Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Ken Perdue.
There is very little more known this morning of the real state of affairs on James River than we announced yesterday. General Grant’s troops began crossing to the south bank of the James River at Fort Powhatan on Tuesday night. By Wednesday night but two corps had got over. Two corps remained on the northern bank. Smith on Wednesday was at Bermuda Hundred. The remainder of Grant’s army was fifteen miles below, on both sides of the James. The Confederates, as soon as Grant’s movement was discovered, marched quickly through Richmond to Petersburg. The distance was not more than twenty miles. The march began on Sunday. On Thursday a contest began at Petersburg, of which the result is not known. As Grant’s advance could not, by the utmost exertions, arrive at Bermuda Hundred before noon on Thursday, and the two corps still on the north bank of the James could scarcely get there before last evening, the state of affairs is very critical. The forty-eight hours of time which the Confederates gained — if it did not secure them advantages in battle — gave them opportunity to fortify impregnably below Fort Darling. We have no authentic intelligence from Bermuda Hundred later than Thursday morning.
We have information from Federal sources that the railroad running from Lynchburg westward to Tennessee, has been repaired by the Confederates. The bridge over New River, in Western Virginia, which was destroyed by the recent raid of Averill, has been rebuilt. There is now uninterrupted communication between Richmond and the West. The nearest force of Confederates in Western Virginia to this railroad, is at Beverly Court House, about one hundred miles north of the New River Bridge. General Hunter evacuated Staunton some times since, and no Federal troops are near the eastern portion of the railroad. It is reported from Southern sources, that General Pope, with four thousand men from Minnesota, has joined General Hunter.
There has been a contest between the Federal fleet in the Red River and some batteries on the shore. The Confederates reported that they captured a transport named the Lebanon, and crippled a gunboat. The fleet subsequently sailed down the river.
There is nothing of importance from General Sherman. The Confederates report that on June 10th, he was quietly encamped in front of Marietta. Some slight skirmishing took place, but the impression was that Sherman would not risk a battle.1
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- Philadelphia Illustrated New Age, June 17, 1864 ↩