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The War News.

We have to record this morning more evidences of the infernal nature of the foe now making war upon us. For a day or two past dense volumes of smoke have been seen on the north side of James river, below Richmond, and no little curiosity has been manifested to ascertain the cause of the conflagration. We learn that on Tuesday the Yankees burned every building on the lower farm of Curl's Neck, owned by Major Allen, and by the same method destroyed a portion of his wheat crop. On the farm of Maj. Gen. Pickett, on Turkey Island, they have burned all the building but the dwelling and a small brick house in the yard, as also the crop of wheat. These buildings were probably spared for the accommodation of Yankee officers, who doubtless have established their headquarters therein.--When they have no freshed use for them, they will not hesitate to apply the torch to them also. Parties engaged in cutting the wheat on the farms bordering on the river, on Tuesday, were shelled off by the enemy's gunboats, and that night the fields were fired.

This conduct is characteristic of the Yankee. What he cannot steal and appropriate to his own use he destroys, and every spot wherever he sets his foot is soon rendered a scene of desolation and ruin. The purpose of Grant in sending a force to the North side of James river appears to have been the wanton destruction of the crops, and by that means to aid in "starving out" the inhabitants of Richmond. At all events the Yankee troops in that quarter have thus far manifested no disposition to accomplish anything else.

From Petersburg.

We learn from persons who left Petersburg last evening, that beyond the usual picket firing and occasional cannonading, no event of importance transpired yesterday. There is now no doubt that Grant has contracted his lines some six or seven miles, by the withdrawal of his force from the vicinity of Reams's station, on the Weldon Railroad. It was probably the intention of the enemy to have held this position. On the night of the 30th ult., Generals Wright and Sheridan, and other officers of the Yankee army, visited the point, surveyed the ground, and had actually marked off a line for the construction of earthworks, when certain movements on our part caused them to retire very unexpectedly and unceremoniously. The project was thus abandoned.

It is known that Grant's army confronting Petersburg has been reduced by the withdrawal of troops for other quarters, and speculation is rife as to the points to which they have been sent. The general impression is that they have gone to localities distant from the seat of war in Virginia while perhaps a few have recrossed to the north side of James river, and also to the Chesterfield side of the Appomattox.

The Yankees made a great display of flags on the Fourth of July. A steamer, anchored at Port Walthall, was gaily decorated, having a piece of bunting to represent every State in the defunct Union, over all of which Lincoln with fool headed pertinacity, still claims legal sway. Along their lines, too, were displayed a great number of flags, among which could be seen many bearing the stars and stripes, and a host of company, battalion and regimental colors.

Under the heading of "a mysterious movement," the Express says that on Tuesday a Yankee horseman — supposed to have been an officer by his dress — was seen to ride out from the enemy's lines and come in the direction of our works. Before he was enabled to pass his own pickets, he was abruptly halted, dismounted, placed under arrest, and sent back whence he came under guard. The affair, involved in mystery as it was, created some little curiosity among our troops. The horseman was finely dressed and well mounted, and was believed to be an officer of some rank. His intention was beyond doubt to enter our lines.

[from our own correspondent.]

Petersburg, Va., July 5.
Heat and dust, shells and Minnie balls, mangled and dying soldiers, fugitive women, decrepit old men, and children, make up the summary of news which daily goes forth to the world from this point of the compass in irrefragable proof of the brutal cowardice and insane persistence of the God forsaken wretches whom we are forced to meet in honorable warfare. Yesterday was the anniversary of the Declaration of independence The prince of humbugs, Grant, "availed himself of this occasion" to hang out his dirty dish-rag flag at every ten steps on his works and to keep his horn tooters busy all day. Whiskey is said to have circulated freely. U. S. and the army were doubtless all on a bender. The grand charge did not take place, and consequently we have to mourn the loss of a large number of Yankees whose bodies would be manuring the soil of Prince George had they have essayed to carry our works yesterday.

Everybody wants to know what Grant is likely to do, and I suppose that is just what Grant himself would like to know. It is almost superfluous for me to say that if Grant could not take Petersburg with his whole army when it was defended by Beauregard in hastily constructed defences, with a mere handful of men, that he has now no show of capturing it. His Government ought to break him for incompetency; for after out-generalizing Marse Robert, and getting his whole force in front of this place, he allowed the wily creole General to keep the finest army on the planet at bay until adequate reinforcements could be gotten up. He is a worse humbug and a greater braggart with less pretensions than even poor Pope.

I notice that an editorial in a Richmond paper, alluding to the fight which Mahone made at Reams's Station, asks if it be true that we lost one or two batteries. I am most happy to be able to answer in the negative. The official reports of that fight show Finnegan's and Saunders's losses to have been just fifty four, of which the missing foots up just eight.

The Yankees, keenly anxious to discover the situation within our lines, have ceased to rely upon their observatory, and last night were making serial voyages in balloons.--This is the first-time they have shown their balloons since Wilcox fired into one near Banks's ford, whilst they were on the Stalford heights.

The condition of our army is in nothing diminished as to morale and discipline. All feel that Grant has gone very nearly the length of his tether, and that "a few days more" will wind him up. X.

Yankee Bands in North Carolina.

Recently a body of Yankee cavalry and infantry, numbering not more than 250 men, were permitted to make a raid to within two or three miles of Kinston, North Carolina; and its results reflect no credit upon the vigilance or efficiency of our troops in that quarter. Guided by a traitor who had long lived in that neighborhood, this small force completely flanked and ambuscaded our men, who lost six or seven killed and twenty to thirty captured. Col. Folk, the Confederate officer in command, was taken prisoner. It can be proved that our men, after they were shot down and had surrendered, were in the most inhuman and barbarous manner beaten to death by the butt ends of Yankee muskets ! There are four living witnesses to this statement, one of whom escaped with life enough to tell the tale, bearing the savage bruises of his Yankees captors, received after he had surrendered.--The body of Lieut Dehart, which was found after the retreat of the enemy, also attests the truth of the allegation. He had been shot through the head, and as he fell to the ground his skull was shattered by a blow of a clubbed musket. These are cases which demand stern retribution at the hands of our Government.

On last Monday week, a raiding party, comprising four companies of deserters and tories, under command of Col. Merck, entered the town of Morganton, at the head of the Western North Carolina Railroad, captured some reserves, robbed the bank and destroyed a train of cars. The bank is supposed to have had a large sum on hand. A dispatch dated June 29th states that the raiders were in possession of Morganton; that no advance had been made, and that a sufficient force had gone forward to check and capture them; but as there is no information of such a result, the supposition is that they were permitted to escape with their booty.

A Pleasing Rumor from Charleston.

It is stated that the enemy made an assault upon Fort Johnson Sunday night last, and were signally repulsed. We captured five barges, over one hundred and forty prisoners, and among the latter is the officer commanding the expedition. Fort Johnson is situated on James Island, to the right of Sumter looking out to sea, and about four miles from Charleston.

The above news is confirmed by an officer who arrived here yesterday from the South, and who read the account in the Augusta papers.

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