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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.

The great Wilson-Kantz raid.

In the fight at Sappony Church from 500 to 700 prisoners were taken, which, without being sent to 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.

The fight at Staunton river bridge.

This engagement was fought, on our part, entirely by the militia reserves and convalescents from the hospitals at Lynchburg. The enemy left forty-two dead on the field, and many bodies have been found since the fight on the land adjacent. A heap of human bones were found in the ruins of Staunton Depot, on the Richmond and Danville Railroad, about a mile from the bridge. This building was burnt by the enemy, and it is believed that a large number of their dead, as well as badly wounded were consumed with it. A gentleman who was a prisoner in the hands of the enemy at the time informs us that the wounded were placed in the depot, and he is not aware of their having been removed. Our loss in this fight was 10 killed and 24 wounded.

The Yankees in Botetourt.

A private letter from Buchanan, Botetourt county, gives some particulars of the out rages perpetrated by the Yankees on their recent visit to that place. It says: ‘"About two weeks ago we were visited by a large number of Yankees, the whole commands of Averill, Crook, Duffee, and Hunter. For foul days and nights we had no rest whatever. They stripped us of everything we had to eat, and we came very near being burnt out. All around, as far as the eye could reach, their camp fires were burning, and all the hills above our garden were lined with them. They tore off all the fence around the garden, marched through by dozens, broke the well to pieces, took every vegetable and gooseberry, walked into the house and deliberately stole all the flour we had and carried it off. If no one but Averill had come we would have done pretty well. He was here a day or two before the others, and did not seem inclined to take advantage of our defenceless condition; but as soon as Crook, Hunter, and Duffee came the work of destruction commenced. * * * When the bridge was burnt the wind was very high and set directly up the street, so that the small houses near the bridge caught immediately; then the large lumber house of George Thompson, the Hob house, Mrs. Johnston's, and the houses where Mr. Johnston's, and the houses where Mr. Chandler and Dr. Scott lived. Others caught, but were put out. We are much indebted to Averill's men for the promptitude with which they assisted in extinguishing the fire and helping those who had to move."’

From this letter, it appears that Averill's troops are somewhat less brutal in their instincts than the generality of Yankee soldiers, and, on the principle of giving the devil his due, we are willing to accord them credit for it.

Rumors from the Valley.

A report is current that our forces in the Valley of Virginia captured a few days ago a large wagon train loaded with supplies, intended for Hunter's army. Some prisoners are said to have been taken at the same time. The scenes of the captured is located near Woodstock, Shenandoah county.

It is also reported that Major General John Pope, of "headquarters in the saddle"notoriety, was in Winchester a few days ago, and it was presumed to be his intention to advance up the Valley, for the purpose of completing the work left undone by Hunter. He is reported to have with him from 5,000 to 6,000 men. If this be true, we prophecy for the unfortunate Pope a worse fate even than he encountered at Manassas, where he was so unceremoniously lifted out-of the aforesaid "headquarters" by Gen. Lee.

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