From Our Own Correspondent.

                                    CITY POINT, Va., Monday, Sept. 5, 1864.

            The extraordinary quiet which has prevailed along our whole front ever since I came here, would render a correspondent’s position at this place a perfect sinecure, if it were not ten times more irksome to spend a day in fruitless search after matter to write about than to sit down and commit facts to paper. Last evening, about supper-time, the old familiar booming of cannon came borne through the calm air, and continued for some hours during the night; but this morning it turned out to be nothing more than the usual favors which we have been of late showering upon the doomed City of Petersburgh at intervals.

            Doubtless, the North is, with characteristic eagerness, chafing at this delay, and wondering why Gen. Grant does not proceed at once and give the final blow. He is proceeding; but precisely in his own way. He knows too well the tremendous issues devolving upon him, and he is not going to peril the destinies of the country now placed in his hand, and his own lofty and dearly-earned reputation, by any untimely “on-to-Richmond” goadings. Without venturing to hint even as to their character, no observer can watch the preparations and movements going on throughout the army, without feeling impressed with the certainty that Petersburgh will soon abate the fate of Atlanta. When that occurs, all the concentrated forces of rebellion cannot prevent us from seizing and holding the Richmond and Danville Railroad—their only communication with the interior—and when we do that Richmond is ours, even If we do not strike a blow for it. None know this better than the rebels themselves and their sympathizers north; hence this terrible hurly-burly about an armistice, by some strange coincidence coming simultaneously both from Richmond and Chicago.

            The news of the nomination of McClellan and Pendleton fell very flatly upon the army; and the only effect I could preceive was that of positive joy among all true Unionists, who are far crushing out this rebellion, and for listening to no bargains or compromises that can barter away the life of the nation. They consider that, however good the intentions and plausible the promises of McClellan himself may be, the platform upon which he is made to stand, and the bare fact that he is supported cordially by the Vallandighamites, will tend more to show the entire people the hideous abyss that lies before them than anything else that could have happened.

            Nor are the soldiers and sailors to be cajoled by the few artful but transparent words of flattery dealt out for their especial benefit. Fine words cannot make them forget who those are that have been constantly opposing every measure that could tend to their benefit; who wanted to take away from them their inalienable right of voting as citizens, and who —even at this last hour—while patting them on the back, would compel them to lay down their arms ignominiously before an all-but-conquered enemy.

            Besides, a very strange illusion seems to exist respecting some magical affinity between the name of George B. McClellan and the armies of the United States. Those who imagine that the very mention of that name is enough to kindle the enthusiasm of our soldiery, as it once probably did, must surely entirely forget the enormous changes that have been wrought by time and circumstances, since that General wielded a trust never before confided by a great nation—under such circumstances—to a single individual. Take this very army, for instance—the Army of the Potomac—with which his name is more immediately identified, and how many of that glorious and hopeful band which once fought under his banners are now left to extol McClellan? What with the awful mortality among the swamps of the Chickahominy, the losses since then by disease and by war upon a thousand battle-fields, but very few, comparatively, can be now remaining; and of those few how many must have since fought under other Generals whom they have every reason to love and respect quite as much as they did their former leader. Of that vastly preponderating portion of our armies who never fought under McClellan, why should his name be so revered, when they remember Grant, Sherman, Rosecrans, Hancock and a dozen others, who have done far more to exact genuine homage from their countrymen.

            No. Whatever power Gen. McClellan may now hold among politicians, it is absolutely false to assert that he wields any especial influence among our armies, beyond the few boon companions and officers who fought with him. Within an hour after the New-York papers arrived here, confirming the nomination of McClellan as President, the joyous news came flashing to us across the wires that Sherman was in Atlanta! If the two names could at that moment have been launched among our soldiers for their suffrages as President or anything else, I think the gallant hero of Atlanta would have carried the day unanimously.                             J. R. HAMILTON.

                        Sunday, Sept. 4, 1864.

            The rebel pickets refuse to believe that Atlanta has fallen. They have become very friendly, and approach close to our lines, with passes from their officers, for the purpose of trading apparently, but all having their pockets filled with the proclamation of Jeff. Davis, offering protection and safe conduct to deserters.

            The rebels hope to largely reduce our ranks by this new dodge of theirs.

            They purchase all the eatables they can get from our men, giving greenbacks or tobacco in exchange, large supplies of which they seem to have on hand.

            Gen. Gibbons has been temporarily assigned to the command of the Eighteenth Corps.

            Col. Smyth, of the First Delaware, a brave and capable officer, is in command of the Division. of Gibbone, of the Second Corps.

Monday, Sept. 5, 1864.

            Last eight, about 11 o’clock, our batteries along the entire line opened and saluted the enemy with a terrific lire for an hour, in honor of the fall of Atlanta.

            The rebel guns replied sharply, and the air was filled with bursting shells.

            This morning not a shot is heard.


by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 6TH.—Raining moderately, and cool.

            Gen. Bragg has taken the Bureau of Conscription in hand, since Col. August, “acting superintendent,” wrote him a “disrespectful and insubordinate” note. He required a report of the officers in the bureau, from Lieut.-Col. Lay, “Acting Superintendent,”—there have been three “acting superintendents” during the last three days, —and Col. Lay furnished it. On this Gen. B. remarks that one young and able-bodied colonel (August) was here while his regiment was in the field, and recommended that he be permitted to have an opportunity to see some “service” before the war is ended, and military experience, which will teach him to be more respectful to seniors, etc.; and that the able-bodied lieutenant-colonel (Lay), from whom he can get no report of inspections, and who remains here idle most of his time, could render more efficient service in the field.

            And he thought Lieut. Goldthwait, relative of the Assistant Secretary of War, in the bureau, was performing functions that would better pertain to an older and more experienced man. In short, the whole organization required modification.

            These papers, with this indorsement, being sent to the President, that functionary sends them to the Secretary of War, with an indorsement intimating that such remarks from Gen. Bragg required action. Here’s a row! Perhaps the Secretary himself may flare up, and charge Gen. B. with interference, etc.;—but no, he must see that Gen. B. is acting with the concurrence of the President.

            But the Assistant Secretary, Col. August, Lieut.-Col. Lay, etc. will be like so many hornets stirred up with a pole, and no doubt they are rich enough to defy the emoluments of office.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 5TH.—Clear and warm.

            Gen. Lee has called for 2000 negroes (to be impressed) to work on the Petersburg fortifications. Gen. Lee has been here two days, giving his advice, which I hope may be taken. He addresses Gen. Bragg as “commanding armies C. S.” This ought to be an example for others to follow.

            The loss of Atlanta is a stunning blow.

            I am sick to-day—having been swollen by beans, or rather cow-peas.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 4TH.—Showery.

            Atlanta has fallen, and our army has retreated some thirty miles; such is Hood’s dispatch, received last night.

            The cheering in Grant’s camp yesterday was over that event. We have not had sufficient generalship and enterprise to destroy Sherman‘s communications.

            Some 40,000 landowners, and the owners of slaves, are at their comfortable homes, or in comfortable offices, while the poor and ignorant are relied upon to achieve independence and these, very naturally, disappoint the President’s expectations on momentous occasions.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 3D.—Slight rain in the morning.

            There is an ugly rumor on the streets to-day—disaster to Gen. Hood, and the fall of Atlanta. I cannot trace it to an authentic source; and, if true, the telegraph operatives must have divulged it.

            A dispatch from Petersburg states that there is much cheering in Grant’s army for McClellan, the nominee of the Chicago Convention for the Presidency.

            I think the resolutions of the convention amount to a defiance of President Lincoln, and that their ratification meetings will inaugurate civil war.

            The President has called upon the Governor of Alabama for the entire militia of the State, to be mustered into the service for the defense of the States. It is dated September 1st, and will include all exempted by the Conscription Bureau as farmers. Every farm has its exempted or detailed man under bonds to supply meat, etc.

            I incline to the belief that Hood has met with disaster at Atlanta. If so, every able-bodied man in that State will be hunted up for its defense, unless, indeed, the Union party should be revived there.

            There will be a new clamor against the President, for removing Johnston, and for not putting Beauregard in his place.

            But we may get aid from the North, from their civil dissensions. If Lincoln could precipitate 500,000 additional men upon us now, we should be compelled to give back at all points. But this he cannot do. And the convention at Chicago did not adjourn sine die, and may be called again at any time to exercise other functions than the mere nomination of candidates, etc.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 2D.—Bright, and cool, and dry.

            It is reported that a battle has occurred at Atlanta; but I have seen no official confirmation of it.

            It is rumored that Gen. McClellan has been nominated by the Chicago Convention for President, and Fernando Wood for Vice-President. There is some interest felt by our people in the proceedings of this convention, and there is a hope that peace candidates may be nominated and elected.

            Senator Johnson (Missouri) told me to-day that he had seen Mrs. Vaughan (wife of our Gen. V.), just from the United States, where she had been two months; and she declares it as her belief that Gen. McClellan will be elected, if nominated, and that he is decidedly for peace. She says the peace party would take up arms to put an end to Lincoln’s sanguinary career, but that it is thought peace can be soonest restored by the ballot-box.

            The President to-day arrested the rush of staff appointments.

            To-day an old gentleman, after an interview with Mr. Secretary ____, said he might be a good man, an honest man; but he certainly had a “most villainous face.”

by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 1ST—Clear, bright, and cool.

            The intelligence from the North indicates that Gen. McClellan will be nominated for the Presidency. Judge Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War, shakes his head, and says he is not the right man. Our people take a lively interest in the proceedings of the Chicago Convention, hoping for a speedy termination of the war.

            Senator Johnson, of Missouri, has a project of taxation for the extinguishment of the public debt—a sweeping taxation, amounting to one-half the value of the real and personal estate of the Confederate States. He got me to commit his ideas to writing, which I did, and they will be published.

            Gen. Kemper told me to-day that there were 40,000 able-bodied men in Virginia now detailed.

            There is a project on the tapis of introducing lady clerks into this bureau—all of them otherwise able to subsist themselves—while the poor refugees, who have suffered most, are denied places. Even the President named one to-day, Mrs. Ford, who, of course, will be appointed.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 31ST.—Bright and pleasant.

            The only news to-day was a dispatch from Gen. Hood, stating that the enemy had left Holly Springs, Miss., for the Mississippi River, supposed to reinforce Sherman, whose communications are certainly cut. It seems to me that Sherman must be doomed. Forces are gathering from every quarter around him, and it is over 200 miles to Mobile, if he has any idea to force his way thither-ward.

            Attended an auction to-day. Prices of furniture, clothing, etc. still mounting higher.

            Common salt herrings are at $10 per dozen; salt shad, $8 a piece. Our agent was heard from to-day. He has no flour yet, but we still have hopes of getting some.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 30TH.—Bright and pleasant.

            Gen. Hood telegraphs Gen Bragg that the enemy has shifted his line somewhat, drawing back his left and extending his right wing. Also that dispatches from Wheeler (August 19th) informs him that Dalton was captured, as stated, with 200 prisoners, 200 mules, a large amount of stores; several train supplies destroyed, as well as twenty-five miles of railroad in Sherman’s rear. If that don’t disturb the equanimity of Sherman, he must be an extraordinary general indeed.

            Gen. Lee says the Bureau of Conscription has ceased to send forward recruits, and suggests that the conscript officers and their tens of thousands of details be now ordered into the ranks themselves. The Secretary does not agree to this, and the Assistant Secretary’s son-in-law is one of “the Bureau.”

            Nine-tenths of the President’s time and labor consist of discriminating between applicants for office and for promotion. They are all politicians still! And the Secretaries of State, Navy, and the Postmaster-General are getting to be as fat as bears, while some of the subordinates I wot of are becoming mere shadows from scarcity of food.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 29TH.—Bright and pleasant morning; another fine shower last night.

            No important intelligence from the armies.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 28TH.—A bright, pleasant day.

            No news. Walked, as usual, to the department to see if any important letters had come, and then hastened back that the family might go to church in time.

            Oh what a lovely day in such an unlovely time! The recent rains have washed the dust from the still dark-green leaves of the trees and vegetation in my little yard and garden, and they rustle in a genial sunlight that startles a memory of a similar scene, forty or more years ago! It is a holy Sabbath day upon the earth,—but how unholy the men who inhabit the earth! Even the tall garish sun-flowers, cherished for very memories of childhood’s days by my wife, and for amusement by my little daughter, have a gladdening influence on my spirits, until some object of scanty food or tattered garment forces upon the mind a realization of the reign of discord and destruction without. God grant there may be a speedy end of the war! And the words Armistice and Peace are found in the Northern papers and upon every one’s tongue here.

            My tomato vines are looking well and are bearing well, now. My turnips are coming up everywhere. The egg-plants I nurtured so carefully have borne no fruit yet, but are going to blossom. The okras have recovered under the influence of recent showers, and have new blossoms.

            Our agent in North Carolina has been delayed by illness, and has bought us no flour yet, but we still have hope. We trust that the enemy will not cut our communications with the South, since he has met with so many heavy mishaps in attempting it. Grant has attempted everything in his power to get Richmond, and was foiled in all. I hope he will withdraw soon. Why stay, with no prospect of success? A few days more may solve his purposes and plans, or Lee may have more enterprises against him.

            It is a cloudless, silent, solemn Sabbath day, and I thank God for it!

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 27Th.—Bright morning, and fine shower last night. The people are smiling to-day from our success of Thursday, announced in the following dispatch from Gen. Lee:

“August 26th, 1864.                           

            “General A. P. Hill attacked the enemy in his intrenchments at Reams’s Station yesterday evening, and at the second assault carried his entire line.
            “Cook’s and McRae’s North Carolina brigades, under Gen. Heth, and Lane’s North Carolina brigade, of Wilcox’s division, under Gen. Connor, with Pegram’s artillery, composed the assaulting party.
            “One line of breastworks was carried by the cavalry under Gen. Hampton with great gallantry, who contributed largely to the success of the day.
            “Seven stands of colors, two thousand prisoners, and nine pieces of artillery are in our possession.
            “The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded is reported to be heavy—ours relatively small.
            “Our profound gratitude is due to the Giver of all victory, and our thanks to the brave men and officers engaged.

“R. E. LEE.”              

            It is said to-day that our captures will amount to 2500, and a brigadier-general is among the prisoners.

            The President intimated to-day to the Secretary that when he respites a prisoner condemned to death, he does not desire the case brought to him again to approve the execution.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 26TH —Clear; but rained copiously last night.

A letter from Gen. Lee indicates that the “Bureau of Conscription” fails to replenish the army. The rich men and slaveowners are but too successful in getting out, and in keeping out of the service. The Governor, who commissions magistrates, is exempting some fifty daily, and these, in many instances, are not only young men, but speculators. And nearly every landed proprietor has given bonds to furnish meal, etc. to obtain exemption. Thus corruption is eating to the heart of the cause, and I fear the result of the contest between speculation and patriotism. Mr. Seddon says he has striven to make the conscription officers do their duty, and was not aware that so many farmers had gotten exemption. He promises to do all in his power to obtain recruits, and will so use the strictly local troops as to render the Reserves more active. What that means we shall soon see.

            A dispatch from Mobile says Fort Morgan is in the possession of the enemy! Per contra, a dispatch from the same place says Memphis is in the possession of Forrest.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 25TH.—Clear and warm.

            No war news, except reports that Gen. Wheeler has destroyed much of the railroad in Sherman‘s rear, and that Early has forced Sheridan back across the Potomac.

            Gen. Lee writes that he already notices the good effect of the order published by our government, encouraging desertions from the enemy’s armies. He suggests that it be translated into the German, and circulated extensively in the enemy’s country.

            My turnips seem to be coming up at last; have sown them everywhere, so that when other crops come off, the ground will still be producing something.

            Bought a bushel of red peas to-day for $30—the last for sale—the rest being taken for horses. Such is the food that my family is forced to subsist on.

            Mr. Haxall, a millionaire, of conscript age, has just been appointed assessor of tax-in-kind. The salary is a pitiful sum, but the rich man is kept out of the army while the poor man is forced to fight in defense of his property.

            The President is indefatigable in his labors. Every day the papers he sends to the department bear evidence of his attention to the minutest subject, even to the small appointments; he frequently rejects the Secretary’s recommendations.

            Gen. Bragg recommends that publication be made here, in the United States, and in Europe, encouraging enlistments of foreigners in our army.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 24TH—Clear and pleasant.

            Operations now must be initiated by the enemy. Gen. Lee writes that he is too weak to attempt to dislodge the Yankees from the Weldon Railroad. He cannot afford the loss of men necessary to accomplish it. He says the enemy, however, was “worsted” in the two conflicts, that of Friday and Sunday. And if he were to drive him away, the road would still be subject to interruption. He thinks we can still get supplies, by wagons, round the enemy’s position, as well as by the Danville Road. He also suggests that corn be imported at Wilmington, and that every effort be made to accumulate supplies here; and he thinks we can hold out until corn matures some six weeks hence, so that the moral effect will be good, when it is apparent the efforts of the enemy to cut off our supplies are thwarted. He thinks the enemy has relinquished the idea of forcing our fortifications. But he says that Grant intended to force his way into Richmond last week.

            I wrote a letter to the President to-day, urging the necessity of preventing the transportation of any supplies on the railroads except for distribution at cost, and thus exterminating the speculators. The poor must be fed and protected, if they be relied upon to defend the country. The rich bribe the conscription officers, and keep out of the ranks, invest their Confederate money and bonds in real estate, and would be the first to submit to the United States Government; and the poor, whom they oppress, are in danger of demoralization from suffering and disgust, and might also embrace reunion rather than a prolongation of such miseries as they have so long experienced. The patriotism of 1861 must be revived, or independence cannot be achieved. If a Peace Democrat be elected, no doubt terms of peace will be tendered, on the basis of reunion; and if they be rejected, perhaps the war may be continued. Or Lincoln may modify his conditions of peace; and the rich, always seeking repose and security, may embrace them. The surest plan is to break up speculation, and put the rich as well as the poor in the army. We must deserve independence, else we shall not get it. There must be no partiality, and especially in favor of the rich. I wrote plainly, intimating the danger of Reconstruction, without the greatest care, and a scrupulous performance of duty.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 23D. —Clear and pleasant.

            The enemy still occupy the Weldon Road, beyond Petersburg, in great force. Our loss in killed, wounded, and captured is estimated (in Sunday’s fight) at 1000; under the mark, perhaps.

            I hear of no raid yet against the Danville Road; but the flour speculators have put up the price again. Gen. Kemper told me this morning that he had 3000 of the reserves defending the Danville Road, the number Gen. Lee asked for.

            Gen. Hood is so strong at Atlanta, that he has promised to send, in an emergency, a brigade to Mobile.

            Interesting events will crowd each other rapidly, now.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 22D.—Sunshine and clouds, cool and pleasant.

            There was heavy fighting on the Weldon Road yesterday evening, still held by the enemy; but no official account of the result—if it has yet reached a result—has been received. The city is full of extravagant rumors, and I incline to the belief that we gained no advantage yesterday. We took some 300 prisoners, certainly; but I fear Haygood’s Brigade of South Carolinians ventured too far, when they were enveloped by greatly superior numbers—and —we shall know all to-morrow.

            The news from Hood, Wheeler, Forrest, etc. in the Southwest promises well.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 21ST.—Cloudy and pleasant; no rain last night, but the earth is saturated. No additional news from the army. It is said Gen. Bragg prevents news, good or bad, from expanding—believing that any intelligence whatever in the newspapers affords information to the enemy; and he is right. All the mysteries will be solved in a few days, and we shall have all the news, good, bad, and indifferent. I heard cannon last evening; also this morning. Our casualties could not have been large, else the ambulance train would have been in motion. That is certain. It may be that Grant’s army is crumbling,—I hope so; and it may possibly be that negotiations are in progress. There must be an end of this; for the people of both sections are tired of it.

            So far Grant has unquestionably failed in his enterprises against Richmond, and his present reduced strength certainly renders it unlikely that he can prevail against us hereafter. His new levies, if he gets any, will not be fit for the field this year; and all his veterans will soon be gone,—killed, or home,—never to return. Thank God, the prospect of peace is “bright and brightening,” and a dark cloud is above the horizon in the North. Lincoln and his party are now environed with dangers rushing upon them from every direction.

            No doubt Lee’s army is weakened by detachments sent to Early; but then the local troops have been sent home, which is at least a favorable augury. The following order is published:


            “It having been represented to the War Department that there are numbers of foreigners entrapped by artifice and fraud into the military and naval service of the United States, who would gladly withdraw from further participation in the inhuman warfare waged against a people who have never given them a pretext for hostility; and that there are many inhabitants of the United States now retained in that service against their will, who are averse to aiding in the unjust war now being prosecuted against the Confederate States; and it being also known that these men are prevented from abandoning such compulsory service by the difficulty they experience in escaping therefrom, it is ordered that all such persons coming within the lines of the Confederate armies shall be received, protected, and supplied with means of subsistence, until such of them as desire it can be forwarded to the most convenient points on the border, where all facilities will be afforded them to return to their homes.

            “By order,

                        “(Signed)                                 S. COOPER,

                                                                                    A. and I. General.”

            My turnips have not come up yet, and I fear the hot sun has destroyed the vitality of the seed. It is said the enemy still hold the Weldon Road; if so, then I fear our flour will be delayed, if not lost.

            What if Grant now had the 140,000 more—lost in this campaign? Or if Lincoln should succeed in getting into the field the 500,000 men now called for?

            The next two months will be the most interesting period of the war; everything depends upon the result of the Presidential election in the United States. We rely some little upon the success of the peace party.

            The order from the Adjutant-General’s office was first suggested by Gen. Beauregard, discountenanced by Mr. Secretary Seddon, approved by the President, and slightly modified by Gen. Lee. It remains to be seen what will be its effect. Deserters are certainly coming over in large numbers; so much so, that it is proposed to establish a depot for them in Georgia. Gen. Winder writes that it is not his province to be charged with them as well as with the prisoners. He is miserable; his rogues and cut-throats have mostly remained behind, preferring a city residence; and the Bureau of Conscription will not, it seems, conscribe Marylanders, most of whom have grown rich here. Will the President and the Secretary of War yield to Assistant Secretary Campbell, and the “Bureau,” and Judge Halliburton,—or will they execute the act of Congress, enrolling all “residents” for the common defense? Nous verrons.

            One meets no beggars yet, although we have been suffering a famine for more than a year.

            The State Government is now selling a little rice—one and a half pounds per month to each member of a family—at 50 cents per pound, the ordinary price being about $2. And the City Council has employed a butcher to sell fresh meat at about $3.50 per pound. The State will also distribute cotton cloth and yarn, at something less than the usual prices. There would be quite enough of everything necessary, if it were equally distributed.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 20TH.—Rained hard all night, and a good deal to-day. Between 10 and 11 P.M. last evening, as we were retiring, a musket was fired somewhere in the rear of the building, and fragments of lime and brick were heard rattling against the window-shutters. This morning I perceived where the ball struck, a few inches below the window-sill of the chamber on the second floor, where Custis and Tom were lying. Some one, I suppose, had heedlessly fired his gun, after returning from the fortifications.

            Well, the papers to-day fall below the official announcement of the work of yesterday afternoon. Gen. Lee’s dispatch says we captured 2700 prisoners near Petersburg on the Weldon Road. No other particulars are given, and the affair is still in mystery, for some purpose, perhaps.

            It is rumored that Gen. Hampton captured 4000 men last night or this morning; but I doubt. Without that, the week’s work is good—Grant losing from 10,000 to 15,000 men. A few more weeks, at that rate, will consume his army, and then—peace?

            Gen. Bragg complains, in a letter to the Secretary of War, that the orders of the department, and of the Adjutant-General, are not furnished him, which must diminish, if persisted in, his usefulness in the important position to which the President has called him. They are all inimical to Bragg—all but the President, who is bound in honor to sustain him.

            The price of flour has fallen again; Lee’s victory frightening the dealers.

            Robert Hill, commission merchant, Bank Street, gave me two pounds of coffee to-day when I told him of Lee’s dispatch. It was accepted, of course, and is worth some $20 per pound.

            Guns are heard down the river again this evening, and all are wondering what Lee is doing now.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 19TH.—Damp and cloudy.

            There was no serious battle. The wind was in a quarter which brought the sounds to us, even from the skirmishers, ten miles distant. But our gun-boats shelled the enemy out of their position on Signal Hill, and there was heavy cannonading along the line on the south side of the river. And, as appears by the papers, there was severe fighting at different points of the line.

            We have now some further details of the battle of Tuesday. Our loss was 1000; the enemy’s, it is said, 5000 to 8000.

            It is now, 5 P.M., raining gently, thank Heaven!

            To-day we had a distribution of meats, etc. brought from North Carolina by our agent. Custis and I invested $200: we have received 26 pounds bacon and 24 smoked herrings—worth here about $200. Half the money remains in the agent’s hands, for which we expect to get 300 pounds of flour—if the enemy will let the railroads alone.

            It is believed another raid has crossed the Weldon Road, and is sweeping in the direction of the Lynchburg and Danville Road. The speculators are on the qui vive already, and no flour can be had. I fear our flour will be intercepted, delayed, and perhaps lost! The meat we got to-day will supply but two ounces for each member of my family daily for two months. This is war, terrible war But if Grant is not rapidly reinforced, at the present rate of his losses his army will be consumed in two months. There is some consolation in that prospect!

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 18TH.—Cloudy and pleasant.

            Still we have no authentic account of the details of the fights on the north side of the James River. We know we lost two brigadier-generals, and that we captured some 600 prisoners. Of the number killed and wounded on either side is all conjecture, although a semi-official statement makes our loss but “light.”

            Nevertheless, I happen to know that the President rode out yesterday, and remained until late in the night: for Mr. Craddock, his special detective (and formerly his messenger), whom he sent for to accompany him, assures me while on the field there was a flag of truce to bury the dead, and that the slaughter had been large. Our cavalry had suffered; but he thinks the enemy’s infantry lost many more men than all our slain together. He says, moreover, that only one negro prisoner reached the city. The rest, thrust forward, being killed on the field in action, I suppose.

            At 2 P.M. a rumor began to be expanded that a terrific and probably a decisive battle was going on at Petersburg. One report says the enemy assaulted our lines, the operations on this side of the river having been more a feint to draw our forces away; another that Gen. Beauregard attacked the enemy, finding their troops in large force had crossed over to this side, and this in the absence of Gen. Lee, he taking the responsibility. Be this as it may, some stir was in the cabinet: and the Secretary of War was with the President from 11 A.M. till 3 P.M. This might be on “appointments and promotions,” and it might be on Beauregard.

            About 5 P.M. brisk artillery firing was heard in a southeast direction, which increased in rapidity, and apparently became nearer the city, until musketry could be distinctly heard from all parts of the city. My daughter Anne and her younger brother, Thomas, had walked out to Hollywood Cemetery, where they could not only hear the firing, but could see the lines of smoke below the city, on the left or north bank. Between 6 and 7 P.M. the sound seemed to recede, indicating that the assault had been repulsed; and finally all was silent again. It is probable the battle raged likewise on the south side of the river, and it may be hoped the assault on Petersburg was similarly repulsed. We shall know to-morrow.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 17TH.—Cloudy, and slight showers. In the afternoon dark clouds going round.

            We have nothing from below but vague rumors, except that we repulsed the enemy yesterday, slaughtering the negro troops thrust in front.

            From Atlanta, it is said the enemy have measurably ceased artillery firing, and it is inferred that their ammunition is low, and perhaps their communications cut.

            The President and Secretary of War were in council all the morning, it is said, on appointments and promotions in the army.

            The President rode out toward the battle-field at 2½ P.M. There have been no guns heard to-day.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 16TH.—Warm and cloudy.

            There are movements of interest of the armies below, from the fact that we have as yet no authentic account of the fighting during the last few days. I fear we have not been so successful as usual.

            The enemy is reported to be in force on this side (north) of the river, and marching toward this city. The local (clerks) troops have been called out to man the fortifications. But the blow (if one really be meditated) may fall on the other (south) side of the river.

            Col. Moseby has taken 200 of the enemy near Berryville, burning 75 wagons, and capturing 600 horses and mules. His loss trifling.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 15TH.—Cloudy, damp, and pleasant. A rain fell last night, wetting the earth to a considerable depth; and the wind being southeast, we look for copious showers—a fine season for turnips, etc.

            Cannon was distinctly heard from my garden yesterday evening, and considerable fighting has been going on down the river for several days; the result (if the end is yet) has not been officially stated. It is rumored that Pemberton lost more batteries; but it is only rumor, so far. Nor have we anything definite from Early or Hood.

            Bacon has fallen to $5 and $6 per pound, flour to $175 per barrel. I hope we shall get some provisions from the South this week.

            Sowed turnip-seed in every available spot of my garden to-day. My tomatoes are beginning to mature—better late than never. The following official dispatch was received on Saturday:

            MOBILE, August 11th.—Nothing later from Fort Morgan. The wires are broken. Gen. Forrest drove the enemy’s advance out of Oxford last night.
            “All the particulars of the Fort Gaines surrender known, are that the commanding officer communicated with the enemy, and made terms, without authority. His fort was in good condition, the garrison having suffered little.
“He made no reply to repeated orders and signals from Gen. Page to hold his fort, and surrendered upon conditions not known here.                      D. H. MAURY, Major-General.”

            Gen. Taylor will cross the Mississippi with 4000 on the 18th of this month. Sherman must get Atlanta quickly, or not at all.

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