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The War News.

Many exaggerated rumors have been in circulation regarding the skirmish that took place at an early hour Saturday morning, but the facts are substantially as stated in yesterday's paper. General Finnegan retook the inner line of pits that had been captured by the enemy, and took fifty-nine prisoners, among them one commissioned officer. No attempt was made to re-establish the outer line, and consequently the rumor to that effect was without foundation. During the skirmish there was considerable cannonading and musketry firing, which virtually misled those at a distance as to the magnitude of the affair. An apprehension that the Confederates would attempt to re-establish the original lines led the enemy to make preparations to meet it, not only by strengthening his skirmishers in front, but by bringing up a considerable force of supports in their rear.

The Yankees occasionally relieve the monotony of the situation in front of Petersburg by throwing shells at the city, and on Saturday last used a fifteen-inch mortar for that purpose. The continuation of this barbarous practice, while it does comparatively little damage and results in no military advantage, stamps the foe with a character for brutality that will live to the latest generations.

The observatory, or tower, in Chesterfield county, was elevated to yet more lofty proportions, and completed last week. Its height is now about two hundred feet. Our artillerists occasionally play upon it at a distance, but have not, thus far, succeeded in damaging it. A shot in that direction from one of our guns invariably calls forth a heavy reply from the Yankee batteries.

It is reported that there was a spirited artillery duel between the enemy's monitors and our batteries at Howlett's on Saturday. Persons who visited that neighborhood on Sunday, however, heard nothing of it.

The Yankees are still engaged in their enterprise of digging a canal at Dutch Gap, and have thrown up breastworks to protect their laborers in the event that the Confederates attempt an interference with their operations.

The Northern papers still insist that Grant is receiving heavy reinforcements, and boast that he will soon have that "one hundred thousand" with which he has promised to crush the life out of the Confederacy. As the latest accounts, however, represent that the draft is to be enforced, in spite of Seward's assurance to the contrary, these statements may be received with a good deal of doubt.

Everything continued quiet in front of Petersburg yesterday, and there has been no further change in the situation than that which resulted from the skirmish on Saturday morning.


The fall of Atlanta.

We have received some particulars of the fall of Atlanta, and of events immediately preceding, which will be perused with interest. On the evening of the 1st instant the enemy left his entrenchments and moved against our works in heavy force. Four successive and furious assaults were in turn met and repulsed, but on the fifth charge the force thrown against Govan's brigade was so overwhelming as to force it back, thereby flanking those portions of the line which still stood firm. Under these circumstances — outflanked and in want of ammunition--General Hardee was compelled to withdraw, which he did in the direction of Lovejoy's, beyond Jonesboro'. General Lee, who appears to have held the right of our line in this day's fight, also withdrew during the night towards Atlanta for the purpose of forming a junction with General Hood and the main army.

On the next morning, Hardee's corps having been cut off, and the enemy being firmly lodged on the Macon railroad, it was evident that Atlanta must be given up, and, accordingly, at the early hour of two o'clock, our army evacuated the place, retreating southward towards Hardee. A few hours afterward, that portion of the enemy still in position before Atlanta entered the city, and, after leaving a garrison, pressed through on the track of our forces. During the day it dees not appear that any hostilities occurred further than some skirmishing on flank and rear.

About one o'clock on Saturday morning, the 3d, Hood effected his junction with Hardee, and our entire army was drawn up in line of battle before Lovejoy's, not at all demoralized, and but little weakened by loss of men or materiel. Our right rested at McDonough, this place having been probably chosen in order to permit the line to be extended, if necessary, toward Covington, on the Georgia railroad.

Our total losses attendant upon the fall of Atlanta amount to only fifteen hundred men. Eight field pieces were lost by Hardee; some siege guns left by Hood in Atlanta; from five to eight locomotives; between one hundred and fifty and two hundred freight cars, and some ordnance, commissary and quartermaster stores destroyed. The blow, though undeniably heavy, is by no means disheartening.--The loss of one position, be it ever so strong, is not our death- blow; for we have, ere this, suffered reverses trebly severe, and still live through it all.

Reports from Atlanta, previous to the issuing of Sherman's order, state that no outrages had been committed by the enemy, and the only annoyance felt was from pilfering and robbery by stragglers.--Some of the inhabitants who raised the white flag on the advent of the Yankees were met with volleys of abuse for their cowardice, and declarations that they (the enemy) would not trust those who, after living so long in a rebel city, had at length turned against their fellow-citizens.

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