Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
THE NEWS FROM PETERSBURG.
From the Petersburg papers of yesterday we work up the following summary of news of the operations of the armies around that city.
From ten o’clock until day-dawn, around the entire line, the popping of musketry was distinctly heard throughout the city. It was incessant, not a second’s time elapsing between the discharges of the pieces, and at the distance we occupied, resembled more the irregular explosion of fire crackers than anything to which we can like it.
THE BLAKELEY GUN—SHELLING THE CITY.
Tuesday morning early, that same old 32 pounder Blakeley of the enemy, which has now become so familiar to the ears of Petersburg people, commenced its daily business, and at the usual intervals of five minutes, its reverberating noise would break upon the ear. This gun is stationed at or near Pace’s farm, on the City Point road, and has thrown many shells into the lower part of the city, but so far has caused no destruction of life. On Monday evening one of its missiles fell near the market house, entering one of the small brick buildings to the west of the market, occupied by Mr. Frank Perkins, cutting a girder in two, and scattering the plastering in all directions. Another scraped the tin roof of the Southside depot building, glanced over into the depotyard, richocheted, and finally brought up at the bottom of the Appomattox.
THE ENEMY OPENED ON FROM THE CHESTERFIELD SIDE.
About ten o’clock a couple of our batteries, occupying an advantageous position on the Chesterfield side of the Appomattox, paid their respects to the enemy’s guns in the vicinity of Jordan’s farm, stopping the thunders of the Blakeley monster for a while, and causing the gunners to leave—at first in twos, and then as the locality became hotter, in squads of five, eight, ten and fifteen. Our batteries were supposed to have disarranged matters in that locality considerably, as we did not hear from the Blakeley for several hours. About seven last evening she opened again, and continued her firing at the usual intervals.
THE ENEMY FEELING OUR RIGHT.
About eleven o’clock yesterday a movement was made by a portion of Grant’s army, on our lines near the Jerusalem plank road, in the vicinity of the residence of Mr. William A. Gregory. But his advance guard only drove in our pickets, for he discovered a body of troops which, had they continued their advance, would have administered to them a terrible castigation. This same body, which shall here be nameless, has already rendered not less than twenty thousand of Grant’s army wholly unserviceable since the present campaign commenced.
A MOVE ON THE WELDON RAILROAD.
About two o’clock our mounted videttes discovered the enemy in much force moving around towards the Weldon railroad, on a road which crosses the rails at a point about two miles from Butterworth’s bridge, and in the immediate vicinity of William H. Davis’ place, at the forks of the Halifax and Vaughan roads. The Yankees engaged in this movement were encountered by a body of North Carolina cavalry, who held them in check until reinforcements came up, both of cavalry and infantry, when the enemy were speedily driven back—the cavalry alone becoming engaged.
BALDY SMITH CROSSING THE APPOMATTOX.
Large bodies of troops, supposed to be attached to Baldy Smith’s Eighteenth army corps, were observed crossing the pontoons on the lower Appomattox, and it is not improbable that General Ulysses, chafing under the restraint imposed by our well massed lines around the city, will repeat his often tried process of hurling large columns against our intrenchments. They will be welcomed as they were at Spotsylvania Court House and Cold Harbour.
GRANT’S FORTIFICATIONS IN PRINCE GEORGE.
A gentleman who left Prince George a day or two since, says that Grant has apparently a very large force between the defences of Petersburg and City Point. He is heavily fortified, his line of earthworks extending from the Appomattox, at a point a short distance below Petersburg, to and beyond the farm of Timothy Rives, in Prince George, in a southeasterly direction. Here it unites with another line, which stretches off toward the James river in a northeasterly direction—the two forming an acute angle, or, in other words, a very broad letter V. The northeasterly line is of course intended to guard against any movement which may be made to strike the enemy from his flank from the eastern side.
OPERATIONS OF THE ENEMY.
The people of Prince George, as everywhere else where this army of Vandals has visited, are suffering greatly from their depredations. Crops of wheat, corn and oats have been destroyed, and every garden has been stripped. As confirmation of this last mentioned fact, we would state that many of the prisoners brought in last week, upon being searched at the Provost Marshal’s office, were found well supplied with fresh onions, which some of the rascals stated that they had taken from the gardens of the Prince George people to keep them from “spiling.”
We learned last night that our troops engaged the enemy yesterday afternoon near the Weldon road, and after a short but sharp fight, repulsed them handsomely. The enemy’s movement was watched by a party of our scouts, who first discovered them about 12 o’clock, near Mr. Richard Williams’ farm in Dinwiddie, a half mile west of the Jerusalem plank road, and some three miles from the Weldon road. They consisted of Hancock’s Second corps and a brigade of cavalry.
We captured Lieutenant Colonel Homer B. Stoughton, of the Second United States Sharpshooters, a captain and some ten or twelve privates. Colonel Stoughton was wounded in the Wilderness fights, but has recovered.
ARRIVAL OF THE PRISONERS.
A batch of prisoners, taken near the Weldon railroad yesterday afternoon, were brought in and turned over to Provost Marshal Hawes. They state that they belong to the Second army corps, (Hancock’s,) and had been in the trenches around Petersburg up to Monday night. They were then relieved by a new army corps, the number of which they did not learn. It only arrived Monday night, and was four hours in passing.
An intelligent sergeant from Philadelphia, attached to the Second United States Sharpshooters, states that it was reported in camp that a very heavy body of cavalry had gone down to the rear of Petersburg, and intended to cut the railroad at some point between Petersburg and Weldon.
The privates in this batch are all foreigners, and the most ordinary, illiterate, ragged, dirty, cut-throat looking creatures we have ever seen. One, a raw Patlander, says he only landed in this country last February, when he was immediately well plied with whiskey, enlisted to fight under the stars and stripes, and then sent to the army.
INDIANS CAPTURED AMONG THE YANKEE PRISONERS.
The following is a partial list of the names of the Indians captured near Petersburg:
Jacke Penasenorquad, Louis Miskequat, William McSurraw, Michael Johnny, Jackson Wargishwebber, Adam Scohboquaheom, Peter Penarrequaquaw, John Nicheraw.
These names were taken down letter by letter, as the interpreter would spell them. The Provost Marshal or the commanding officer at Andersonville, Georgia, whither the prisoners are now going, will have a sweet time in getting a list of them.
THE LATEST FROM GRANT’S ARMY.
The latest from Grant’s army Tuesday night, now around Petersburg, at eleven o’clock, was a villainous shell. This noisy missile fell on Bank street, striking the large mulberry tree in front of the old INTELLIGENCER building, and cutting off a limb some eight inches in diameter. Nobody hurt.1
- “The News from Petersburg.” Richmond Examiner. June 23, 1864, p. 2 col. 4 ↩