The War news.The Fourth of July has come and gone, and still the grand army of the Potomac is no nearer Petersburg than it was before; indeed, we are assured that on yesterday, when it was expected that Grant would have made a heavy assault and demanded a surrender of the race, he was less demonstrative than usual, and contented himself with throwing a few shell for the purpose of annoying the women and children. At one time yesterday the shelling was quite rapid, but during portion of the day everything was quiet. That some is on foot in the Yankee army is current, but what it is we are at a loss to . It is positively known that Grant has greatly contracted his once around Petersburg, having with drawn an army corps or more from his extreme left, which, until Saturday, extended to Dr. Gurley's farm, within four miles of Reams's Station, and about two miles to the east of the Petersburg and Welden road. His reasons for this contraction are not known with certainly. His idea of circumvallating the city, so as to include the Weldon, Southside, and Danville Railroads, has been completely exploded by the recent disastrous termination of his grand Wilson raid; but had that proved a success it would have required at least 1,250,000 men to have securely guarded a line extended to such a length. Again, the point to which he had extended his left offered such a tempting bait to the ever vigilant Mahone that it had been twice flanked, and a large number of prisoners gathered into the Confederate net, to say' nothing of the many which fell to rise no more in the battle-field. It is said, too, by persons who know the country, that in that particular section there is always a great scarcity of water, but since the present protracted drouth it has been next to impossibility to procure this article, so indispensable to the health and comfort of an army. Prisoners taken confirm this, and say that there has been great suffering in camp for water. During one of the late engagements in that section a General barely escaped capture while endeavoring to slake his thirst over a little mud puddle in the woods. Two of his aids were not so fortunate, and our soldiers captured them on the much-coveted spot. Grant's intentions will probably be developed in a day or two. He may be contemplating another change of base, having found that he can accomplish nothing in front of Petersburg beyond the temporary inconvenience imposed on the inhabitants. It is stated that the enemy embarked a large number of troops at City Point on Thursday last. The men occupied five large transports, and the boats were much crowded. Whether these were men whose terms of service had expired, or whose removal from Grant's army has been rendered necessary for operations elsewhere, it is impossible at present to say. The Petersburg train last evening brought over some twenty or more Yankee prisoners, captured in Dinwiddie.
Petersburg, were started at once for Georgia. The losses of the enemy in the affairs beyond Petersburg, in prisoners alone, may be safely estimated at twelve hundred. We also captured many hundred small arms, and 60,000 rounds of ammunition. Two additional pieces of cannon have been found in the Nottoway river, making fifteen captured in all, which prisoners say is the sum total taken out by the enemy on the raid. It is stated, on the authority of a Confederate officer, that fully 3,000 horses fell into the hands of our troops. Among our officers who fell at Sappony Church were Captain Winfree, of the Petersburg cavalry, and Major Birchett, of the Prince George cavalry.