The great struggle for Richmond.
The last grand combined movement of the Yankees
with their auxiliary hordes of foreigners and negroes to get possession of this city is still pending, with (to use a favorite phrase of their's) its "back broken." We have cause not only to be elated at what has been done, but to be confident of ultimate and complete triumph.
The grand army of Northern Virginia, under its illustrious leader, performed prodigies of valor, and covered itself with new glory in the battles of Thursday and Friday.
It has driven the enemy at all points, and valued important advantages.
With all his superiority of numbers — no doubt immense — he has been forced to give way before the intrepid soldiers of the Confederacy
, and to seek the consolation and protection to be afforded by the spade, since his favorite comforter, the gunboat, under which he has so often cowered from our troops, cannot come to his assistance.
According to the report of our reliable correspondent his situation is "precarious." We have not a doubt of it. It will be seen that Gen. Lee
announces that the enemy has abandoned the Germanna road which was on his extreme right; a point "Sallust" intimates to be important for us, as he says we might possibly get possession of it. His dispatch was written before the point was abandoned.
The enemy still has the Ely's ford
behind his position at Chancellorsville
and the region thereabouts.
states that his (the enemy's) pontoons had been moved to that ford.
He will, in all human probability, need them, and has forecast enough to keep them at hand.
We have not yet details of the battles which add so much lustre to the Confederate
We shall have these details possibly to-morrow.
The engagements, it is understood, were fought in a locality the nature of which precluded in a great degree the use of artillery, and though the valor and intrepidity of our troops were perhaps the more severely tried, the mortality and decisiveness of the conflict were diminished.
With the highest hopes and most confident expectations as to the result of the yet unfinished struggle of the glorious Army of Northern Virginia, against the immense force under Grant
, we turn to the enemy so very near to Richmond
, and whose presence is testing once more the courage and constancy of this community, so often and so sorely tried.
Of the force that is brought against this city via the James river
, under General Smith
, we do not know enough to conjecture its numbers.
Frightened Rumor has made it large enough, God knows.
Its main strategy appears to be to flank the defences at Drewry's Bluff
, in order, if successful, to remove the obstructions in the river, that their gunboats may pass to attack Richmond
That the best exertions of our forces to defeat them may be demanded is possible.
But the enemy in this enterprise must fight.
under the depressing effect of the knowledge that the main feature of the combined movement against Richmond
is checked with a disastrous repulse, and is held in abeyance, with the prospect of a thorough defeat near at hand; whilst our men will resist them under the encouragement of triumphant intelligence from all quarters.
Our own citizens should all be ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with those brave and veteran soldiers of the South
who have for so many weary months struggled to uphold our cause and defend our homes.
Vigilance, readiness; coolness, and resolution, are the qualities demanded by the times; and we are sure our citizens, who have so much at stake, and who have proved their loyalty so signally, need not a word of admonition to stimulate them to duty.
As to whether it is likely the enemy will press his advance by the river upon Richmond
it might be reasonably inferred that the crippling and humiliation of the main part of the movement against the Confederate
capital would deter the leaders of the auxiliary land and water expedition by the James
, single handed, from the hopeless task.
We should not be surprised to hear of its retreat the way it came in a very few hours.
Nevertheless there will be no relaxation of watchfulness and energy by the authorities who direct the military movements in this and the adjoining district until they are gone.
We have no doubt of the safety of Richmond
We have no doubt of the ultimate defeat of the boastful and vainglorious foe who, relying upon his overwhelming numbers, came to capture Richmond
and crush the rebellion by one great exertion of all his strength!
It is time he had learned to appreciate the determined valor and undying spirit of resistance of the Southern
Though he has oft learned this lesson, it may be conjectured that in the present campaign he will receive an impression that will be enduring.
In the news column of our paper will be found all the intelligence we have touching the important pending campaign.
It will be seen that another disaster is added for the discomfiture of the enemy on the James river
We announced on Saturday the "handsome affair" of the blowing up of one of his boats by a torpedo, and the "sending without notice to their long account" (a fate the Yankee
philanthropists are shocked at) all on board.
We now learn that a body of "horse-marines" compelled the crew and officers of the Suwanee
gunboat to surrender, and the boat being set on fire by a shot the wounded perished in her. These events prove that the enemy is not to be allowed the free navigation of James river
They do more — they seriously affect the enemy.
They will check his plans of invasion and outrage by water.
The engineers and others in this work deserve their country's thanks.
P. S.--Since the above was prepared, we have the important news that Grant
's army has abandoned its position at Chancellorsville
and retreated towards Fredericksburg
, our own hanging upon his right flank.
This information comes from Gen. Lee
, in a dispatch as late as 9 o'clock yesterday morning.
On private information we understand that the enemy attempted on Friday night to cross at Ely's ford; but, being pressed earnestly by Gen. Gordon
, (one of the most promising young officers in the Confederate army,) he was unable to get his artillery across, and moved off in the direction of Fredericksburg
, whither his pontoons were dispatched.
This is good news!
We may indeed consider our victory decided.
The enemy cannot renew the engagement, but backs to avoid it!
The back of the latest combined attack on the devoted, the hated capital of Virginia
and the confederacy, is indeed broken!