[from our own correspondent.]
The battles for the possession of Petersburg
have been fought and won. Henceforth the engagements on this line will be for the capture of Richmond
has now no show of success it is scarcely necessary for me to say. The time of our peril has passed, and the hour for congratulation and felicitation now is. For three times within the last month, Petersburg
has been almost, but not altogether, captured.
The first peril came when the Beast landed at Bermuda Hundred
, but the wily creole General, though with but a hand full, met his advancing columns, checked them, and finally penned him up in the Hundred.--Again, on the 9th of June, Kantz
; with his raiders, dashed into our outer lines of works, and for awhile Petersburg
was endangered, but her citizen militia, with Roman bravery and Spartian fortitude, resisted the onset of the foe, and finally he was beaten back.
But the last and greatest efforts of the foe are yet to be adverted to. The faithful Express,
of this city, has already given you diurnal statements of the situation, which will supersede the necessity of my speaking in detail.
I propose briefly to recapitulate the events of the last five days with a short summary of results.
On Tuesday night last the enemy appeared at Baylor
's farm, about five miles below here, where Graham
's battery and the militia fought them until their communication was exhausted and they were compelled to give back.
On Wednesday they came in overwhelming force up Prince George and City Point roads, again compelling our troops to give back.
Daring this evening they captured three guns of Sturdivant
's battery, and a number of the men, including Capt
S, and also batteries number five to seven inclusive.
That of five is an exceedingly important one, and is the key to the rest.
Just here it is not improper to say that these works were constructed by a civil engineer, and are said to be of no kind of service, and were so pronounced by Gen Beauregard
when first he saw them.
The first very severe fighting occurred on Thursday, near battery No. 9.
Here the enemy assaulted Hoke
's lines, and, after a considerable fight, were handsomely repulsed, we capturing some three or four hundred prisoners, and they capturing a number of ours.
On Thursday the enemy also made an advance on the north side of the Appomattox
, cutting the railroad at Port Walthall, but were in turn dislodged that evening by Pickett
This is the only matter of interest that has occurred on the the north side, except the attempt to ascend Swift Creek
, which is one of the tributaries of the Appomattox
, on the Chesterfield
They attempted to go up this creek for the purpose of burning the bridge over it on the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad.
The enemy also shelled Fort Clifton
, on the Chesterfield
side, about four miles below here, quite furiously, to which that fort responded spiritedly, compelling the enemy to withdraw.
On Friday morning about moon down the enemy attacked our front most vigorously near the Baxter
road and near Avery
In this engagement the enemy had over-whelming forces, and succeeded in capturing the Macon
Light Artillery and some twenty men, and of the horses only twenty-one were saved.
On Friday evening, from six to half past 10 o'clock, the severest fight that has occurred around Petersburg
By this time Beauregard
discovered that Grant
, with his entire force, which was scarcely a handful, and, by a miracle of God, saved the Cockade City
, though losing battery 16, and withdrawing to a point near the Jerusalem plankroad, thus giving up about one mile of ground.
The conduct of some of the troops engaged in this affair has been harshly criticised by some, but, in the absence of accurate information, I forbear to repeat what has been told me. This was the last of the enemy's grand efforts.
Another feeble demonstration marked the day on Saturday, but it was readily repulsed with little effort on our side, but with heavy slaughter of the foe. Yesterday picket firing and shelling and a mere demonstration at one point of our lines was all that was done.
To-day has been unmarked by any event of striking interest, and the following seems to be the situation: Grant
's right rests on the James river
Hundred where Gilmore
confronts, our forces, thence he stretches across the Appomattox
, his line resting on that river, just below Fort Ciliton and reaching on towards is the Jerusalem plankroad, to two miles of the Weldon
road, which thus far the enemy have not reached; the enemy, however, hold possession of the Norfolk and Petersburg railroad.
On the South
bank of the Appomattox
the enemy have the Fifth, Second, Sixth, Ninth and Twentieth
At Cobb's Bluff the enemy have an immense Observatory, very much higher than the highest trees, from which to determine the new situation.
Since Thursday last the enemy have been shelling the city more or less every day, the most of the shells falling on Bolling brook and Sycamore
streets and in Bland ford.
To day the City Council held a meeting and appointed a committee to wait on Gen Beauregard
and consult about the removal of the non- combatants.
B. was not in when the committee called.
B's staff, however, received them.
In reply to the committee, Col Brent
said that the enemy had given no notice of a purpose to shell the city, but that it would be better for those living in the lower part of the city to leave, if they could.
If not, they had better keep in their cellars.
Most of the citizens seem resolved to "see the thing through," though a number have gone to the country.
Yesterday a flag of truce was received from Gen Meade
by Gen. Beauregard
in regard to the burial of the dead, which, for proper reasons, was not granted by Gen. Beauregard
I have thus hurriedly recapitulated the events of the last few days, and given you the situation.
One other work accomplished and my letter is concluded.
The results of the fighting have not received attention.--So far as I am able to learn, the enemy hold a position at some places not more than one and a half miles from the city limits.
They have also taken from us seventeen pieces of artillery, and a number of prisoners equal to about one thousand.
Our losses in killed and wounded have, however, been slight, and will not probably exceed five to six hundred; among them many as brave and gallant spirits as ever offered up their lives in this struggle for all that is pure and holy.
The losses of the enemy can be recounted in a thousand prisoners, five to six thousand killed and wounded, and some three or four pieces of artillery.
Considering the prize involved, and the paucity of our numbers early in the week, everything is gratifying.
The worst is over, and Lieut Gen Grant
can come on as soon as he is ready for the fray.
June 21.--10 P. M.
Some little artillery and musketry firing this morning, but the enemy show no signs of advancing.
Our troops are in the best of spirits, and have every confidence in Beauregard
as their immediate commander, whilst they have every confidence that Gen. Lee
will not only keep matters straight here, but throughout Virginia
and North Carolina
, over which his command now extends.
The enemy's sharpshooters, for the last few days, have been quite unerring in their aim, and have been doing us some harm.
It is needless to say that Grant
is busy digging dirt and making trenches to protect himself.
June 21. 11:40, P. M.
Nothing up to this hour worth chronicling.
Stray shells occasionally find their way into the city, and the picket firing is continuous, but without much injury, and no results.
is as quiet as if it were Sabbath in peace times.
Her stores are all closed, and her men are all in the field. X.