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the War News — heavy skirmishing along the lines — capture of prisoners — the raid upon Ashland, &c.

Although two contending armies lie confronting each other within a few miles of Richmond — so near, indeed, that the booming of the guns is daily heard — our people await with calmness the result of the gigantic struggle, placing fall confidence in our noble leader and the heroic army under his command. There is no undue excitement, and no check is blanched with fear. So far all goes on favorably, and there are few who extrinsic any doubt of the final result.

From Gen Lee's army.

The following dispatch from Gen. Lee was received at the War Department yesterday.

Headq'rs Army Northern Va.,
June 1st, 1864, P. M.
Honorable Secretary of War:
There has been skirmishing along the lines to-day.

Gen. Hoke and Gen. Anderson attacked the enemy in their front this forenoon, and drove them to their entrenchments.

This afternoon the enemy attacked Gen, Heth, and were handsomely reprised by Cook's and Kirkland's brigades, Generals Breckinridge and Mahone drove the enemy from their front, taking, about one hundred and fifty prisoners.

A force of infantry is reported to have arrived at Tunstall's Station from the White House, and to be extending up the York River Railroad. They state that they belong to Butter's forces.

B. E. Lee, Gen.

The skirmishing along the lines is represented to have been very heavy, particularly at a late hour in the evening. The severest fighting was about nightfall, in the vicinity of Calnes' Mill, at which point the enemy, by massing their troops, forced back Clingtman's brigade and gained a temporary success; but reinforcements coming up, the enemy were repulsed with considerable loss in killed, wounded and prisoners.

Among the incidents of the day related to us is the following: Four companies of a Wisconsin regiment, picked men, volunteered to charge a portion of our breastworks. Our men reserved their fire until they got within a few yards of the works, when they opened upon them a deadly volley, killing or wounding the whole. It is said that not one got back to tell the tale to his comrades.

Heavy skirmishing commenced about an hour before sundown to the left of our centre, and continued until 10 o'clock, at night. The enemy advanced boldly to their work, but were finally repulsed and driven back some three quarters of a mile.

In the fight near Gained's Mill the Fayette Artillery of this city was engaged. The Yankees made four separate charges upon their battery, but were each time repulsed. It was in the third charge that Lieut. Peyton Johnston, Jr., son of Peyton Johnston, Esq., of Richmond, was struck in the breast by a Minie ball and almost instantly killed. He was a deserving young officer, highly popular with his command, and much esteemed by all who knew him. This, we learn, was the only casualty sustained by the battery.

We regret to hear a report of the death of Colonel Lawrence M. Keltt, of the 20th South Carolina regiment, from a wound received on Wednesday. There is a faint hope that this is erroneous, but from the source whence it comes we have reason to fear it is too trust. Colonel Keith was a member of the old Congress, and one of the most popular citizens of South Carolina. His heart and soul were enlisted in the cause of Southern independence, for which he has at length given up his life.

General Lee's dispatch confirms the report we published yesterday, that the advance of Batler's troops had reached Tunstall's Station, on the York River Railroad. It was reported last evening that they had got as far as Dispatch Station, thirteen miles from Richmond.

[from our own correspondent.]

Army of Northern Virginia.
Near Mechanicville, June 2, 4 P. M. 1864.
No general engagement yet, and in my coronion none is likely to occur very soon. Yesterday there was sharp and irregular skirmishing at points all along the lines. About three o'clock Breckinridge flanked a line of the enemy's skirmishers, with the aid of Perry's Florida brigade, capturing about one hundred prisoners.

About nightfall the enemy charged Hoke's lines near Gaines's Mill, forcing back Clingman's N. C. brigade, and gaining possession for a while of a good piece of our breastworks. Col. Colquitt's Georgia brigade, however, soon came to the rescue of Clingman, and succeeded in repulsing the enemy and capturing some fifty prisoners. The force which Hoke thus engaged were the 1st, 2d and 3d divisions of the sixth cores.

The enemy tried their old game, massing heavy columns and pushing them against a single point in our line, but, as usual, failed to accomplish anything more than a temporary success. Our loss is not believed to her over two hundred, though largely more than this number are missing, but numbers of the men are coming in almost every minute. Among the killed is Col Murchison, 8th N. C.

About three o'clock yesterday evening Wilson's division of Yankee cavalry, having started on a raid, had gotten as far as Ashland, where they met W H F Lee's division. A brisk fight ensued. Soon after the fight began Rosser came in upon their rear and flank, and quickly put them to rout, pursuing them some four or five miles, or until night ended the pursuit. We captured about fifty prisoners, besides a like number of their wounded, who fall into our hands. The enemy in their flight left their dead unburied, broke up three ambulances, threw away their arms, and left in a haste generally. We also captured some three hundred horses. Our losses will foot up about 75.--That of the enemy is heavier. Among our wounded is Brig Gen Young, who is quite badly hurt.

This morning a reconnaissance in front of Mahone and Wilcox near Atlee's, revealed the fact that the enemy had left, moving towards our right. The citizens say they began to move about dark last night, and were moving all night. Their officers and men say they are going to the White House.--They left in their retreat two very strong lines of works.

To day nothing of interest has occurred save skirmishing. At this writing there is sharp skirmishing near Galnes's Mill, and some cannonading. Grant, I cannot be persuaded, means a general engagement just yet. He is waiting for the Beast and, Micawber like, for something to turn up. X.

A demonstration at Bottom's Bridge.

The following official dispatches were received at Gen. Ransom's headquarters last night:

Bottom's Bridged, June 2d,
4.20, P. M.
Major T. O. Chestney:
The pickets at McClellan's bridge report a large column of cavalry advancing in the direction of Bottom's bridge.

Bottom's Bridge June 2d,
5:10, P. M.
Major T. O. Chestney:
The head of the enemy's column reached the bridge and are now skirmishing with our men in the rifle pits. The numbers have not yet developed themselves.

Bottom's Bridge crosses the Chickahominy, about fifteen miles below Richmond.--It is quite probable that this demonstration to designed to cover the crossing of Butler's entire army from the Southside to the Peninsula.

The raid upon Ashland.

The Yankee cavalry force which advanced upon Ashland on Wednesday, was first met near Hanover C. H, by a portion of Gen. Fits Lee's troops, and skirmishing at once commenced, Our men gradually fell back before the enemy's division (commanded by Wilson) until they reached Ashland, and retired a short distance beyond that point.--The Yankees halted, and at once commenced their work of destruction by burning the water tanks and one or two hand care belonging to the railroad company; but before they had an opportunity to accomplish more General Rosser approached by the Half Sink road, and at once engaged them. The fight raged furiously for some two hours, when the enemy gave way, and were pursued some three miles, when they again made a stand, but were soon put to rout, and driven beyond Wickham's farm, when night put an end to the contest. The Yankees left their dead and wounded behind them. A considerable amount of spoils was captured, including three hundred horses and thirty pack, miles. The mules were laden with ten days rations, showing that it was contemplated to have extended the raid far beyond Ashland — probably to the canal and the Danville Railroad. It is reported that the enemy burnt the South Anna bridge, two miles above Ashland. This structure is (or was) 60 feet in length and 70 feet in height. It has once before been destroyed by raiders.

Only four bars of the railroad track were torn up, and the Yankees, in their haste to get away, left their handspikes behind.--While at Ashland they endeavored to entice off the negroes employed by the railroad company, but they refused to go. The Yankees revenged themselves by stealing their provisions and clothing. The pickets told these negroes that they intended to return and destroy the place.

Good News from the Southside.

The following dispatch from Gen. Beauregard was received at Gen. Bragg's head quarters last night:

Hancock's June 2d, 1864.
To Gen Braxton Bragg:
The enemy's advanced line of rifle pits, near Ware Bottom Church, was taken this morning, with about one hundred prisoners from the 7th Connecticut. Our loss is trifling.

It is thus that our gallant commander on the Southside continues to harass and annoy the enemy in his entrenchments.

There was a brisk cannonade for an hour and-a-half, commencing about two o'clock on Wednesday morning, to which the gunboats, as usual, responded.

A negro raiding party is engaged in depredating upon the property and burning the buildings of citizens of Prince George, and it is stated that a negro force is encamped near Cabin Point, in Surry. In the first named county they have destroyed the mills and barns of Mr. Fred. Temple, and the dwelling of Mr. James Temple. It is also reported that the buildings on Cook's and Catlin's farms were burnt. The raiders on Wednesday evening advanced a short distance in the direction of Petersburg, but were met and driven back to their entrenchments by a portion of Dearing's cavalry.

From Gen. Johnston's army.

In the following official dispatch, received yesterday, Gen. Johnston gives a cheering account of the condition of, and the advantages gained by, his army:

New Hope Church, June 1, 1864.
To Gen. Bragg:
To day the enemy is moving his forces from his right to his left. Prisoners and citizens represent his cavalry and transportation animals in a suffering condition in every respect. This army is in a healthy condition. In partial engagements it has had great advantage, and the sum of all the combats amounts to a battle.

Reports from several sources represent reinforcements of seven or eight thousand men on their way from Decatur, Als., to Gen. Sherman. They are said to be of the 17th army corps from the West.

(Signed) J E. Johnston,

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