The war News.
The situation in front of Petersburg
Some skirmishing and a good deal of picket firing continue on our right, the lines being very near to each other, and the temptation to take an occasional shot at the Yankees
On Wednesday there was some cannonading all day on the left and centre, and in the afternoon the city was briskly shelled by the enemy's batteries near the river.
This was the first regular shelling of any consequence for several weeks.
The only damage to property was the partial burning of one small tenement, and the only casualty the killing of a negro in the lower part of the city.
The cannonading on the left was kept up, with occasional intermissions, until a late hour of the night.
As we stated yesterday, on the authority of reports brought in by scouts, but a comparatively small length of the track of the Weldon railroad has been torn up. It is believed that the road has not been destroyed as far as Reams's station, and that the rails, instead of being heated and twisted, so as to render them unfit for further use are being hauled away as fast as they are taken up. The impression also prevails to some extent that the enemy intends to preserve the road intact for his own use, in case
of the evacuation of Petersburg
— an event so far in the future that Grant
may as well secure a life lease on his position between Reams's station and Davis
's farm, and will it to his heirs and assigns.
The enemy's position on the railroad has not been materially altered, and as he is closely watched by the experienced eyes of skillful generals, and confronted at every point by our troops, he can move no farther without endangering his safety.
If any farther movement is intended, it will occur in the shape of raids, which have been already foreshadowed by hints in the Yankee
We are not aware of the future plans of our commanding officers, but feel assured that they will be dictated by good judgment and carried out with success.
Prisoners report that Grant
, and all the prominent Yankee generals, are with the army south of Petersburg
, busily inspecting and noting the advantages of the new position.
Prisoners and deserters are brought in daily.
Nothing of importance occurred on the lines south of Petersburg
yesterday; but the indications are that we shall have stirring news from that quarter before many days elapse.
The enemy's line of pickets in front of Chester
on the Richmond and Petersburg railroad, was attacked yesterday morning by General Pickett
's command and driven in. Some sixty or seventy prisoners were captured.
Our loss was small.
From the Valley.
An official dispatch from General Early
, at Charlestown
, states that he has pressed the enemy back to Harper's Ferry
We have received some gratifying particulars of the recent engagement near Winchester
The rout of the enemy was complete, equalling, if it did not surpass, the stampede from Kernstown
a few weeks since.
The enemy had in the fight about eight thousand cavalry, and some four thousand or five thousand infantry, which was the rear guard of their main army, the latter being in full retreat towards the Potomac
After the affair at Front Royal
, our army pushed on, and coming up with the rear guard at Winchester
, were, for a short time, held at bay by their artillery, and suffered some little loss, but nothing could withstand the valor of our troops, and with a yell they charged the enemy, who broke and ran in the wildest confusion.
They were pursued for several miles beyond Winchester
, when darkness compelled General Early
to call off his men and allow them to rest.
The next morning the pursuit was recommenced, but the enemy had taken advantage of the darkness and gotten too far in advance to be overtaken.
We got about two hundred and fifty prisoners and one piece of artillery, besides a number of horses, and any quantity of small arms, clothing, &c., which the enemy in their fright threw away.
But very few of the enemy were killed or wounded, and our entire casualties did not exceed fifteen.