We are indebted to a friend for Northern papers of the 6th instant, from which we get some additional intelligence of interest:
Grant's last disaster at Petersburg — the official Report.The Yankees are just beginning to comprehend the extent of the disaster Grant met with at Petersburg Friday. The official report of his losses puts them at five thousand six hundred and forty. Such a slaughter in such a short time, and with such an utter failure, has caused too much comment among the Yankee people, and Lincoln has convened a military commission at City Point, with General Hancock presiding, to investigate it. The New York Herald says: ‘ Considerable mortification and chagrin appear to be felt in the Army of the Potomac over the failure of the recent attempt to carry the enemy's lines by storm. It is very natural and proper that this should be so. No one ventures to deny that we had on that occasion four corps massed against a position held by three divisions, and the army may naturally wonder whether it will ever succeed again if it is to fail with such odds in its favor. No stratagem to gain an advantage in numbers at the point of contact was ever more admirably contrived or more successful than that by which General Grant got the bulk of Lee's army over at Deep Bottom at the time when this assault was to be made; but it was a great failure not to seize resolutely, what this advantage placed within our reach. Whispers that the army did not fight well are absurd, as applied to this event; for not enough of the army was put in to give it a chance to win. Were our generals over sanguine of the result? Were they so certain of success that they did not employ men enough to secure it? Were they saving the troops for a great day's work after Petersburg had been taken? Praiseworthy as such calculations might be under certain circumstances, we must yet hope that they did not stand in the way of our success in the late attempt. ’ In view of what appears now to be in progress in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the Shenandoah Valley, it is an unpleasant truth that the late attempt by the Army of the Potomac has served General Lee in the light of an experiment. It seems to have given him a great and valuable piece of information as to how few men can hold the Petersburg defences. Three divisions held those lines when the assailants had the assistance of a mine that had cost a month's labor, and it follows that Lee could have reinforced Early with a great many men if he had only known it. He knows it now, and it is not too late to act upon the knowledge. We shall soon, in all probability, have larger operations near the Pennsylvania border than we have had lately, and we must prepare to hear, ere the summer is over, of another real invasion of the North. Perhaps a real invasion may accomplish what so many demonstrations have failed to accomplish, and draw Grant from the James river. But if Grant is still to stay there, who shall repel the invasion? No confidence would be felt by the country in any other man than General McClellan. But from General McClellan it seems the President requires "pledges." McClellan must relinquish one of the rights of a citizen before he can be permitted to serve his country. But we shall see. Perhaps even the President may forget his political schemes when there are fifty thousand rebel soldiers on their way down the Valley.
Louisville, dated the 3d instant: The Nashville Union of to-day says apparently well-authenticated but unofficial information has been received that General Stoneman not only cut the Macon railroad, but defeated the rebel Wheeler at Proctor's creek; that the latter lost from five hundred to one thousand men in the fight, and his dead and wounded fell into our hands. The New York Herald of the 5th, glorifying over this, thus settles Hood's position: His present position, of course, does not protect Atlanta, since Sherman can shell that city. Neither does it prevent our operations now in progress for complete investment. Every line by which Hood could get away is occupied or rendered impracticable. Retreat is impossible; supply equally so, and battle is no doubt hopeless. Hood must surrender at discretion before many days go by, or utterly destroy his army in one great final attempt to cut his way through. A correspondent of the same paper, writing from Nashville on the 28th of July, announces that Sherman would move on that day. [The result of this move is already know in the Confederacy.] The letter further says: ‘ I sent you a detailed statement of the situation on the 21st. It has not been materially changed since that time, the line extending from the river parallel with the railroad to Atlanta, and thence around the city to a road which leaves it in a due southerly direction. This position was in front of the town, within about two miles and a half of it, and had been occupied on the day succeeding the battle of Peachtree Ridge and the day preceding the battle of the 22d. This latter affair does not appear to have changed the line materially, and we have the movements of to-day beginning from this position. The movements by the left would extend the line further southwest, creeping upon the Macon road, and closing around the southern side of the city. ’ You can easily divine Sherman's purpose in these operations. You can understand why he advances to the very doors of the city and then delays. Some one will cry out directly that he is delaying to give the enemy time to get their stores away. It was made rather with the hope of keeping the rebels there, and to all appearance it has succeeded; at any rate, the enemy remain up to this time. The movements now progressing will decide the important question whether the campaign will end in a siege or a skedaddle of the rebels. What Sherman wishes to accomplish is Hood's investment in Atlanta. The best thing for the rebels to do is to skedaddle. I have believed for some time that it has been too late by several days to do this with safety, and to-day the hopes entertained at General Sherman's headquarters of the success of the operations to invest Hood in Atlanta are very much increased, and news of the movements now going on is looked for most anxiously.
Affairs in Pennsylvania.A dispatch from Washington, dated the 4th, says: ‘ Several military companies have just been organized at Carlisle. The feeling of the people seems to be such that a general plan is only necessary to rally large numbers of the people for defensive purposes. Alarming rumors from time to time prevail as to the intentions of the rebels; but there is nothing to establish their truth. ’ The telegraph line was working to-day from Carlisle to Hagerstown; but there was no particular information from the latter point. Many farmers, with their teams, who, during last Saturday and Sunday, fled in a panic, are now cautiously returning to their homes. The continued alarms of rebel movements have brought all business to a standstill, and a general organization for defence seems actually necessary to restore confidence to the public mind. The following appeal from General Couch, an army officer, to the people, to "bushwhack" the Confederates, sounds rather strangely from a people that have denounced bushwhacking in the Confederacy, and murdered so many unoffending citizens merely upon the suspicion of being engaged in it.--We copy the official order for the benefit of the Government:
To the People of the Southern Tier of Counties of Pennsylvania:
Major-General Commanding Department.