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The War news.

All interest in the campaign in the vicinity of Richmond having been transferred to the south side of the James, the utmost anxiety prevailed yesterday to hear from that quarter, and the usual number of rumores were in circulation. It is now generally conceded that the larger portion of Grant's army has been moved to the new field of operations. We may state here, by by way of encouragement to our people, that, by an order recently promulgated, General Lee has been assigned to the command of all the forces in Virginia and North Carolina, and all other commanders are directed to report to him. With such a master spirit controlling the movements of our armies, there need be no fear of the result of the campaign.

The operations of Wednesday, below Richmond, are summed up in the following official dispatch from Gen. Lee:


Headq'rs Army of Northern Va., June 15, 1864- 6 P. M.
Secretary War
Sir
After the withdrawal of our cavalry yesterday evening, from the front of the enemy's works at Harrison's Landing, his cavalry again advanced on the Salem Church and, this morning, were reported in some force on that road and at Malvern Hill.

Gen. Wm. H. F. Lee easily drove back the force at the latter point, which retreated down the river road, beyond Carter's Mill.

A brigade of infantry was sent to support the cavalry on the road to Smith's store, and drove the enemy to that point without difficulty.

Nothing else of importance has occurred to-day.

Very respectfully, &c.,

R. E. Lee, General.

It was reported yesterday that a cavalry t was in progress in the vicinity of Malvern Hill, but we understand that nothing of the sort occurred.


[from our own correspondent.]

Army of Northern Virginia, June 16th, 6 P. M.
Grant sent his cavalry reconnoitering parties towards our lines yesterday to amuse us and reconnoitre our lines; while he himself was busily engaged in removing a portion of his forces to the Southside, but how many cannot now be ascertained. From facts in my possession, however, I do not think Grant's whole force has crossed the "noble James." Both of the demonstrations on our front, the one below Riddle's Shop and the other near Malvern Hill, were easily repulsed. The former by a line of skirmishers from Cook's N. C. brigade, the latter by Gen. "Rooney" Lee's cavalry division.

To-day nothing of interest is occurring along the lines. The weather is uncommonly hot, and the roads are deep in dust. On for a rain to invigorate both man and beast.


The Demonstration against Petersburg — advance of the enemy in force-- fighting — a portion of our taken — capture of Sturdivant's battery, Etc.

At an early hour yesterday morning the various rumors from Petersburg began to assume shape and form, and as the day advanced reliable accounts of the situation of affairs were received. It appears that on Wednesday morning, soon after dawn, the enemy advanced with seven regiments of infantry and one of cavalry, by the City Point read, upon some breast works hastily thrown up during the preceding night, at Taylor's farm, six or seven miles from Petersburg. Here they were met by Colonel Ferrebee's 4th North Carolina cavalry and Graham's (Petersburg) battery, who fought bravely and held them in check for four hours, but were finally compelled to fall back before overwhelming numbers, which, was done in good order and with but few casualties. The loss inflicted upon the enemy was serious, the balls and shells telling upon them with admirable effect. A report that Graham lost one gun, in consequence of the horses being disabled, is not confirmed. At other points along our lines the attacks of the enemy were feeble, and easily repulsed. Good execution was done during the morning by our sharpshooters, who picked off the Yankees whenever they showed themselves. A few prisoners were taken, who represented that they belonged to Burnside's corps, and said that his entire command was at City Point. One fellow, mounted on a blooded horse, rode into our lines at full speed, without his cap. The animal was probably stolen from some Virginia gentleman, and being anxious to get back to his former owner, ran away with his rider, and delivered him up to the Confederates.

At five o'clock in the afternoon, when comparative quiet had prevailed along the lines for two hours or more, the general impression was that the fighting had ceased for the day. This, however, proved to be a mistake; for it was ascertained before dark that the enemy had massed a very heavy force on our left — especially on the City Point and Prince George Court-House roads. At sunset they charged our batteries commanding these roads, advancing in line of battle six or seven columns deep. The brunt of the assault was sustained by the 26th and 46th regiments, of Wise's brigade, and Sturdivant's battery, of Richmond. Of the result of this attack the Express says:

‘ Three furious assaults were made, the enemy coming up with a yell, and making the most determined efforts to carry the works. Our troops received them with a terrific volley each time, sending the columns back broken and discomfited.--The fourth assault was made by such overwhelming numbers that our force found it impossible to resist the pressure, and were compelled to give way. The enemy now poured over the works in streams, captured three of our pieces, and turning the guns on our men opened upon them an fire, which caused them to leave precipitately's battery, and we regret to hear that Capt S himself was captured, and two of his Lieutenants wounded, both of whom fell into the enemy's hands. The gallant manner in which this battery was fought up to the last moment is the theme of praise on every tongue. All present, with whom we have conversed say that Captain S and his men stood by manfully to their work, and the last discharge was made by Captain Sturdivant almost solitary and alone.

’ Among others reported captured is Major Batte, of the Petersburg City Battalion.--Captain Sturdivant is a resident of Richmond, and for many years previous to the commencement of the war was engaged in the practice of law. Soon after the opening of hostilities he raised his company in this city, and has acquired a good reputation for gallantry in several campaigns. The position gained by the enemy is said to be an important one, and hot work was anticipated yesterday.

The number of the enemy fronting different portions of our line on Wednesday is estimated by officers on the field at from ten thousand to twelve thousand. Over thirty transports ascended James river with troops on the same day, and the impression prevailed that Grant had landed nearly his entire army on the Southside. Twenty three prisoners, belonging to the 148th New York regiment, concurred in the statement that Baldy Smith's corps was again on that side of the river.

The Express has the annexed account of a repulse of the enemy on Wednesday, on the Baxter road, about three miles from Petersburg:

The enemy appeared on this road near the residence of Col Avery about twelve o'clock. Immediately in front of Battery No. 16, was stationed the Macon (Geo) Light Artillery, Capt C W Feater, supported by a portion of the 34th Virginia regiment, Wise's Brigade. The enemy showed himself at once, driving in our pickets, and planting a battery in front of our works, with which he opened a furious cannonade. He was promptly and gallantly responded to by the Macon artillery.--This fire was maintained for two hours, when the enemy charged our works, but after arriving within two hundred yards of the fortifications, was repulsed with considerable loss. The artillery sent round after round of shell and cannister into their ranks with great rapidity and accuracy, and the work becoming too warm for them, they broke and fled in confusion.

They were pursued by the 34th for some distance, who poured several galling volleys into their ranks.

Among the dead left on the field in front of this battery was Col Mix, of New York, who seemed to have been instantly killed by a cannister shot in the breast.

About sundown the enemy entirely disappeared from this portion of our line, and returned to the left.


Later.

Yesterday morning the enemy appeared in force near the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, and drove in our skirmishers, who fell back to the right of the road. About the same hour a division, while marching by the turnpike towards Petersburg, was attacked by the enemy about a mile and a half from Chester. The General commanding the division at once drew up his troops in line of battle, charged and drove the Yankees back three miles towards the Appomattox river. At last accounts our forces held the fortifications at Chester. A train which arrived from that point about 8 o'clock last night brought news that the fight had been renewed, and was in progress when the cars left for Richmond.

Meantime the enemy succeeded in getting possession of the railroad between Port Walthall Junction and Swift Creek, cut the telegraph wires, and, it is presumed, indulged in their favorite amusement of tearing up the track. Of this, however, we have no definite account, as no train has passed over the en tire length of the road since early yesterday morning.

A business dispatch, dated Petersburg, 1.45 P. M., received yesterday, makes no mention of any fighting there. It proves however, that the city was safe at that hour.

In connection with the fight on Wednesday, there are painful rumors relative to the casualties of the Richmond Light Infantry Blues, 46th Virginia regiment, Wise's brigade. It is reported that they suffered heavily, and that their gallant commander, Captain Fred. Carter, received a mortal wound.


Sheridan's raiders.

A citizen of Caroline county, who arrived in the city yesterday, describes the retreat of Sheridan's gang of raiders as a perfect rout. He states that their horses were much jaded, and that Hampton was in their rear, chastising them without limit. This informant also says that three Yankees came to him and delivered themselves up as prisoners, and that several pieces of artillery were left on the road.

On the other hand, we have a report that Sheridan's command crossed the Rapidan on Tuesday night last, into Spotsylvania county. This comes from a reliable source, and taken in connection with the reported flight through Caroline and the crossing of the Pamunkey at Piping Tree Ferry, the question naturally suggests itself — What has become of Sheridan's raiders?

The prisoners captured by Gen. Hampton have been sent to Charlottesville.


From Lynchburg, Etc.

Strange to say, there was not even a rumor in circulation yesterday relative to the movements around Lynchburg. A dispatch from our special correspondent says that the report of the burning of the Court-House of Campbell county was incorrect.--No property was injured at that place.

When the train left Danville yesterday morning, some apprehension existed in consequence of a report that the enemy were advancing upon that place in heavy force, and had crossed the Staunton river at Pannid's bridge, about forty five miles from Danville, on the route to Lynchburg. An intelligent citizen of Danville, who arrived here last evening, believes the report to have been without foundation. Telegraphic communication was uninterrupted last night.

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