The War news.The following official dispatch from Gen. Lee, received at the War Department late Friday night was made public on Saturday morning:
Headq'rs Army Northern Va.,
Hon. Secretary of War:
This confirms the news before received of the summary "taking off" of Wilson's raiding party, and puts the number of prisoners about as high as any previous estimate. As the swamps and woods of Dinwiddie are known to abound with Yankees, separated from their main body, the captures will probably yet amount to an "entire brigade." But, after all, there is but little satisfaction in making prisoners of these men. Their keeping is expensive, and at some future day their exchange will give them a license to come and fight us again. In consideration of the enormity of the crimes of these raiders, their plundering, house burning and desolating the country generally, it would be in accordance with the rules of justice to make an example of them, even to the extremest mode of punishment; and at the same time fully in accordance with the rules of warfare which they have themselves inaugurated. Among the prisoners brought in on Friday was Col. Daniel J Crooks, of the 22d New York cavalry. Also, one representative of the Northern press, who gave the name of Ira B Van Gilden, reporter for the New York Times and Philadelphia Press. --Rather an abrupt termination to the career of a newspaper man, but it serves him right for being caught in such bad company. All the facts we have learned in connection with the final event of Wilson's raiders at Stony Creek confirm the account given by our correspondent, and published in Saturday's paper. A repetition is, therefore, unnecessary. So severely were the Yankees punished in Dinwiddie that they will hardly venture upon a similar expedition again for some time to come. On Friday night, shortly after 10 o'clock, the inhabitants of Petersburg were aroused by heavy firing on the lines, commencing apparently on our centre and extending around to the left. For some twenty or thirty minutes the firing was very rapid, and many thought a general engagement had been initiated, but it soon ceased and all again became quiet. On Saturday it was ascertained that the principal firing was from batteries 7 and 10, and was occasioned by a supposed advance of the enemy. Nothing occurred on Saturday except the usual shelling on the port of the Yankees, which has thus far had little effect beyond the disturbing of women and children. Certainly, it has produced no impression upon our soldiers in the field further than to heighten their contempt for a race who would engage in such dastardly business. Yesterday morning the booming of heavy guns in the distance was heard in elevated situations in Richmond, and straightway, being Sunday, rumor set about explaining the cause. So a report was soon busily circulated that Beauregard had opened upon the enemy with at least one hundred pieces of artillery, and the impression was created that the armies in front of Petersburg were having a lively time of it. It was supposed that Grant had anticipated his Fourth of July celebration by one day, and it was with some anxiety that a crowd awaited the arrival of the cars at the Petersburg depot. The train came in at half past 6 o'clock, and passengers were closely questioned as to the situation. The reply was, universally, that nothing unusual had occurred during the day. The firing in the morning was no more than the customary shelling, and that ceased entirely about midday. A gentleman who was at Gen Lee's headquarters yesterday states that the enemy had advanced some portion of their line about one hundred yards, but at what point he did not exactly know. It is currently reported that the enemy have contracted their line by withdrawing their left from the Weldon railroad, and this has given rise to a conjecture that Grant is throwing a considerable force over to the north side of the James river. If this be so, the fact will soon develop itself. The impression is general that the enemy will make a heavy attack upon our lines to-day. This is predicated upon the supposition that Grant will essay to celebrate the 4th of July and the capitulation of Vicksburg by an attempt to capture Petersburg; but he will find the latter a somewhat harder road to travel than the one he walked over a year ago. Many persons heard, or fancied they heard, rapid discharges of cannon yesterday afternoon, accompanied with musketry firing, and a rumor was soon circulated that the enemy had made another raid upon the Danville railroad, tapping, it at the Tomahawk station, eighteen miles from Richmond. It is almost needless to add that this report was unfounded. The firing, it there was any, was probably the enemy's gunboats shelling the woods down the river. No official dispatches were received at the War Department last night from any quarter.