Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Brett Schulte.
THE WAR NEWS.
THE NORTH SIDE.
Grant keeps persistently quiet. So far as fighting is concerned, the north side is as still as the grave. Monday night [October 17, 1864], about eleven o’clock, a great rumbling was heard in the direction of the enemy’s pontoon bridges, and this continued until the morning. It was intimated that a force of cavalry was coming to this side; but our pickets, who were on the alert, saw nothing of them. Yesterday morning [October 18, 1864] there was considerable cannonading at Dutch Gap, and firing was heard in the vicinity of Petersburg. No movements or indications of active hostilities are reported. The opinion is breathed in certain quarters that Grant, being sure of Lincoln’s election, has postponed indefinitely his grand assault, and intends to promote the siege at his leisure. Such a procedure would be torture to the Butcher of the Wilderness, who loves to see his troops slaughtered, and is never happy until he “sends the men in.” He must have blood before his eyes or he is miserable.
At least there is reasonable ground for doubting whether he intends an assault on our new lines—at least not till he can bring up his fleet and assault Drewry’s Bluff at the same time. For would he sit still and see these new lines thrown up without interruption, as he has done, if he intended to make his real fight there?
THE SOUTH SIDE.
Thirty more deserters came into our lines on Saturday and Sunday [October 15-16, 1864], and are now on their way to a place which shall be nameless. Order 65 works like a charm. The Yankees have named the terminus of their City Point road “Warren Station,” in honour of General Warren, who first gained a foothold on the Weldon road. It is said that the Yankee troops behind the breastworks are being armed with a repeating rifle or musket, an ingenious weapon, which has a chambered barrel and fires twice without re-loading. Many of these guns have been captured by our men, as the Yankees, to their sorrow, have long since discovered. We have mounted an enormous gun, which at regular intervals during the night throws huge shells into the Yankee lines. So loud are the reports of this prodigious piece of ordnance that the slumbers of the good people of the Cockade City are seriously disturbed thereby. Cheerfulness and confidence prevail on both sides of the river.
We should suppose, from a passage in a late number of the New York Herald, that the “Boydton Plank Road,” on the extreme right of our line, will be Grant’s next point of attack; and we have generally found the indications of the Northern newspapers pretty correct.1
- “The War News.” Richmond Examiner. October 19, 1864, p. 1 col. 1 ↩