The War News.
A Dash on Petersburg – All Quiet with General Lee’s Army – Particulars of the Capture of the Water Witch, &.c.
The great calm on the chief line continues.–But elsewhere there is movement ominous of approaching storms.
Grant’s continued quiet is probably due to the fact that his army is well whipped. Until he can reorganize it, and get some fresh blood in it, he is not likely to be very active.
But his cavalry is in motion. Sheridan with a force popularly estimated at eighteen thousand strong, but more probably only two divisions, is said to have passed a point on the railroad near Chesterfield station. The following dispatch has been received from General Lee:
“Headq’rs Army of Northern Virginia,
June 8, 1864- 8 P.M.
“Hon. Secretary of War:
“The enemy has been unusually quiet to-day [June 8, 1864] along the extent of his lines and nothing of importance has occurred. Two divisions of his cavalry, under General [Philip] Sheridan, are reported to have crossed the Pamunkey yesterday at New Castle ferry.
“R[obert]. E. Lee, General.”
The Petersburg Raid
The city was startled last evening [June 9, 1864] by the report that the enemy had made a sudden dash on Petersburg. The account we were able to obtain last night at the War Department was that a large body of the enemy’s cavalry appeared before the outer fortifications of Petersburg yesterday afternoon [June 9, 1864], about four o’clock; flanked our forces, which were mostly militia; the militia fell back after a slight brush, in which some three or four were killed, and the outer fortifications were abandoned to the enemy; that the enemy did not pursue, and had not, as far as they were advised, entered within the corporate limits. Such was the version given of the affair last night at the War Department.
Private accounts make the affair at Petersburg much more serious. Parties who came over last night [June 9, 1864] say that the enemy certainly entered the corporate limits, and that the most serious part of the fight occurred in the city, near what is known as Poplar Lawn. According to their accounts, the enemy advanced in two columns- one by the City Point road, the other by the Prince George Road. As they advanced, they drove in some cavalry, and succeeded in reaching the outer fortifications with but slight resistance. Here they met the militia, who, after a fighting them, fell back in considerable confusion, with the enemy on their heels. In a short while a portion of the garrison was hurried forward with two pieces of artillery, who came upon the enemy near the Park, where a sharp fight ensued, resulting in the repulse of the enemy, who, after being driven back, made off in the direction of the Petersburg and Weldon railroad.
We have, from two or three sources, confirmation of the enemy getting within the corporate limits. The militia offered but slight resistance to their advance, and the enemy was not held in check in his dash into the city until they were met by the army troops and driven out.
In the fight several of the militia were killed.- Among the number we hear of John Friend, proprietor of the Jarratt hotel, and George W. Jones, druggist. There were some fifteen or eighteen wounded.
From the James
It still remains quiet on the James. Deserters continue to come in, two having arrived in our lines yesterday–one from the naval branch of the enemy’s service; the other a member of an Ohio regiment. These men represent that Butler has lately been reinforced, but to what extent they could not say. They also state that Butler’s headquarters are at the Bermuda Hundreds [sic, Hundred] wharf, on board of a steamer, which is known in the army as the “Headquarters Boat.”
The gunboats have been more quiet than usual. Along the Appomattox the Yankees are still industriously engaged on the observatory or look out below Fort Clifton. It now overtops the tallest trees in the vicinity, and affords its occupants a good view of all the surrounding country, on both sides of the Appomattox.1
SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Mark Hinson.
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- “The War News.” Richmond Examiner. June 10, 1864, p. 2 col. 1-2 ↩