The War News.
No event of importance has occurred on the north side since General Longstreet
's reconnaissance of last Saturday.
The troops thrown over by Grant
to meet Longstreet
's movement have been withdrawn to the south side.
Everything indicates protracted quiet on this side of the river.
The enemy's camp in front of Petersburg
has been in a commotion during the past two days, and on Monday, five trains, loaded with troops, were run up from City Point
These were, we think, the troops who had been sent north of the James
to resist Longstreet
, and who were being withdrawn to their original positions.
It was thought probable the enemy would attack our extreme right on yesterday morning; but we believe the day passed without any such movement.
We are still without later official information relative to the movements of Warren
's column than that contained in General Lee
's dispatch of last Saturday, which stated that the enemy was retiring from Bellfield
, on the Meherrin
, followed by Hampton
; but, from intelligence obtained through other sources, we feel satisfied that they, being baulked at the Meherrin
, abandoned their expedition to Weldon
, and, carefully avoiding a collision with our troops, returned to their position before Petersburg
They probably reached Grant
's army on Monday night. On Monday morning, Grant
sent down the Jerusalem plankroad a considerable body of infantry to meet and reinforce them.
This expedition has proved to be the most signal of all Grant
's many fizzles.
He sends out ten or fifteen thousand men — a moveable column — to destroy the Weldon
and Petersburg railroad, take Bellfield
, Hicksford and Weldon
, and hold the latter place.
They start off grandly and gaily, with banners flying and supply trains and droves of beeves following in their wake; they burn Sussex court-house
, steal a few poor cattle from the country people, tear up six miles of the railroad, get peppered by the reserves and Hampton
's cavalry at Bellfield
, and slink back by by-paths to the Army of the Potomac.
After the above was in type, the following official dispatch, giving an account of Warren
's return to Grant
's army, was received at the War Department:
"Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
"Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War:
"December 13, 1864.
"The expedition to Bellfield
, under General Warren
, returned within the enemy's lines yesterday.
The two divisions of the Ninth corps which went to Warren
's relief proceeded no further than Bercher's mill.
On meeting the returning column, they turned back.
"On returning from Bellfield
, the enemy moved eastwardly to the Jerusalem and Sussex Court-house
Our troops, consequently, only encountered their rear guard and pursued no further than the Nottoway river
; and they have returned to camp, bringing a few prisoners.
Our loss is very slight.
"The superintendent of the Petersburg and Weldon railroad reports that about six miles of the railroad has been broken up.
From General Hood--the battle of Franklin.
A gentleman, who reached this city yesterday direct from Tuscumbia, Alabama
, brings the first Confederate account we have had of the battle of Franklin
, on the 30th ultimo.
His account confirms the opinion we had already arrived at from the Yankee
newspaper statements, that General Hood
achieved a great victory.
He says the enemy's loss in killed and wounded was very heavy, being certainly not less than four thousand.
We captured, and still hold, five thousand prisoners. Our loss in killed, wounded and prisoners was about thirty-five hundred.
Among the killed on our side were Major-General Cleburne
and Brigadier-General Govan
, of Arkansas
, and Brigadier-General Granberry
, of Texas
proposed to Schofield
to exchange prisoners, but the latter declined, alleging that he had sent off all the Confederates
he had captured.
The fact was, he was unwilling, by exchanging, to disclose how very small was the number of prisoners he had taken.
It is worthy of remark that the Yankees
, having lied about this battle steadily and persistently for a fortnight, now show some disposition to acknowledge the truth.
All along they have been swearing that they lost but five hundred men. As will be seen by our latest extracts from Northern papers, they now admit a loss of upwards of three thousand.
They will come out with all the facts in a few days more.
From the South.
There was a report on yesterday that a fight was going on, on the Charleston and Savannah railroad, at Coosawatchie.
It was probably correct, and the enemy have persistently endeavored to make a lodgment on this road.
We have nothing from Sherman
He is still somewhere within twenty miles of Savannah
, and has not yet communicated with the Yankee