The Richmond and Petersburg lines.
All continues, and seems likely to continue, quiet on the north side of James river
The enemy are expending their activity on our right.
Immediately at Petersburg
, in front of General Gordon
's lines, there has been no stir since the feu d'eufer
of Wednesday night. The performances of that night are quite sufficient to last a considerable length of time.
The heroes of that dark and sulphurous, but bloodless, field can afford to rest on their laurels for the present.
, in his official report of this affair, which we received late Thursday night, and published yesterday, says:
reports that the enemy, at 11 o'clock P. M. yesterday, advanced against a part of his line, defended by Brigadier-General Lewis
, but was repulsed."
We have quoted this dispatch to call attention to the fact that, whereas it says the enemy advanced at 11 o'clock Wednesday night, the cannonade, as every one in Petersburg
, who is not stone deaf, knows, began before 10 o'clock, and was at its fiercest before 11.
The report to the contrary notwithstanding, we cannot help adhering to our opinion, expressed yesterday, that there was no attack at all. Of course we do not think our officers willfully misrepresented the case, but that, in the shadow of that darkest of nights, they were mistaken.
We look with interest to the Yankee
account of the affair, which we will receive to-morrow.
We should not be surprised if they have a flaming account of a repulse of the rebels, with the usual "horrible slaughter."
Affairs on the right.
The enemy have pushed a heavy column beyond our right, southwest of Petersburg
, but we have heard nothing from that quarter that we can rely upon as authentic since General Lee
's report of Thursday [published yesterday], in which he says "there was skirmishing near Dinwiddie Courthouse yesterday [Wednesday], without decisive result."
The Petersburg Express
of yesterday says Grant
's long-contemplated movement to extend his left towards the Southside railroad has begun, and that he has forty thousand men on the field.
We make a summary of the Express's
account of the recent operations on our right:
"On Tuesday night, the enemy advanced up the Military road to within one mile of the Boydton
plankroad, threw up entrenchments on either side, built a large fort at the Lewis house
, and pushed forward a body of troops to within a few hundred yards of the plankroad.
"On Wednesday, this column was attacked by our troops and driven back our vanguard entering, and, for a time, holding the fort at the Lewis house
Not receiving immediate or sufficient support, the fort was yielded.
After driving the enemy thus far, with beautiful success, our troops fell back a short distance and offered battle, but the Yankees
declined to accept it, and failed even to make any pursuit.
"The fighting in the vicinity of Hatcher
's run on Wednesday afternoon was quite severe for a while, and the Yankees
"Yesterday morning, the enemy's cavalry were ascertained to be approaching the "Five Forks
," on the White-oak road, leading from the plankroad, near Burgess's mill, across to the Southside railroad.
This point is about midway between these two points.
This column had passed around our works, and was confidently making for the railroad.
But a lion was found in their path in the person of General Fitz Lee
and his brave troopers.
Heavy firing was heard near the "Five Forks
" subsequently, and from the direction it took at a late hour, it is believed that battle was joined and the enemy driven.
"Just beyond Burgess's mill, and to the southeast, skirmishing commenced early in the day. Here Grant
had his infantry massed, and his flanks supported by cavalry, and here the heaviest fighting occurred.
The discharges of artillery and the volleys of musketry could be distinctly heard in the city — the former, at times, very heavy; and the latter, with occasional intervals, almost incessant.
While we have the gratifying intelligence that all was well with us, we are yet unable to give any official account of the fighting.
We held our own, and the enemy gained no advantage.
Between 2 and 4 o'clock P. M., the heaviest fighting occurred, and at sunset the firing still continued, but was changed both in direction and severity.
It was evident, from the direction of the firing late in the afternoon, and that of an earlier hour, that the enemy had either been driven back, or had changed the point of attack — most probably the latter.
"It is stated that some five or six hundred prisoners were captured.
Their condition was pitiable.
They were covered with mud from head to heels.
were on the field, or in its vicinity, during the day. All the prisoners, and several deserters who came over to us, assert this fact.
"Both prisoners and deserters state that the enemy's intention is to strike the Southside railroad--probably at the junction.
These statements are so uniform as to cause some credence to be placed in them.
The prisoners state their loss to be very heavy.
"It is supposed that the battle will be renewed to-day unless the enemy intrenches and assumes the defensive."
Yesterday evening's Whig
contains the following telegram:
, March 30--10 P. M.--A heavy fight has been progressing all day in Dinwiddie
, near Hatcher
's run, eight miles from Petersburg
"Nothing official has been received here, but reports, up to five o'clock, deemed reliable, state that three furious assaults were repulsed.
"At half-past 2 o'clock the enemy came up in overwhelming numbers, and drove Bushrod Johnson
's division one mile and a half.
"The Confederates were then reinforced, which turned the tide of battle.
We then drove the enemy, with great slaughter, to and beyond their original position of the morning.
"The ground is strewed with their dead and dying, and seven hundred prisoners are reported sent to the rear.
"The affair of last night, for roar of cannon and musketry, which lasted two hours, exceeded anything ever heard in this section.
"It turns out to-day that both belligerents conceived the idea that they were being charged behind their works, when, in fact, neither had left their entrenchments; hence the prodigal expenditure of ammunition.
"It was one of the most novel events of this remarkable war.
"The loss was small on our side, and is now not supposed to be large with the enemy.
"All quiet on that front to-day."
The latest advices from East Tennessee
are: that the advance guard of Thomas
's army were threatening Bristol
on Wednesday, and it was thought likely they might occupy the place yesterday.
Some skirmishing with the enemy's cavalry has occurred west of Bristol
Yankee raiders are reported to be advancing towards Marion, in Smyth county, Virginia
, and towards Salisbury, North Carolina
The Raleigh papers report all quiet in that vicinity on Wednesday.
There was not even a rumor from the front.