Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Brett Schulte.
THE WAR NEWS.
THE NORTH SIDE.
Yesterday [October 19, 1864] was emphatically dies non as regards war news in the vicinity of this city. On the north side there was the usual shelling of Dutch Gap, which goes on regularly day and night, Yankee lies to the contrary notwithstanding. All else was quiet. Spades are trumps still, and both sides are busily engaged in completing their dirt armour. Grant is hobnobbing with Stanton and the Quartermaster General, fixing the triggers to secure the army vote for Lincoln in the intervals between drinks, and counting up coolly the number of poor devils, black and white, they can afford to butcher to make an Abolition holiday in November. Lee, vigilant and resolute, keeps his own counsel, and tells no man his plans to thwart the enemy’s design. Calmly he addresses himself to the mighty task of defending two cities with an inferior force. His Virginians have responded promptly to his call, confident that Providence has not sustained him all this while only to desert him at the last. He is not deceived by this lull. He knows the storm must soon break in all its fury, and is making ready against the fateful day.
The reader will find in this day’s paper the Yankee account of the fight on the Darbytown road, last Thursday [October 13, 1864]. They say that it was the result of a reconnaissance in force on our left—their right—and they may tell the truth.
It will be recollected that rumours, apparently well grounded, prevailed in the beginning of last week, that Grant was crossing a heavy body of troops to the north side, with the intention of battle. Then followed the reconnaissance of Thursday. By it he ascertained, what he did not suspect before, the existence of our splendid new line of works. Then followed the rumours of his recrossing to the south side. Perhaps both rumours were true; that he had an intention of assaulting without waiting for his fleet, but abandoned it on ascertaining the situation.
These Yankee papers state that “firing had ceased at Dutch Gap.” They congratulate themselves on this as the result of placing Confederate prisoners in range. But it is all a lie. Firing on Dutch Gap was as brisk as ever yesterday.
THE SOUTH SIDE.
One story answers for both sides of the river.—A tacit truce, unbroken by cannon or musket, is maintained along the lines near Petersburg. Even picket-firing has been abandoned in the day time, only to be resumed at night fall. Many recruits of varied complexions are being drilled in rear of the enemy’s works. It is estimated that from six to eight thousand negroes are being prepared for the Butcher’s slaughter pen. Meantime the white Yankees are indulging in horse racing near the Yellow Tavern, with never a thought of the poor black devils who are to be so soon immolated. All farms south of the Boydton plank road, and within the enemy’s lines have been devastated—the crops devoured by the horses and men, and the houses pulled down or burnt.1
- “The War News.” Richmond Examiner. October 20, 1864, p. 1 col. 1 ↩