Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
THE WAR NEWS.
Between eleven and one o’clock yesterday [September 14, 1864] persons in the quiet portions of this city heard a heavy cannonade in the direction of Petersburg. Our people are so accustomed now to the sound of cannon that the matter attracted little attention.—The cannonade was explained last evening by persons who came over from Petersburg on the evening train. Between the hours named the enemy shelled the devoted city of Petersburg with unprecedented fury; our batteries replied to the enemy’s fire, and altogether a most tremendous uproar was made. The result of the morning’s operations is believed to have been nothing. A good many bricks were knocked about on our side, but nobody was hurt. When Grant shells Petersburg in earnest he generally succeeds in killing a negro woman or child; this time he failed to do even that.
Grant’s left wing is still on the Weldon railroad, and for anything we know or care, likely to stay there. He has never given us so little trouble as since he took possession of the four miles of that railway running from the Davis farm, two miles south of Petersburg, to within four miles of Reams’. There are some people here who believe his next step will be against the Danville road; that he will attempt a move against it similar to Sherman’s successful movement on Jonesboro. We have no idea that he will try this thing. He hasn’t Hood to deal with in the first place; and then the nearest point at which he could strike the Danville road, without crossing the Appomattox, is forty miles from his present position, whereas Jonesboro was but twenty from Sherman’s position southwest of Atlanta. He will not attempt it. There is no such good luck in store for us. While we cannot undertake to say what he will do next, we know this is what he will not do.
Butler still pushes on with his work of internal improvement, the canal at Dutch Gap. Last evening our gunboats and two of our land batteries opened upon his working parties such a fire of shell as must have very seriously interfered with their operations, though we have as yet received no particulars. The cannonade was distinctly heard in the city.1
- “The War News.” Richmond Examiner. September 15, 1864, p. 1 col. 1 ↩