We have received copies of the New York Herald and Times of Monday, the 17th instant, and give a summary of the news:
Below Richmond — the reconnaissance in force — Placing Confederate prisoners under fire.The "slight skirmishing" below Richmond, at last, receives some notice at the hands of the Yankee press. It is called a "reconnaissance in force," in which a loss of four hundred, killed and wounded, is acknowledged. It appears that this "reconnaissance" was made by Terry's (white) and Birney's (negro) divisions, assisted by Kantz's cavalry. The advance was made on Wednesday; but, as a flag of truce was out, was halted, but renewed again on Thursday. The mode by which the "discoveries" mentioned were made is thus described in a letter to the Herald: ‘ General Terry ordered the advance, and his skirmishers moved steadily forward into the woods on either side of the Central road. The moment they advanced the sharp cracking of muskets denoted the presence of rebels. A brisk skirmish ensued, which resulted in the repulse of the rebels and the steady advance of our men. Terry's main line of battle then advanced into the edge of the wood. The skirmishers, scarcely three hundred yards in advance of the line of battle, quickly discovered heavy slashing covering a line of earthworks occupied by heavy masses of rebel infantry, who poured such a deadly volley of musketry into them that a further advance was impolitic, if not impracticable. ’ Here, then, was the first discovery, and an important one too. General Terry had previously, on two occasions, moved over this very ground, discovering no trace of fortifications or earthworks, while Kantz's cavalry, until Friday last, had picketed this entire region. But information had been received from deserters and scouts of works being thrown up in this vicinity by Hoke's and Fields's divisions, which the absence of those divisions from other parts of the line confirmed. We now had the disclosure of the location of those works. Another duty to be performed was to ascertain the extent, character and strength of these fortifications. About 10 A. M., General Terry was in readiness to proceed with the second part of the duty assigned him. His skirmishers were thrown a little forward in the enemy's slashing, and his main line advanced to its outer edge. Then followed a succession of "feelings," made chiefly by brigades, under direction of the division commanders. Each brigade made a charge through the slashing, as close to the rebel works as a proper caution would dictate. The results of these charges and observations were reported, collated, compared and digested, showing that the new line diverged from the main rebel line of fortifications at Fort Gilmer, on Laurel Hill, and taking a northwesterly course, somewhat varied, formed an advanced line of works in front of the main line surrounding Richmond, and designed to take the place of the extended line taken by Birney on the 29th ultimo. The construction of so formidable a line of works in so short a time is a commentary on the energy, skill and perseverance of the soldiers brought into existence by this war. General Terry's assaults on these works developed the fact that they were held by the divisions of Hoke and Fields, making together a stronger force than that at his disposal for a serious assault. The writer then describes an imaginary repulse of the Confederates who had leaped over the breastworks to pursue the Yankees. He says: ‘ The charge was one of the most determined I have ever witnessed. The roar of musketry was almost deafening. For nearly fifteen minutes the rebels were held by their officers, who vainly endeavored to get them up to our line in the face of the terrible fire we poured into them, and then they broke in confusion and hastened back to the cover of their works. Never was a charge made with more deter- mination and vigor, and never was one met with more unflinching courage or repelled with more completeness than this. ’ Soon after this affair, orders were given for our men to retire. The withdrawal of so considerable a body of troops, in open daylight, from the immediate presence of a greater body of the enemy, was an undertaking of the most deficate nature. That it was successfully accomplished, notwithstanding an effort on the part of the rebels to attack us, reflects the highest credit upon the military skill of the acting commander of the corps, brevet Major- General Terry. When our lines had withdrawn from the dense woods, and had been reformed in the open fields, the enemy essayed to advance; but our artillery, now for the first time brought into play, gave them the timely caution, and they wisely abstained from a pursuit. Nothing, therefore, remained but the march homeward, which was accomplished by six o'clock in the evening, and as I write the wearied men are quietly resting behind their own impregnable entrenchments. The day's work might have resulted in the infliction of greater damage to the enemy — probably their rout from the position they had taken, and the destruction of their new-made works — but for the faux pas of the previous evening; but, as it was, all was accomplished that was designed at the inception of the movement, and the information obtained was in the highest degree valuable and useful. We have lost in the operation, in killed, wounded and missing, probably about four hundred men, mostly wounded. Of officers, we have to mourn the gallant Major Camp, of the Tenth Connecticut, who fell close up to the rebel works, and whose remains were left on the field, and Lieutenant- Colonel Taylor, of the Sixty-second Ohio, mortally wounded. There are the only casualties among field officers that have been reported. A letter from in front of Richmond gives some additional intelligence of our officers and soldiers who have been placed under fire at Dutch gap by Butler. The following is his order directing this barbarity:
and North Carolina,
Army of the James, in the Field,
October 13, 1864.
General Orders, No. 126.
The failure of Grant's last move against Richmond — its causes.--Sheridan to be Transferred to the Rapid Ann.The New York Mercury confesses that Grant's recent operations "immediately against Richmond have met with an unfortunate check," but not so disastrous as to endanger final success. It goes on to give a history of the movement by which Grant expected to crack the Richmond egg at both ends: The reason for the partial failure may be attributed primarily to the blunders of certain corps commanders, but mainly to the unfortunate state of the weather, which has made the roads so heavy that large bodies of troops could not move with celerity, and consequently both wings had to be hinted and the positions already seized entrenched. His scheme at the outset was to advance both his wings against either flank of the rebels, to operate with two corps on the north bank of the James so suddenly and secretly as to carry the eastern defences of Richmond by a couple main. Also, to move two corps on the left in such a manner as to seize and hold the Southside railroad.--This would have compelled the immediate evacuation of Petersburg, as that place would truly have been rendered untenable, in a military view, and Lee would, for safety, have withdrawn his army within the defences of Richmond, and so disposed his troops as to defend the Danville road — a line of communications which would then have been invested with the utmost importance. The movement on the right, however, resulted only in the possession of some minor defences at Chaffin's farm, while that on the left failed for want of vim on the part of the officers directing it. The hopeful tone of General Grant's early dispatches have not been borne out, but there is still no cause for great discouragement. The Army of the Potomac has not been defeated, but have, on the contrary, been victorious to the extent that they have gone, and both wings are in such a position that, should equal success attend the next extension of the lines, the right will be placed within sight of the immediate defences of the rebel capital, while the left will be put in full possession of the Southside railroad, and thus the original plans of General Grant be fully executed. New combinations have recently been made by General Grant which have for their object an immediate offensive movement against Lee's army and the rebel capital. These are no less than the transfer of Sheridan's army from the Shenandoah Valley to the position formerly held by General Meade on the line of the Rapid Ann, with headquarters and secondary base at Warrenton. The rebel papers claim that Sheridan has been defeated by Early and compelled to fall back to Harrisonburg. But it is believed that this is untrue, and that the retrograde movement was really in pursuance of instructions from General Grant, who has ordered him to move northward through the gaps in the Blue Ridge into the Luray Valley, and thence, when preparations have been made to supply him, to advance upon Warrenton and endeavor to obtain possession of Gordonsville. It will be observed that the Orange and Alexandria road is already being repaired and rails laid, so that supplies can be transported readily and rapidly to Warrenton. When this is done, the forward movement of General Sheridan will be resumed with an army largely reinforced. When General Meade held the line of the Rapid Ann, near the point which has been selected as General Sheridan's new base, although he had an enemy in his front in strong force, the rebels made no attempt to enter the Shenandoah Valley for the purpose of invading Maryland or threatening Washington, for the reason that such a course would expose them to be cut off in the rear, owing to the facility with which a pursuing column could move into the Valley through the gaps in the Blue Ridge. This is precisely the plan laid out by General M. Clellan, and which, had he been permitted to carry out, would have resulted in the capture of Richmond and the defeat of Lee's army. He wished to place a column on the line of the Rapid Ann as an army of observation, which would at the same time defend Washington and prevent the invasion of the Shenandoah Valley or Maryland, while, with the main body of his army, he took a position on the south side of the James river and operated against Richmond and the communications of the rebel capital. The rebel papers report a defeat of General Bur bridge at Saltville, in Southwestern Virginia, and state that he has been operating in that quarter with a force of six thousand men. This shows that he has penetrated the designs of General Grant, and has sent a large force, under Echols and Breckinridge, to check the movement on Lynchburg, by the line of the Virginia and Tennessee road. General Sherman's presence in Nashville at this time, however, and the movement of this force under General Burbridge, have great significance; and the readers of this correspondence will remember that the plan of operations revealed by secret occurrences was fully foreshadowed some weeks ago by your Washington correspondent. The advance of General Burbridge may be considered merely in the light of a reconnaissance, and his repulse is of little importance. General Sherman will soon be ready to move a force through-East Tennessee and Virginia which will sweep back the bodies of rebel troops now endeavoring to guard Lynchburg. This place is of too great importance to be lost sight of in the campaign now fully under way, and its capture will have a terribly demoralizing effect upon the rebel army. Ere long, General Grant's army in front of Richmond and Petersburg will make another advance; Sheridan will move down upon Gordonsville; and Sherman, with his victorious legions, will sweep brilliantly and successfully through Southwestern Virginia against Lynchburg. These combinations exhibit a profound knowledge of the art of war on the part of General Grant; and although he did, at the outset, discard the plans formed by General McClellan for the campaign against Richmond, his adoption of them at the present time shows that he is not unwilling to follow in the footsteps and after the advice of the illustrious leader of the Army of the Potomac.
Capture of two of the Local forces.The following paragraph, in a letter to the New York Times from Butler's army, will assure the friends of the two citizens of Richmond named of their safety: Among the prisoners brought to headquarters two nights since were a pair of remarkable characters, both F. F. V.'s, and employees in the Treasury Department at Richmond, one in the Comptroller's office and the other in the Fourth Auditor's. Their names are Henley and McRae. These gentlemen are both in the "sear, and yellow" time of life, the latter having been relieved from duty as a major in the rebel service, some time since, on account of his age. Their story is, that they were compelled to take the field last week, and were placed on picket duty, as persons who could be trusted not to desert. On being relieved by the corporal of the guard, they moved off, as they believed, in the direction of their camp, and accidentally walked into our lines, bringing their muskets with them. Each of them expressed much chagrin at having committed so gross an error, and begged General Butler to believe they were not deserters. There was something very ludicrous in the appearance of these disconsolate old gentlemen as they stood crooking over the camp-fire, endeavoring to keep the warmth in their bodies, and apologizing blandly to each other with stately politeness for their stupidity in being such unskillful pilots — each generously taking the blame of the mishap. Their dress was unique. The ex-major wore his cast-off regimentals, and stood with bent head, and features almost obscured by the peak of his little grey cap, which rested upon his grizzled moustache. Mr. McRae was habited in a highly-unmilitary garb of threadbare black, swallow-tail coat and stove-pipe hat, and had his shoulders swathed in a dingy-white blanket. General Butler assured these poor old soldiers that they should be treated as prisoners of war, and in the morning they were sent off with a number of their fellow patriots to the prison camp, Point Lookout.
From Georgia — communication with Sherman out — Dalton surrendered to General Hood.Stanton no longer pretends to receive dispatches from Sherman. The Herald says nothing can be heard from him, and the Times thinks it is because he is "closing in upon the rebels." The latest intelligence from Georgia is the following dispatch, dated Chattanooga, the 15th: ‘ The reports of our scouts fail to show the presence of any considerable body of the enemy north of Turinel Hill. Walter and Whitfield counties have undoubtedly been scoured by a small body of rebel cavalry, which has not been very effective in destroying the railroads, though in possession of Alton, and but little damage is believed to have been done. ’ Officers blockaded here on their way to the front have been ordered to prepare to join their commands at once. General Schofield sent out a strong reconnoitering party to-day to discover the whereabouts of the rebel column said to be moving towards the west. Scouts of the Forty-fourth colored regiment in the garrison at Dayton, who escaped after Colonel Johnson's surrender, arrived here to-day. They give numerous accounts of the affair. They state that they were on picket, wanted to fight, knocked over the flag-bearer, and, after the surrender, refused to stay caught. Ringgold and the intermediate points have been strengthened by General Schofield. We have nothing definite as to Sherman's whereabouts. He is known to be energetically at work to open, and keep open, the route to Atlanta, no matter what rebel column intervenes. Another telegram, dated 9 P. M. of the same day, says: ‘ Our forces to-day re-occupied Ringgold and the block-house, three miles in advance, and found the railroad and bridges safe. It is generally believed that Dalton, with the Forty-sixth colored, surrendered to Hood's army yesterday, but nothing official is received. There is no communication yet with General Sherman. There was an abundance of supplies at Atlanta, in anticipation of such a movement by the rebels. ’ Major-General Stedman had arrived and resumed command of the district. There are six months supplies on hand, and the officers of the army feel that Hood is making a movement that will certainly prove disastrous. The Herald, speculating on Sherman's situation and President Davis's late visit to General Hood's army, says: ‘ He hopes to scatter Sherman's army for the protection of the communications; to keep Sherman busy in that way for a little while, and then to hurry half of Hood's army away to Lee. He also urged the people to force the return of the immense number of Hood's absentees. None of the absentees will go to Hood. Such as report will be sent to Lee. This is Jeff's last plan to save his capital.--Let Sherman and Grant look out for it. Jeff Davis, when he visits the rebel Army of the Tennessee, always sends a large part of it to some distant point. Take care that he don't send this part to Virginia. ’
Capture of Sedalia, Missouri, by General Jeff. Thompson--General Price moving on Lexington.A telegram from St. Louis, dated the 16th, gives the intelligence that Sedalia has been captured by the Confederates. It says: ‘ About two thousand rebels, with two pieces of artillery, under Jeff. Thompson, attacked Sedalia at 2 o'clock yesterday, and drove the militia out of the place. A few of the militia in the fort resisted the attack, but finally surrendered, and were paroled or shot. The citizens were released without parole.--The rebels left during the night, and a Union infantry force arrived there this morning. The rebels robbed stores of several thousand dollars' worth of clothing, boots, shoes, &c., burned the water station, but did no other injury to the railroad. The rolling stock was all sent to Tipton. ’ Price is reported to be moving on Lexington. Bill Anderson has out the North Missouri railroad at High Hill. He is also reported to have visited Florence. Anderson says his only orders are "to raise hell in North Missouri. "
From Louisiana — Another assessment.An arrival from New Orleans furnishes the Yankee papers the following news: ‘ General Dana, commanding at Vicksburg, is keeping up a continual series of scouting far into the interior which is productive of much benefit to the national cause. General Hurlbut, commanding the Gulf Department, has assessed an additional twenty-five per cent, aggregating over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, on the sums subscribed in aid of the rebel Government by corporations in New Orleans previous to its capture by the Union forces. The proceeds of this assessment are to be applied, as a former similar one was by General Butler, to the relief of the poor of the city. A detachment of Union troops, who recently made a reconnaissance to Pigeon bayon, in the Tache district of Louisiana, captured a barge laden with three hundred bales of cotton, but saw nothing of the enemy. Affairs at Mobile remained quiet. It is said that a force of ten to twelve thousand rebels is stationed somewhere between Pensacola and Mobile to check any Union movement which might be made from the former place upon the latter. ’
The Pennsylvania election.The Herald does not say a word about the Pennsylvania election. The Times figures out a Republican majority of two thousand seven hundred and thirty-five on the home vote, and to that adds five thousand majority on the soldiers' vote as far as received. As we have no Democratic paper, we cannot give both sides of the calculations, though we find this order published in the papers: ‘ Order No. I.--It is recommended to the various Democratic and Union organizations in the city of New York to illuminate their respective headquarters, and to assemble thereat on Monday evening, the 17th instant, in honor of the auspicious result in the Keystone State; that national salutes be fired in the public squares; and that the city of New York, true to the cause of the Union and the Constitution, under their chosen leader, McClellan, send congratulations to our brothers in Pennsylvania on their hard-earned and triumphant success. ’
Chairman of Democratic National Committee.