The War News.
Yesterday was the most quiet period that has occurred since the commencement of active operations in the vicinity of Richmond
No reverberations of cannon broke the stillness of the air, nor were there any exciting "rumors from the front" to disturb the equanimity of the inhabitants.
Persons from the lines report that Grant
is moving his forces around our right, but what his purpose is remains to be developed.
In the absence of official information, we forbear to speculate upon probabilities.
We have a commander who anticipates every movement of the enemy, and in their confidence in his skill and sagacity the people rest securely.
Yesterday morning a detachment of Fields
's division was sent forward to skirmish with the enemy near Cold Harbor.--They picked up some twenty five prisoners on the way and sent them to the rear.--Finding the enemy's first and second lines of fortifications deserted, they proceeded on to the third, wherein were two Yankees, who fired upon the small squad approaching, wounding one of them through the left shoulder.
This reconnaissance established the fact that the enemy had changed their position, and beyond this, and some slight skirmishing, nothing took place yesterday worthy of note.
A number of wounded Yankees were brought in last evening, some of whom had lain in front of the works where they fell since Friday.
Most of their wounds were of a severe character.
We saw one whose right leg was off and his left shot through.
Everything remains quiet at Bottom's Bridge and on the Southside
A report obtained circulation in the city that it was three guns of the Fayette artillery which was temporarily captured by the enemy last week.
This is a mistake.
That battery though in all the fights has not lost a gun even temporarily.
It is under the command, and has been since the spring campaign opened, of Lt. Clopton
Col. Bradley T. Johnson
, commanding the Maryland
Line, has caused to be issued the following general order
with respect to the death of Lieut. Col. Ridgely Brown
, who was killed in an engagement with the enemy in Hanover county
on the 1st inst.:
Headq's Maryland line, June 6, 1864.
General Order No. 26.
Lieut Col Ridgely Brown
, commanding 1st Maryland cavalry, fell in battle, on the 1st inst, near the South Anna
He died, as a soldier prefers to die, leading his men in a victorious charge.
As an officer, kind and careful; as a soldier, brave and true; as a gentleman, chivalrous; as a Christian, gentle and modest; no one in the Confederate army surpassed him in the hold he had on the hearts of his men and the place in the esteem of his superiors.
Of the rich blood that Maryland
has lavished on every battle field, none is more precious than this and that of our other brave comrades in arms who fell during the four days previous on the hill sides of Hanover
.--His command has lost a friend most steadfast, but his Commanding Officer
is deprived of an assistant invaluable.
To the first he was ever as careful as a father; to the latter as true as a brother.
In token of respect to his memory the colors of the different regiments of this command will be draped, and the officers wear the usual badge of military mourning for thirty days.
From the Valley — Staunton occupied by the enemy.
The information published yesterday morning of the advance of the enemy from two directions upon Staunton
gave rise to some apprehensions for the safety of that place, and early in the day rumors of a miscellaneous and exaggerated character were in circulation.
The news which we give below is based upon official dispatches, and may be relied upon as correct.
The enemy advanced on Sunday from Port Republic
, by way of Mount Crawford
, as far as New Hope Church, eleven or twelve miles from Staunton
, on the Valley
road, where they were met by a force under Gen. William E. Jones
An engagement ensued, at an early period of which Gen. Jones
His command, overwhelmed by superior numbers, and their leader shot down, were compelled to fall back.
The enemy finding this obstruction removed from their path advanced, and at a subsequent period took possession of the town of Staunton
.--After the death of Gen. Jones
, the command of our forces devolved on Gen. Vaughan
.--All, or nearly all, the Government stores
had been previously removed from Staunton
to a place of security.
We are assured that the report that the enemy have occupied Waynesboro
' is without foundation; nor is there any confirmation of the extravagant rumor that a raiding party visited Lexington
and burned the Washington College and the Virginia Military Institute.
In the death of Gen. Jones
the cavalry service has lost one of its brightest ornaments.
He was a native, we believe, of Abingdon
, and commenced his military career in the present war, soon after its commencement, under Gen. J. E. B. Stuart
Being ordered to Southwestern Virginia
, he proceeded to reorganize the cavalry in that department, and soon rendered it an active and efficient arm of the service.
Brave and gallant almost to a fault, he inspired his men with confidence, and had he not, by his dashing courage, sought the post of danger, which to him proved fatal, it is quite probable that the result of the fight at New Hope Church would have been far different.
A Dash upon the enemy's rear.
It is cheering to know that Hunter
's advance upon Staunton
was not altogether without annoyance.
We learn that on Sunday week Major Harry Gilmer
attacked the rear portion of the Yankee
army in Newtown
, seven miles from Winchester
, and completely routed the whole force, which consisted of about 160 cavalry.
Thirty-five of this number, including commissioned and non commissioned officers, were captured.
Eighteen wagons, heavily loaded with coffee, sugar, army supplies, &c., were also captured and burnt; 68 fine horses, neatly harnessed, were safely brought away.
From what we can learn at least $2,000,000 worth of property was destroyed by Gilmer
's daring little band.
Our loss was trifling, only two slightly wounded; that of the enemy was severe, considering the numbers.