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[552] and the enemy the southern. The rebels, however, had prepared it for burning, and during the night it was set fire to and destroyed. This is no loss, as there appears to be no present intention to use the Fredericksburg and Richmond railroad--Port Royal, on the Rappahannock, having been to-day opened as a new base. The water transportation of the army is now all there, and a long train, with our wounded was this morning sent across under escort to that point.

This morning finds our advance pushed out three miles south of the North Anna, and across the Virginia Central railroad, which has been effectually destroyed. No engagement has, up to this hour, taken place. The main body of the rebels appear to have drawn back to the South Anna, which is a line they have long been preparing, and mean to defend to the last. Their advance line rests along Long creek, one mile north of the South Anna. General Grant's plans, with reference to this position, have not yet been developed, and though a study of the ground affords an anticipation of the nature of the operation that will next be made, I refrain, as yet, from recording even speculations.

The heat, during the past four days of marching and fighting, has been excessive, and the work has been a most severe strain on the physical and moral powers of men and officers; but there is nothing which buoys an army up like success, and the determination of the Army of the Potomac abates not a jot or a tittle of the purpose with which it set out. I need not say that purpose is the capture of the rebel capital and the destruction of the rebel army.

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