LATEST FROM GRANT’S ARMY.
Fighting Going on Wednesday Morning.
Petersburg Attacked by Grant.
The Whole Army Across the
Where They Crossed and How.
Gen. Gillmore Suspended for Being
Special to the Times
WASHINGTON, June 16.
One of Gen. Grant’s couriers arrived here this morning from Bermuda Hundred, with despatches for the Government, says:—
When he left there Wednesday; morning fighting was going on in the vicinity of Petersburgh, cannonading and musketry firing could be heard at the landing. It begun at early dawn, was very heavy, and appeared to be increasing in severity every moment. Grant’s whole army is across the James, its rear several miles west of Bermuda Hundred. The whole of Smith’s Corps has arrived, and several thousands fresh reinforcements reached Bermuda, and more were coming up the river. The Fifth Corps led the advance. He thinks that Petersburgh is now in our hands, as the Rebels had but a comparatively small force there to defend it. Nothing has been heard from Sheridan.
Special to the New York Times.
Headquarters Bermuda Hundred,
June 15th-3 A. M.
The Eighteenth Army Corps, Gen. Smith, detached from the Army of the Potomac, embarked at the White House on Monday noon and rejoined Butler’s command last evening, landing on Point of Rocks, on the Appomattox river. On reporting to Gen. Butler, an order was immediately issued to move at 2 A. M. this morning upon Petersburg, in conjunction with a strong cavalry force under Kautz.
While I am penning these lines, the rumble of artillery and the clattering of the horses as they cross the pontoon bridge over the river, are distinctly heard.
Hancock crossed near Fort Powhattan about ten miles below City Point on bridges prepared by Brig. Gen. Weitzel, Chief Engineer on Butler’s staff.
Gen. Bonham arrived last night with additional pontoon trains, and crossing is still going on.
Gen. Grant spent nearly all day with Gen. Butler, visiting the line of entrenchments, and expressing himself well pleased with the condition of affairs here.
Gen. Butler has relieved Maj. Gen. Gillmore from duty as commander of the Tenth Corps. The grounds for this action is the alleged dilatoriness of Gillmore in moving his troops, on Petersburg last Thursday. Gen. Gillmore has requested a Court of Inquiry to investigate the matter.
Special Despatch to the New York Tribune.
WASHINGTON, June 16.
A Government despatch bearer arrived here this A. M. from Bermuda Hundred, and reports that before he left on Wednesday morning, a battle was in progress in the direction of Petersburg, and probably at that city. Cannon and musketry firing began at dawn, indicating an attack by Grant’s troops, and so heavy and continuous as to show that the attack was in force. The whole of our army had passed through Bermuda Hundred.
Where the advance was, the bearer could not tell, but he did know the rear guard was several miles from Bermuda Hundred.
Our informant saw considerable re-enforcemants of fresh troops arrive at Bermuda Hundred, and met more coming up the river as he went down. The impression when he left was that Petersburg was defended only by volunteer citizens, the principal among whom were the Professors of the female college, druggists, and merchants. If not defended by Longstreet’s veterans, it was thought that Grant would burst into the town on the run.
Special to the New York World.
WASHINGTON, June 16
Intelligence from the front up to yesterday morning, is at hand. Gen. Grant’s whole force had successfully crossed the James river, the first crossing having taken place at one o’clock Tuesday.
At the time our informant left, Grant’s advance was on the march in the direction of Petersburg, where Kautz’s cavalry were then sharply engaged in the immediate outskirts of the town.
The Tribune’s correspondent, under date of the 12th, says the movement to the James river was in three columns, Hancock on the right nearest the Chickahominy, Burnside the left and Wright the centre.
Sheridan is off with the divisions of Gregg and Corbet to find Hunter and pilot him in this direction.
The Herald correspondent with Butler under [illegible] night with a large force of cavalry in the direction of Petersburg.
The Herald’s Fortress Monroe correspondent says the capture of Petersburg will place us in possession of the key to all railroads connecting Richmond with the South, prevent supplies reaching that place, and also all Rebel conscripts from that direction. The only railroad open is the Lynchburgh and Danville, and that is attended to by Hunter and Sheridan.1
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- Albany Evening Journal, June 17, 1864 ↩