office last night, states that on the 21st [of July, 1864], the enemy attacked Cleburne’s division, of Hardee’s corps, and a portion of our cavalry on our right, but were handsomely repulsed.3
SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
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- SOPO Editor’s Note: These rumors may be the first information coming in about the July 20, 1864 Battle of Rutherford’s Farm, in which Union forces under William Averell defeated Confederates under Stephen D. Ramseur. A poorly placed left flank contributed to the Confederates’ demise. Here is a map of the battle as drawn by Jed Hotchkiss. ↩
- SOPO Editor’s Note: This section refers to the July 17-18 Battle of Cool Spring. ↩
- “The War News.” Richmond Examiner. July 23, 1864, p. 2 col. 1 ↩