The armies below Richmond.
no fight yet.--situation of affairs.
&c., &c., &c.
Our latest news from the armies below Richmond
does not warrant the belief that there has been any grateful change in the situation of affairs since our leave of yesterday.
The forces of McClellan
occupy the position they assumed as early as Thursday, where he has the support of his gunboats.
On Monday afternoon a demonstration was made against our pickets, which indicates a restiveness on the part of the foe in his present cramped and confined situation.
Two pieces of the Louisiana Guard artillery were sent forward to the support of the pickets, when the enemy retired, without risking a shot from our pleces.
It is not believed that McClellan
can be induced to make an attack upon our forces, but it is concocted that he may attempt to throw his forces on the south side of the river, with a view to a demonstration upon the batteries at Drury's Bluff.--Such a demonstration would, of course, be promptly met, and as signally thwarted as the advance of the Young Napoleon
from the north side of the James
We conversed with a gentleman last evening who leave on time at 11 o'clock yesterday morning.
Up to that hour all was quiet, and there were no outside indications of any active operations.
It is reasonable to conclude that the fighting for a short season, at least, is at an end. There is nothing to justify the belief, however, that our Government will fail to improve its present advantages.
‘"Pressed to the wail,"’ as the enemy now is, he will not be permitted to recover from the severe blow that has been inflicted upon him, and McClellan
, in attempting to extricate himself from his present unpleasant situation, will and himself confronted at every point by an active and energetic army, under skillful and experienced officers, who are determined to wring from his unwilling masters' the recognition of their rights as freemen.
An exploration of the territory below Richmond
recently occupied by the Yankees
furnishes abundant evidence of their unsurpassed skill in digging.
In fact, it was the boast of the Northern
pagers, but a few short weeks ago, that the army of McClellan
would dig its way to Richmond
before the 11th of July; but an unexpected reverse has caused a hasty abandonment of that cherished project, and now we are told that they are fortifying and laying off parallels some miles further from the Capital
, adjacent to James river
It is easy to imagine that plying the spade on such a sweltering day as yesterday is no child's play; and that such an occupation will steadily increase the enemy's morality list there can be no doubt.
Grave digging on an extensive scale will be added to their other labors, and in all their joyous anticipations of pleasant summer recreations in and around the metropolis, the luckless Yankees
are doomed to a woeful disappointment.
A few days ago some gentlemen were conversing with a youth and prisoner at Meadow Station
, when he commenced cursing very bitterly about the amount of labor imposed upon the Federal
soldiers by McClellan
‘"Why,"’ said he, ‘"they set me to work digging a ditch, which used me up in a hurry, and I trusted.
"’ ‘"You what?"’ asked a bystander.
‘"Oh, I hadn't been used to that sort of work, and I tuckered out.
"’ Farther inquiry revealed the fact that this is a Yankee phrase to express excessive fatigue — an orthographical invention eminently worthy of a people who produced the euphonious skedaddle,
and have lately given us a practical illustration of it.
Treatment of our wounded.
It is established beyond the possibility of contradiction, that a number of our wounded, after receiving their wounds, were deliberately murdered by the Federal
A gentleman of undoubted veracity, who was wounded in the fight at Coal Harbor
, says that after receiving his wound, which was but a slight one, he succeeded in capturing a Yankee soldier, with whom he started to camp.--On the way they passed by a Texan officer, upon whom a mortal wound had been inflicted, and who was at the time well nigh exhausted from the loss of blood.
expressed a desire to talk to the prisoner, which was allowed, and he addressed him, in substance, as follows: ‘"I am about to die and what I state to you I know to be true.
When our brigade charged your lines, and was repulsed, a number of our wounded was left upon the field; and when your troops came up I distinctly heard your officer give the command to shoot in the head any wounded rebel on the field, and you obeyed the order.
I owe my own life to the readiness with which our men rallied.
This statement I wished to make to you, in the presence of witnesses, that the facts may go out to the world."’ The Yankee was compelled to admit the truth of the statement, and acknowledged that such an order had been given.
Opening the lines of communication.
We understand that the Tappahannock stage line, which has suspended business since the enemy occupied the country below Richmond
, will shortly regular operations.
This will afford facilities for refugees and others to communicate with their friends in the counties on the lower Rappahannock
Persons came through from Gloucester
last week in less than two days, and we learn from them that news of the great battle had reached that county, though the people were somewhat puzzled to ascertain the precise condition of affairs.
Notwithstanding frequent assertions to the contrary, the depredations of the enemy in Gloucester
have been quite extensive.
The Federal have no troops in Lancaster
, and probably very few on the Northern Neck
; but a steamer constantly plies in the waters adjacent, in order to prevent contraband trade between Baltimore
The late series of battles have already produced the good result of opening the lines of communication in various directions, as well as a visible effect upon the amount of supplies in our markets.
Since the above was in type we have learned that the enemy evacuated Gloucester
, after hearing of McClellan
's retreat, blowing up their magazine and throwing their guns into the river.
Capture of Yankees by Cavalry.
Brief mention has been made of the capture of 150 Yankees, by the Jeff.
Davis Legion, under command of Lieut. Col. Martin
From facts since placed in our possession it appears that at the time referred to Col. Martin
was in command of the 4th Virginia Cavalry (Capt. Chamberlayne
) and the Jeff Davis Legion
; and that the prisoners captured numbered 200, besides 30 mules and horses, 150 rifles and muskets.
Assisted by one piece of cannon of Stuart
's Horse Artillery, commanded by Lieut. Shaw
, they drove to their gunboats, 50 of the enemy's cavalry and the Tammany regiment of the city of New York
, killing three and capturing the same number.
Two- thirds of the prisoners and all the miles were taken within range and sight of the Monitor
and another gunboat, said to be the Galene, lying at Haxall
's, on James river
On another occasion, Lieut. Fisher
, of the Legion, with fourteen men, assisted by Lieut. Yager
of the 10th cavalry, with two men, captured fifty-three of the Bucktall Rifles
, who are now in prison in this city.
Yesterday morning an unfortunate German, who had been deceived by the Northern
reports of the recent battles around Richmond
, made his appearance at the Passport-Office
and applied for a pass to Baltimore
On being interrogated, he stated that he was a member of the 12th United States Infantry; that he had been left at Fort Leavenworth Sick; and that he reached Washington
a few days ago, where he inquired for his Captain
, and was in formed that he might be found in Richmond
Leaving the Federal
capital, he made his way to this city, with the full expectation of finding Gen. McClellan
and his Captain
In this, however, he was slightly mistaken; and as he seemed to be short of hands, the generosity of Marshal Griswold
found him accommodations in Castle Godwin.
The 2d South Carolina Brigade--miraculous
This brigade, attached to Longstreet
's division was under the immediate command of Col. Jenkins
, of the Palmetto Sharpshooters, in the bloody fight of Monday evening, June 30th. In a brilliant charge upon a Federal battery, although enfiladed for more than three hundred yards by a battery of twelve guns, which dealt death and destruction throughout their ranks, the brigade never faltered, but obstinately pressed forward, routing and driving the enemy and capturing their guns.
The gallantry of the Palmetto Sharpshooters is especially commended.
made some almost miraculous escapes.
His horse was twice shot, his bridle rein out in two at his hand, a part of his sword carried away by a grape, and broken close to his side by a Minnie, his sword knot cut, an India rubber blanket perforated fifteen times, and his right arm disabled, but happily not to such an extent as to compel him to retire from the field.
The following is a recapitulation of the casualties in the brigade:
|5th S. C. V||11||70||--||175|
|6th S. C. V||15||67||2||210|
|2d S. C. Rifles||20||94||25||275|
|4th S. C. Bat||--||35||--||70|
The campaign of Gen. Jackson
in the Valley
, successful and brilliant as it was, had an excellent effect in inspiring for him a terror among the people of the North
They regard him as one of those invincible beings whose purposes it is almost impossible to thwart.
The statements of Yankee prisoners and letters captured upon the recent battle-fields indicate the dread which the mention of his name creates among them.
As a specimen of these letters, we annex an extract from one written by a father to his son in the Federal
army, dated Lewisburg, Pa.
, June 15, 1862:
"It seems that Jackson
is too much for McDowell
, and Shields
They have not been able to catch him yet, and, from all accounts, I think they have been hurt pretty near as bad as he was. Samuel wrote that he wished Jackson
would come that way, that the reserves would give him fits.
Why, boys, if he would come that way, he would eat you up, Sam's horn and all. Jackson
is a brave, daring man, and we have few men in our army that are his equals.
All I am sorry for is that he is not engaged in a better cause."
Capture of arms.
We are informed that Col. James D. Nance
, with his regiment, the 3d South Carolina, portions of other regiments of Kershaw
's brigade, and a detail of one hundred men from Gen. A. P. Hill
's division, was sent on an expedition to Shirley
last Thursday, expecting to attack the enemy at that point, and capture a number of arms left there by the enemy in their precipitate retreat.
The command reached Shirley
about 1½ A. M., when they bivouacked until daybreak, as the night was too dark for any operations.
At daybreak the command was formed and cavalry scouts were sent out by Col. Nance
and Capt. King
, of Cobb
's. Legion, when it was discovered the enemy were not present.
Nothing was left, therefore, to be done but to set to work and gather up the arms, keeping a sharp look out for the enemy's gunboats, for the arms were immediately on the banks of the river.
In a very short time, under the intelligent direction of their officers, the men gathered between nine hundred and a thousand arms of the most improved patterns, and conveyed them to a place of safety, where they were placed in wagons and sent to the Ordnance Department, under the direction of Capt. Taylor
, when Col. Nance
returned with his command to camp, near the Tuesday
It may not have been mentioned before that the whole
's division was engaged in the thickest of the fight on Tuesday, the 1st of July; but certainly the due tribute of praise has been given to the different brigades and regiments composing it. Both infantry and artillery fought with determined valor, and the names of those gallant leaders, Mahone
, and Ransom
, will not soon be forgotten by their country.
The list of killed and wounded attests the unflinching bravery of the division.
From the South side.
The Petersburg Express
, of yesterday, has the following:
Several of the enemy's gunboats came up the river Sunday evening late, and proceeded several miles beyond City Point
They fired many shells into the forests on the south bank of James river
, and occasionally gave the "wild varmints" in the marshes and undergrowth on the south side a "feller," but did no perceptible damage to any human being or any habitation of man.
A couple of sailors from one of the enemy's transports were taken by our pickets yesterday, and brought up to headquarters.
They proved to be deck hands only, and could give no reliable information of McClellan
's forces or movements.
They knew that there were a "heap" of soldiers at Berkeley
, and a "bloody sght" of craft of every kind, but as to the intentions of the enemy the prisoners know but little, and, to use their own language, they care less.
These men had become engaged in a quarrel on their steamer, and growing disagreeably turbulent the Captain
interfered, and commanded the peace.
They desisted for the nonce, but mutually agreed to slip over to the Prince George shore as soon as the shades of evening closed in, where they could adjust matters to their own satisfaction.
They were greatly surprised when arrested by our pickets, and declared themselves non-combatants, so far as national troubles are concerned.
But our boys refused their explanation, brought them up, and the mariners now slumber quietly in Petersburg
We learned from several yesterday, residing in quiet portions of the city, that heavy firing had been heard in the direction of the river during the forenoon.
Diligent inquiry up to a late hour last night failed to elicit any information explanatory of these reports.
Many persons residing along the line of the Norfolk railroad, who arrived yesterday evening, state that they heard the firing very distinctly in portions of Sussex
and Prince George.
A couple of Yankee prisoners taken yesterday, near Hood
's, Prince George, were brought in by our pickets yesterday afternoon.
They were members of some Pennsylvania
cavalry regiment, attached to McClellan
's army, and looked as little like equestrians as they did like honest men. One of them was entirely barefoot, both shabbily dressed, and apparently much jaded.
They gave but little information, and evidently did not tell all they knew.
They both agree that McClellan
's army has recently seen as much of the South
as they desire, and would gladly go home to-morrow, if they could.
It is a matter of congratulation with every friend of freedom and the South
to know that the present position of McClellan
's army is one of the hottest "perhaps," on the soil of Virginia
With a creek on one side, a shallow mill pond on another, and the shoal water of James river
on another, not the vestige of a shade tree immediately near, and the sun's rays pouring down with an intensity that sent the thermometer up yesterday to the class of the nineties in Petersburg
, the Yankees
at Berkeley Point must have suffered to an almost indescribable extent.
Persons residing in Petersburg
, entirely familiar with the locality, say that out of Tophet, there is no place to compare with it. There is but little sympathy hereabouts for the invaders, and if the sun could roast the rascals to a crisp, no tears would he shed in the South
at their fate.