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The War News.

An official dispatch, received at the War Department Saturday morning, states that General Hill attacked the enemy's Fifth corps on Friday afternoon, at Dovis's house, three miles from Petersburg, on the Weldon railroad, defeated them and captured about twenty-seven hundred prisoners, including one brigadier-general and several field officers. The loss on our side is believed to be smaller than that of the enemy. Brigadier-General Clingman was wounded in the leg.

Detailed accounts of this engagement will be found elsewhere. Twenty-four hundred prisoners, captured on Friday evening, arrived in this city on Saturday and yesterday. Among them are the following commissioned officers:

Brigadier-General--Joseph Hays, First brigade, Second division, Fifth corps.

ColonelsWm. R. Hartshorn, 190th Penn. infantry; James Carle, 4th Penn. reserves; G. Gilbert Rey, 104th N. Y.

Lieutenant-Colonels--Wm. A. Leech, 90th Penn.; Samuel A. Moffett, 94th N. Y. infantry.

MajorsJacob M. Davis, 90th Penn., E. Rodzelb 149th O. N. G.; John A. Wolfe, 190th Penn.; Milton Weidler, 2d Penn.

CaptainsJames A. Wood, A. A. G. to General Bragg; Jassie Armstrong, K, 7th Indiana; John B, McDonald, 8th company, 1st battalion, New York sharpshooters; Carswell McClennand, A. A. G. to General Cutler; Emanuel D. Roth, E, 107th Penn. infantry; E. J. Kratzor, H, 190th Penn.; E. E. Ziegler, G, 107th Penn.; Byron Porter, A. A. G., 1st brigade, 3d division, 5th corps; Clinton Perry, 7th company, 1st battalion, New York sharpshooters; Byron Parsons, C, 94th N. Y. infantry; Joseph O. Lord, K, 16th Maine; John J. Torbert, I, 2d Penn.; Thomas H. Abbott, F, 2d Penn.; Ezra J. Trull, G, 39th Mass.; John Daly, I, 104th N. Y.; H. A. Wiley, B, 104th N. Y.; James A. Gault, G, 104th N. Y.; John H. Chipman, C, 59th Mass.; A. N. Richardson, F, 104th N. Y.; John Hall, 4th N. Y.; Jasper M. Griggs, C, 4th N. Y.; F. R. Kinsly, E, 39th Mass.; U. K. Berkest, H, 2d Penn.; Frederick Guyer, 83d N. Y.; Z. B. Adams, 56th Mass.; H. B. Fox, 34th Mass.; L. Black, 144th O. S. G.

First Lieutenants--A. B. Horton, 149th Penn. F. Coppas, 72d Penn.; E. P. Luther, 122d N. Y.; (and a number more of the same rank).

Second Lieutenants--E. R. Sage and S. H. White, 144th O. N. G.

Surgeons — B. G. Streeter, 4th N. Y.; Assistant D. C. Powell, 1st N. Y.

ChaplainC. W. Keyes, 9th N. Y.

The following are the casualties in the Richmond Grays, Twelfth Virginia regiment, in Friday's fight: Killed — Thomas C. Walsh. Wounded — A. F. Rogers. Missing — M. M. Bowen, George B. Gibson and George James.

So far as we have been able to ascertain, there was no fighting on Saturday. At an early hour yesterday morning, however, a heavy cannonade commenced along the lines, which continued for some hours. During the morning our forces attacked the enemy on the Weldon railroad, and the fighting was severe the remainder of the day. There were many rumors last evening in regard to the result of the fight, but as the train failed to arrive, and we have nothing from the agent of the Press Association, they all lack confirmation.

We only know that the enemy were driven from their advanced position back to their main line of entrenchments, and that they still held the railroad last evening. Reliable accounts will doubtless be received from Petersburg at an early hour to-day.


Below Richmond.

Nothing of importance has occurred on the north side of James river, below Richmond, since the reconnaissance on Thursday. The two corps sent over by Grant, it is ascertained, have recrossed to the south side, leaving only the division commanded by Foster, which has been at Deep Bottom for some time past. The firing heard on Friday evening was the enemy's gunboats shelling Howlett's field, a position in which they supposed the rebels had created a battery. It was without effect, save an useless expenditure of Yankee ammunition.

Northern papers of the 17th assert that the object of the movement on the north side of the James was to destroy the rebel pontoon bridges above "Fort Darling," as they call Drewry's Bluff; while papers of the 18th are quite as positive that it was only a reconnaissance to ascertain the strength of the Confederates in that quarter. We do not believe either of these stories. It is much more likely that it was a feint to draw General Lee's troops from the front of Petersburg. But whatever it was, it proved a miserable failure, and adds one more to the catalogue of Grant's "brilliant movements" (over the left) in this campaign.*

One day last week, the Yankee pickets in the neighborhood of Dutch Gap opened fire upon our picket line, when two of our gunboats, being in the vicinity, concluded to take a hand. Consequently, they commenced throwing shells promiscuously in the direction of the Yankees. One of the missiles struck the enemy's pontoon bridge near Dutch Gap and set it on fire, burning several of the boats of which it is composed. This Confederate salute seemed to cause considerable consternation among the Yankees.

The enemy is still engaged in digging the canal across the neck of land known as Dutch Gap. To those who are acquainted with its topography, this will appear to be a work of no small magnitude, but unless some plan can be devised to put a stop to their operations, it will be accomplished.


From the Valley.

At length we have some definite information from General Early's command, in the Valley of Virginia. An official dispatch, received at the War Department, states that a portion of our forces in the Valley crossed the Shenandoah at Front Royal on the 16th, and drove the enemy's cavalry, which retreated towards Winchester, burning the hay and wheat stacks in their route. On the 17th, Sheridan began to retire from his position, was pursued, and two divisions of the Sixth corps, with a large force of cavalry, were overtaken at Winchester and driven through the town, losing over two hundred prisoners. The enemy fell back towards Harper's Ferry.

Front Royal, the point at which the Shenandoah was crossed, is situated in the extreme southeastern angle of Frederick county, twenty miles from Winchester, in a valley between the river and the Blue Ridge, near the junction of the counties of Culpeper, Fauquier and Shenandoah. Strasburg, from whence Sheridan commenced his retreat, is in the northern part of Shenandoah county, on the north branch of the Shenandoah river, immediately on the main road from Woodstock to Winchester, and eighteen miles south of the latter place.

It is stated (not officially) that Sheridan's entire force in the Valley amounts to 41,000 men. His retirement from our front to Harper's Ferry may be regarded as a prudential measure on his part.

It is reported that on Thursday, the 18th instant, General Early captured five hundred prisoners near Winchester, and was still in pursuit of the enemy.


From Florida.

The following official dispatch, announcing a successful affair in Florida, was received at the War Department yesterday:

‘ "Charleston, August 20. --Captain Dickinson with a greatly inferior numerical force, engaged the enemy's cavalry and artillery at Gainesville, Florida, on the 18th, and completely routed them, capturing one hundred and fifty prisoners, one piece of artillery and one hundred stolen negroes. The enemy was pursued fourteen miles and scattered. * *

"Sam Jones, Major-General."

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