by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 19TH.–Clear and pleasant.

            We have nothing yet explanatory of the shelling yesterday.

            To-day we have news of an expedition of the enemy crossing Rapidan Bridge on the way toward Gordonsville, Charlottesville, etc. Gen. Anderson’s division, from Early’s army, is said to be marching after them. We shall learn more of this business very soon.

            Mrs. D. E. Mendenhall, Quaker, Jamestown, N. C., has written a “strictly confidential” letter to Mr. J. B. Crenshaw, of this city (which has gone on the files of the department), begging him to use his influence with Mr. Secretary Seddon (which is great) to get permission for her to send fourteen negroes, emancipated by her late husband’s will, to Ohio. She says there is but one able to bear arms, and he is crazy; that since the enemy uses negro soldiers, she will withhold the able-bodied ones; that she has fed our soldiers, absolutely starving some of her stock to death, that she might have food for our poor men and their families, etc. etc.

            No news from our flour.

            I saw Nat Tyler to-day, and told him to call upon the farmers, in the Enquirer, to send their provisions to the city immediately, or they may lose their crops, and their horses too. He said he would.

            The only news of interest is contained in the following official dispatch from Gen. Lee:

“HEADQUARTERS ARMY NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
“September 17th, 1864.                     

“HON. J. A. SEDDON, SECRETARY OF WAR.
            “At daylight yesterday the enemy’s skirmish line west of the Jerusalem Plank Road was driven back upon his intrenchments along their whole extent. Ninety prisoners were taken by us in the operation.
            “At the same hour Gen. Hampton attacked the enemy’s position north of the Norfolk Railroad, near Sycamore Church, and captured about three hundred prisoners, some arms and wagons, a large number of horses, and twenty-five hundred cattle.
            “Gen. Gregg attacked Gen. Hampton, on his return in the afternoon, at Belchess’ mill, on the Jerusalem Plank Road, but was repulsed and driven back. Everything was brought off safely.
            “Our entire loss does not exceed fifty men.               R. E. LEE.”

            Gen. Preston, Superintendent Bureau of Conscription, has made a labored defense (written by Colonels Lay and August) of the bureau against the allegations of Gen. Bragg. This was sent to the President by the Secretary of War, “for his information.” The President sent it back, to-day, indorsed, “the subject is under general consideration.”

            The “Bureau,” by advertisement, to-day, calls upon everybody between the ages of sixteen and fifty to report at certain places named, and be registered, and state the reasons why they are not now in the army and in the field. What nonsense! How many do they expect to come forward, voluntarily, candidates for gunpowder and exposure in the trenches?

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