Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
THE WAR NEWS.
Yesterday was a quiet, hot day, and especially free of rumours. Sheridan having been so handsomely and satisfactorily disposed of by General Hampton on Friday, public attention and anxiety were chiefly directed towards Kautz and his raiders, operating along the line of the Danville railroad. The last that had been heard from this party, they were in uncomfortable proximity to the important bridge over Staunton river, and there was a general and deep concern to learn how he had fared at that point. Rumour was silent. About 10 o’clock, A. M., any feelings of uneasiness that had settled on the community were dissipated by the receipt of the following despatch from General Lee:
“HEADQUARTERS ARMY NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
“June 26th, 1864.
“HON. SECRETARY OF WAR:
“Sir—The enemy has been quiet to-day in our front. A despatch, dated 25th, was received this morning from Captain Farrinhalt, commanding at Staunton river bridge, expressing his confidence in being able to protect it.
“This afternoon general W. H. F. Lee reports that he attacked the enemy near Staunton river bridge, yesterday afternoon, and drove him until dark. He also states that the enemy was signally repulsed at the bridge the same evening, and retreated this morning, leaving about thirty of his dead on the field.
“Very respectfully, etc.,
“R. E. LEE, General.
An hour later the following official despatch, dated Clover depot, June 27th, from an officer of the army, whose name we prefer not to publish, was received by General Cooper:
“Captain Farrinhalt, commanding at this point, repulsed General Kautz handsomely yesterday evening, killing and wounding at least two hundred and fifty of his men. Our loss was eight killed and forty wounded.”
It was believed at the Department that the fight mentioned in this despatch was identical with the one mentioned by General Lee; but after comparison of the two despatches, we are disposed to doubt the correctness of this conclusion. Still we are far from undertaking to decide the question.—We, however, suggest that after Farrinhalt, on Saturday evening, the time spoken of by General Lee, defeated one body of the raiders at Staunton River bridge, and they were encountered by General William H. F. Lee, he, on the next day, the time mentioned in the last quoted despatch, defeated at Clover depot, six miles beyond the Staunton River bridge, the same or another body who had crossed the river at some of the ferries or bridges or fords above or below the railroad bridge, and moved on that point. This is mere speculation. There are the two official despatches. The reader may interpret them for himself. One thing is certain and it is a pleasant subject for reflection: Virginia militia, properly handled, can successfully defend the country against Yankee raiders.
At six o’clock last evening nothing further had been heard from this quarter. There was a report, but it was discredited, that the Yankees had finally succeeded in burning the Staunton River bridge and had moved on towards Danville. We think it almost certain that this story was hatched somewhere along the line of the Danville road, between Richmond and Burkeville, very probably in the county of Chesterfield.
Except the despatch from General Lee, we received no news from Petersburg yesterday, until the arrival of the train at half past six o’clock, P. M. Passengers by this train reported all quiet as to military matters. The enemy continued to shell the city as on the previous day, throwing one shell every twenty minutes. No one was struck yesterday.
One prisoner was brought over by this train, who deserves some mention. His name was B. M. Farrow, and a year ago, being at the time a watch man at the Petersburg depot, he absconded from this city and went over to the enemy. Last Wednesday, along with some others, he was captured in Dinwiddie from the Yankee raiders. He was not dressed in Yankee uniform, and, at the time of his arrest, had in his pockets several articles of jewelry, which he had stolen from some of the farm houses of the county. It was said he was acting as pilot for the Yankees. This is doubtful. He was an impudent looking fellow, with every appearance of a thief. As he stood at the depot, after the arrival of the train, with his arms tied behind him, and under the gaze of many eyes, he occupied himself in staring about and whistling “When this cruel war is over.” The fellow claims to be a Georgian.
FROM GENERAL JOHNSTON.
The following severely concise despatches were received from General Johnston yesterday. They display plainly a great falling off in the spirit and vim of Sherman’s troops.
“ATLANTA, June 24th, 1864.
“GENERAL BRAXTON BRAGG:
“Lieutenant-General Hood, on our left, reports, that being attacked on the afternoon of the 22d, he drove back the enemy, taking one entire line of his breastworks. The pursuit was stopped by exposure to fire of field batteries. Stevenson’s division was mainly engaged; Hindman’s slightly.—There was brisk skirmishing in Hardee’s front much of the day yesterday; a good deal of cannonading on Loring.
“J. E. JOHNSTON, General.”
“MARIETTA, June 26, 1864.
“GENERAL BRAXTON BRAGG:
“General Hood reports that the enemy, in line of battle, attacked Stevenson’s skirmishers—yesterday, but was quickly repulsed. There was heavy artillery firing, during the day, in Loring’s front.
“J. E. JOHNSTON, General.”
Yesterday passed without a word of news reaching us of this royal raider. He has, as fox hunters say, run out of hearing.
YANKEES IN NORTHEASTERN VIRGINIA.
Some two weeks ago one hundred Yankees and three hundred negro troops came over from Petersburg Lookout and ravaged Richmond and Westmoreland counties, the negroes, in a number, of well attested instances, violating the persons of ladies. Colonel John Brockenborough, getting together about one hundred men, drove them from the counties. It is said the white Yankees inflicted some sort of punishment upon the negroes for their conduct—what the so called punishment was we could not learn. After being driven out of the Northern neck, the cowardly miscreants sailed up the Rappahannock and landed in Essex, near the farm of the Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, to which they immediately proceeded. Mr. Hunter’s family, having received information of their coming left home and escaped. They burnt his mill and granary and took off twenty eight of the best negroes, and eighteen horses and mules.—They did not interfere materially with his dwelling, and did not destroy his library. After collecting all the cattle in the neighbourhood they dropped down the river below Tappahannock, and landing, re visited the plantation of Mrs. Austin Brockenborough, the mother-in-law of Colonel Brockenborough, who had drove them from the Northern Neck, visiting upon this defenceless lady what they, of course, considered the site of her son in law; they sacked her plantation and residence, and carried off every one of her negroes. They then returned to Point Lookout.
THE NEW SIX PER CENTS.
The first sale of the new Confederate non-taxable bonds took place at Columbia, South Carolina on the 21st instant, the bonds bringing from 125 to 151. Recent military events and the destruction to which Yankee finances are rushing, will exert a happy influence upon these, our best securities, and we confidently look for their rising far above the handsome premium they at present command.1
- “The War News.” Richmond Examiner. June 28, 1864, p. 2 col. 1-2 ↩