Skirmishing below Richmond.
On Tuesday last a body of the enemy, about 3,000 strong, consisting of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, drove in our videttes to White Oak Swamp bridge, where they were held in check during the day by the 10th cavalry regiment, under command of Lieut. Col. McGruder
Some ten of our videttes are missing, though it is believed that most of them will return to camp.
Two of the enemy's cavalry were killed by the pickets in their retreat.
Yesterday our scouts reported that the enemy had fallen back three miles beyond the bridge.
Seven prisoners were brought in by the scouts, and one of them, who seems to be an intelligent man, states that McClellan
has not more than 55,000 men; that sickness is alarmingly thinning their ranks, and that on Monday afternoon last three divisions, under command of Gens. Harney
, and Hooker
with rations for two days, left Harrison's Landing
for the purpose of taking Malvern Hill
, which they supposed was held by the Confederates
with a strong force.
This may explain why our entire picket line was kept in expectation of an attack, so that no reinforcements would be sent to Malvern Hill
, however, were somewhat disappointed in their anticipations of a brilliant victory.
With reference to the fight at Malvern Hill
, on Tuesday, we learn that our notice of yesterday was in the main correct, our forces having been driven from that position.
It is not certain that any attempt was yesterday made to regain the hill by our troops.
One report states that a force was sent down, and after a brisk fight was repulsed, whilst another represents that the position was recovered without serious opposition.
It is more than probable, from information received late last evening that our forces are again in possession of the hill.