From the Southside.
Fights on the river — movements of Burnside
— Dispatches from McClellan
The Petersburg Express
, of yesterday, has the following interesting news:
Annoying the enemy.
On Thursday last a Confederate battery of eight guns having been placed in a position on James river
commanding the channel below Berkeley
, opened a very effective fire on several transports, convoyed by two or three gunboats, as they were ascending the stream.
The river was narrow, and as the shot from our guns fell thick and fast among the Federal
craft the consternation among the Yankees
The gunboats attempted to return the fire, but the elevated position of our guns rendered the enemy's fire comparatively harmless.
Over fifty shots were fired, striking several of the Federal
craft and damaging them severely. --The large transport Daniel Webster
, crowded with troops, suffered more than any other — she, from some cause unknown to us, making slower progress in escaping from the scene of danger.
In addition to the fire from our field pieces, we had some 250 sharpshooters lining the bank of the river, who poured repeated collies on those occupying the decks of the steamers.
Many must have been killed, the range being short and the sharpshooters comprising several of our most expert marksmen.
The Daniel Webster
was lying but a short distance from Berkeley
, Friday, apparently useless, many holes in her sides being distinctly visible, and her smokestack, railings, and other upper works, bearing palpable evidence of the damaging effects of the fire from our guns.
Our men escaped with out injury.
The latter facts we learn from a gentleman who passed up James river
Friday under a flag of truce from Old Point
The present position of McClellan
can in this way be rendered wholly untenable.
No river in the South
offers more superior advantages for this peculiar mode of warfare than the James
, and we are gratified to perceive that our authorities have determined not to allow such advantages to go unimproved.
Cut off McClellan
's supplies and check the advance of his reinforcements, and he will soon discover that Berkeley
is no place for him. In fact, the New York Tribune
and other Lincoln
sheets have already stated as much.
We learn from a gentleman who has recently made his escape from Newbern, N. C.
, that Burnside
's army headed by Burnside
, have recently left that town, only about three hundred remaining, to protect the place.
They left by water, taking with them all their steamers, gunboats as well as transports, lighters, arks, and canal boats.
's ultimate destination was not divulged at Newbern
, but it was generally believed that he expected to co-operate with McClellan
A gentleman who reached Petersburg
direct from Norfolk
Saturday evening, states that all of Burnside
's fleet, which could be accommodated in the Dismal Swamp canal
, had reached there on Wednesday morning last.
Those coming through the canal numbered fifty-three comprising many arks canal boats, barges, and other craft, drawing but a few feet of water.
On Friday morning last there were over 300 vessels, of various kinds, lying in Hampton Roads
and the month of James river
stretched across from Newport News to the month of Pagan creek
Of the intentions of Gen. Burnside
we have not been apprised; but there is very good reason for believing that a movement on the south bank of James river
With his army on the south, and McClellan
's on the north, the enemy doubtless hope to make a successful movement on Richmond
He will be foiled in this, as he has been in every other.
The exchange of prisoners.
Col. Madison Miller
, of the 18th Missouri volunteers, Major Stone
, of the 3d Iowa, and Capt. P. Gregg
, of the 18th Illinois, returned to this city yesterday morning from Richmond
They came up from Old Point
on Friday night, per flag of truce, as was mentioned in Saturday's Express
.--These officers were captured by Gen. Beauregard
at the battle of Shiloh
, and at their own request were released on parole to repair to Washington
to endeavor to bring about a system of general exchange of prisoners between the two Governments.
We stated on Saturday that they had failed in their efforts; but we are informed by one of the officers that they have not entirely failed, but have strong hopes of bringing about some satisfactory plan.
and Major Stone
returned to Washington
yesterday morning to renew their efforts.
returned to Atlanta
By this time we think we have as many prisoners as they have, and an exchange should be effected.
Dispatches from McLellan.
A Federal Captain
, who arrived in this city on Friday night from City Point
, per flag of truce, left for Richmond
on Saturday morning with dispatches from McClellan
for our Government.
The packages were labelled ‘"Dispatches from Gen. McClellan
's Headquarters."’ It is probable they may contain reference to matters of great importance, inasmuch as they were sent up the day after the arrival at Westover