Editor’s Note: This article was provided by John Hennessy and transcribed by Jackie Martin.
FROM THE JAMES RIVER.
REBEL ADMISSION OF WEAKNESS.
Operations of Negro Troops.
THE BOMBARDMENT OF PETERSBURG.
GEN. HOWELL ACCIDENTALLY KILLED.
NEW YORK, 17th. The Tribune’s City Point correspondent says the Richmond Whig makes out that there still remain in the South 132,000 men between the ages of 16 and 50. These they style exempts, and from them only can they recruit their armies; but these have heretofore been all detailed to duty, considered important, and cannot be spared from their present associations; hence there is no basis of addition to their armies.
The position at Deep Bottom is now garrisoned entirely by negroes. The operations at Dutch Gap are prosecuted by negro soldiers.
Gen. Hickman, recently exchanged, will be assigned to a Division either in the 10th or 18th Corps.
The Herald’s City Point correspondence of the 15th, says yesterday morning Gen. Birney opened all his batteries on the rebel works and on the city of Petersburg, and literally rained shot and shell on them for over two hours. All accounts of impending battles on the Weldon Railroad are mere speculations, based on remote probabilities. Whether Lee removed his head-quarters to Reams Station, as reported by deserters, to oversee an engagement or not, he does not seem disposed to bring on one as yet.
Another correspondent says Brig. Gen. Joshua B. Howell of Lewy’s division of the 10th corps, was accidently killed on the night of the 14th, by his horse rearing and falling over upon him. He was upwards of 65 years and highly respected.
The Herald’s correspondent, near Point of Rocks 15th, says the rebels attempted to knock down our signal towers with their artillery. The firing on both sides was terrible, though no damage worth speaking of was done to the towers. A rebel deserter informed our officers of the intention of the enemy, thus preparing them. The rebels also located a new masked battery, which, as soon as opened, found our guns trained upon it with surprising accuracy.
The Herald’s 2d cavalry division correspondent says the cavalry are enjoying an exceedingly beneficial rest. The regiments are in the meantime filling up rapidly. Gen. Davies’s health is such as to permit him to rejoin his command.
The World’s Washington despatch says 80 deserters arrived there yesterday and confirm the reports that the enemy is being largely reinforced by conscripts.1
- “From the James River. Rebel Admission of Weakness.” Boston Evening Transcript. September 17, 1864, p. ? col. ? ↩