The Combined movement on Richmond — the enemy on the Southside — fight at Chester — the great cavalry Raid, &c.
The news yesterday from Gen. Lee
was very meagre.
It was positively stated that heavy firing had been heard at Hamilton's Crossing
yesterday morning, and that the sound receded in the direction of Fredericksburg
, indicating that Gen. Lee
was driving the enemy in that direction.
No information of the actual occurrence of a fight was, however, received in the city yesterday.
The movements on the Southside
yesterday were interesting.
We give below what facts we have obtained relative to the "great movement" on this city:
The movement on the Southside.
As account of the operations on the south side of the river may be gathered from the following, in the Petersburg Express
of Monday, commencing with the details of the fight at Port Walthall Saturday:
As early as sunrise found the two forces drawn up in line of battle, about half a mile apart, and in the view of one another.
We occupied the railroad to the right and left of Mr. Cralg
's residence, very near to the junction, and the Yankee
army occupied a position in Mrs. Mary Dunn
's field.--Same skirmishing took place about 11 o'clock, when the Surry Artillery, under Capt. Hankins
, advanced several hundred yards in front and opened on the enemy, throwing shell right into their midst and producing quite a stir among them.--This brought on a sharp fire between the infantry on our left and the advance of the enemy's right, but in thirty minutes the firing on both sides ceased, except now and then a wild shot from the enemy's artillery.
Our forces now made the railroad their far of battle, and about half past 2 o'clock the enemy opened on them with their artillery in front, and at the same time endeavored to turn our left.--They finally succeeded, by overwhelming numbers.
In reaching the railroad, but the 21st, 25th, and 27th South Carolina regiments, under General Hagwood
, advanced and drove the enemy pell mell back to their line.
The fighting continued until about 4 o'clock, and was for the greater portion of the time very severe, the brave and gallant South Carolinians driving everything before them.
Men never could have fought better.
In this fight Col Graham
, of the 21st, was wounded in several places, not very severely, however, and Col Pressley
, of the 25th, was shot through the left arm, very near the shoulder joint.
Lieut Col Dargan
, of the same regiment, was killed, and Capt Wm
, of Gen Hagwood
's Staff, supposed to be mortally wounded.
The Lieut Col of the 27th was severely wounded in the head.
Brig Gen Bushrod Johnson
was the senior Brigadier
in command, and behaved with much coolness.
D H Hill
was on the ground.
Our loss in killed and wounded was about 150 or 200, at the farthest, and we lost very few if any prisoners.
The enemy's loss was represented by the prisoners we captured to be very heavy — not less than 2,000.
The number of the enemy engaged was twelve at fifteen thousand.
On Sunday morning it was discovered that the enemy had fallen back the previous night, leaving our force undisputed possession of the battle field, and leaving a portion of their dead and wounded on the field.
A quantity of baggage was left by the retiring Yankees
, and some persons who visited the field picked up several articles of value.
One solder, we learn, found a thousand dollars in green-mark on the body of a dead Yankee.
By some slain, whether accidental or otherwise, is not known, the woods took fire on Saturday night, and no doubt several of the enemy's wounded were burned to death, as our pickets could hear their piteous groans throughout the night as the fire approached them.
A couple of deserters, belonging to a New York regiment, were brought in yesterday.
They are intelligent and fine looking.
They represent that there is over $400 bounty money due them, and that they are tired of the war anyhow.
They say that grannies satisfaction exists in the army, and that the chief cause is the negro troops, several thousand being in the army now at Bermuda Hundreds.--These men declare that the fighting at Port Walthall on action Saturday was terrible, and that they suffered very severely.
's orderly was killed by his side, his horse was shot under him and the fingers of one hand were shot off.--They say that Butler
was in command, and Gillmore
was on the field.
The impression prevails throughout the army that Gen Beauregard
was in command.
caused a telegram to be read to the troops early Saturday morning, stating that Grant
had gained a great victory over Lee
; had driven him twenty miles, and at last accounts was self-driving him. This lying announcement was received with a great outburst of applause, of cause,
Speare's cavalry Raid.
The notorious Speare
, who was so successfully driven back at Broadwater Bridge on Friday, by Sturdivant
's battery and Col Ratcliffe
's regiment, immediately turned his course towards the source of the Blackwater river
, and crossed at a point several miles higher up, where the stream is so insignificant as to be easily forded.--here he met no opposition, and made a detour which brought him to Wakefield Depot, on the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad, where he stopped Friday night. He did not burn the depot, nor interfere with private property further than to steal horses, corn, and provender.
He seized four negro men, hired by the Railroad Company, but afterwards released them, and told them they were at liberty to remain or accompany the expedition.
Three decided to stay where they were, and a fourth lost with the raiders.
At an early hour Saturday, the raiders started for Stony Creek Depot, on the Weldon Railroad, proceeding by way of Littleton
and Sussex Court-House
They reached Littleton, Sussex county
, about 11 o'clock, having captured Mr. Stephen Goodwyn
, a fisherman on the Nottoway river
, two miles from Littleton
, and taking the people by surprise.
They searched all the houses, stole horses, and broke open the Post Office, and destroyed all the letters.
, Dr Parker
and his father, were the heaviest losers in horses.
they also captured four wagons belonging to the 7th cavalry, two of which, filled with bacon, were burnt.
Two others, containing ammunition, the invaders carried off with them.
, the mail driver, being informed of their coming, drove his horses into the woods, and returned near enough to the road to see them pass.
He estimates their numbers at 1,800 or 2,000, although others say they numbered at least 3,000.
They had six pieces of artillery.
The entire party reached Stony Creek
about two o'clock, where they encountered a bridge guard of city South Carolina
troops, who offered desperate resistance.
After a short fight the guard was captured, having lost ten in killed and wounded.-- Seven of the enemy were killed, and one terribly wounded by a gash in the thigh from an are.
They did not burn the depot nor the tavern at Stony Creek
; they did burn the bridge, wood sheds bridge timbers, lumber, and other articles belonging to the company.
Such corn as they did not feed to their horses was burnt.
They tore up but little of the track.
A shell passed through the depot, and another bursted in the second story of the tavern.
The bridge guard, sixty in number, got into the pit of the turn-table, and for two and a half-hours offered most gallant resistance.
They were finally entirely surrounded and forced to surrender.
Seven of the Yankees
were killed and several wounded.
Among the killed was a Lieut John Mayes
, whose death Speare
deeply lamented, saying that he was the most efficient officer in his command.
But one of the bridge guard was wounded, and he not fatally.
The dwelling of Mr. Gee
, near the creek, was burnt by the enemy.
Affairs along the South bank of the river.
The enemy have occupied Hood
's on James river
, better known as Fort Powhatan.
This is about twenty miles below City Point
, and would be a most capital position for heavy artillery, the river at this point being very narrow, and the channel hugging the south shore closely, and the banks very high and precipitous.
The place is now occupied by two regiments of negro troops, whose camps extend all over Temple's field.
We hear that they are greatly annoying the people in that neighborhood, pilfering and depredating in every direction.
The enemy's gunboats patrol the Appomattox
from Port Walthall to the mouth of the river, shelling on both sides every spot likely to afford cover to a party of gray backs.
On Friday two of the enemy's gunboats got aground opposite the residence of Mr. Marins Gilliam
, and at last accounts had not been gotten off. The enemy were wasting a vast deal of ammunition in that direction yesterday and it was doubtless for the purpose of protecting these grounded craft from "masked batteries"
, of Gen Pickett
's staff, while reconnoitering yesterday in the vicinity of City Point
was suddenly surprised by a party of Yankee pickets, and pursued for some distance.
finally succeeded including his pursuers by leaping to the ground and seeking shelter in some undergrowth, from whence he wended his way to a place of safety.
He lost his horse, as did also a courier who was with him.
Reconnaissance at Chester yesterday.
A movement was made by a portion of our troops yesterday morning to ascertain the position of the enemy near Chester
.--About 6 o'clock in the morning a portion of Barton
's and Gracy
's brigades left camp, and with skirmishers thrown out commenced feeling their way towards the enemy.
About 9 o'clock they met the enemy's skirmishers, and an hour afterwards the fight became general.
Our men charged upon the Yankees
and drove them back to a line of entrenchments they had thrown up. Upon getting within their works the Yankees
discovered how small a force was driving them, and came out in very large numbers, flanking our men on both flanks, and causing them to fall back, which was done in good order.
Our men set fire to some woods, which prevented any pursuit.
The killed and wounded of the two brigades will amount to about 150, many of the latter falling into the hands of the enemy.
The fight closed about 12½ o'clock.
Among the killed are Colonel Cabell
, of Danville, Va.
, and Capt. Taylor
, of Montgomery county
The reconnaissance discovered the fact that the enemy in heavy force were near Chester
, as the left of their line rested in that village, and the right about half a mile off, on the turnpike, and were entrenched.
After the fight was over a coal train from the Clover Hill Pits
, beyond Chester
, came on to Richmond
The engineer said the Yankees
were all around Chester
, but none on the railroad, and he got through safely.
A courier from Drewry's Bluff
came up last night and reported that about 5 o'clock in the evening the enemy came out of their fortifications and were attacked by Barton
's brigade and driven back.
The point where the first fight occurred is six miles in the rear of Drewry's Bluff
Seventy-one prisoners, captured by Gen. Gracy
's brigade in the charge, were brought here last night in charge of Lt. W. R. Ezeil
. One commissioned officer was in the lot.
The raiders on the Central Railroad.
We have some additional particulars of the movement of the Yankee
cavalry at Beaver Dam
, on the Central Railroad.
They reached there about 7 o'clock Monday night, and caught two trains of ears loaded with commissary stores for Gen. Lee
's army, drawn by two first class locomotives.
These they burnt, and then proceeded to burn the other commissary stores, the contents of five trains, which had accumulated there a day or two before — in all about 200,000 pounds of bacon, with a large quantity of meal and flour.
They then left.
Yesterday afternoon a train from the Junction
brought intelligence that the raiders were within a mile and a half of Taylorsville
, in Hanover county
, and heavy firing was heard in that direction, leading to the supposition that Gen. Fitz Lee
's or some other Confederate cavalry had attacked them.
Last night a report from General Fitz Lee
stated that the cavalry of the enemy were moving to Richmond
in two columns, one of which was then feeding its horses at Negro Foot, in Hanover county
, thirty miles from here, and the other was coming down the Central Railroad route.
Another telegram was received last night at the War Department from Gen. Fitz Lee
, stating the enemy's force to be three divisions of cavalry.
They are cutting down trees in the road behind them to interrupt the pursuit of our cavalry, which then, at 9 o'clock, the date of the telegram, was at Hanover Junction