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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: June 22, 1864

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-Page 01-

Union Principles
(Column 1)
Summary: Accuses Republicans of "hypocrisy" for believing they are loyal when in fact they are "revolutionists."
Origin of Article: Journal of Commerce
Important Revelations
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports that Governor Vance of North Carolina has urged Confederate President Davis to cease fighting and work for peace.
Full Text of Article:

Gov. Vance, of North Carolina, because of widespread discontent among the people of his State, on the 24th ultimo addressed a letter to Jeff Davis, imploring him to make overtures of some sort to our Government for the cessation of hostilities, in view of bringing about a permanent peace. The Governor expresses the belief, that if such a course were pursued and their overture rejected, it would have the effect of crushing out all discontent in his State, and of making the people a unit in the cause of Southern independence.

Jeff Davis replies to the Governor at length in opposition to his suggestions; but as we feet no interest in points of ettiquette [sic] regarding the personal opinions of either, we confine ourself to quoting the following important paragraphs from Davis' communication, he says:

We have made three distinct efforts to communicate with the authorities at Washington, and have been invariably unsuccessful. Commissioners were sent before hostilities were begun, and the Washington Government refused to receive them or hear what they had to say.

A second time I sent a military officer, with a communication addressed by myself to President Lincoln. The letter was received by Gen. Scott, who did not permit the officer to see Mr. Lincoln; but promised that an answer would be sent. No answer has ever been received. The third time, a few months ago, a gentleman was sent, whose position, character and reputation were such as to insure his reception, if the enemy were not determined to receive no proposals whatever from the Government. Vice President Stephens made a patriotic tender of his services in the hope of being able to promote the cause of humanity, and although little belief was entertained of his success, I cheerfully yielded to his suggestion, that the experiment should be tried.

The enemy refused to let him pass through their lines, or to hold any conference with them. He was stopped before he ever reached Fortress Monroe, on his way to Washington. To attempt again, in the face of these repeated rejections of all conference with us, to send commis[s]ioners or agents to propose peace is to invite insult and contumely, and to subject ourselves to indignity without the slightest chance of being listened to.

Our object in quoting this is to direct the reader's attention to Davis' statement regarding the mission of Mr. Alexander Stephens. We all remember, for it is not a year ago--when he approached Fortress Monroe, on a mission to Washington, and how our authorities refused to receive him. When it was hinted that he had been authorized to enter into negotiations for peace, it was denied by the Administration, President Lincoln himself declaring that he had no intimation whatever, from Richmond, of a desire for a cessation of hostilities. At last we have the truth, however. Mr. Stephens desired a conference with our a[u]thorities, but as soon as the nature of his commission was ascertained, he was refused an audience. He went back to Richmond, and immediately our Administration commenced lying in regard to his purposes in visiting Washington. It was a fear that Stephens would offer to lay down the rebel arms that denied him admission to Washington. He had always been a thorough Union man, up until the opening of the rebellion, and is now; and the fact of Jeff Davis sending him on a mission of peace to our Government, shows how anxious they all were to lay down their arms and return to their allegiance. But in order to prevent this consum[m]ation, Stephens was denied an audience, and in order to prevent him or his Government from ever again asking for peace, Mr. Lincoln issued his proclamation, which Davis notices as follows. It will be seen how successfully Lincoln has managed to prolong hostilities. Alluding to Lincoln's proclamation Davis remarks:

Have we not just been apprised by that despot that we can only expect his gracious pardon by emancipating all our slaves, swearing allegiance, and obedience to him and his proclamation, and becoming, in point of fact, the slaves of our own negroes? Can there be in North Carolina one citizen so fallen beneath the dignity of his ancestors as to accept, or to enter conference on the basis of these terms?

It is with Lincoln alone that we ever could confer, and his own partisans at the North avow unequivocally that his purpose in his message and proclamation was to shut out all hope that he could ever treat with us on any terms. If we break up our Government, dissolve the Confederacy, disband our armies, emancipate our slaves, take an oath of allegiance binding ourselves to obedience to him and of disloyalty to our own States, he proposes to pardon us and not to plunder us of anything more than the property already stolen from us and such slaves as still remain. In order to render his proposals so insulting as to secure their rejection he joins to them a promise to support with his army one-tenth of the people of any State who will attempt to set up a Government over the other nine-tenths, thus seeking to sow discord and suspicion among the people of the several States, and excite them to civil war in furtherance of his ends.

I know well it would be impossible to get your people, if they possessed full knowledge of these facts, to consent that proposals should now be made by us to those who control the Government at Washington. Your own well known devotion to the great cause of liberty and independence, to which we have all committed whatever we have of earthly possessions, would induce you to take the lead in repelling the bare thought of abject submission to the enemy.

Yet peace on other terms is now impossible. To obtain the sole terms to which you or I could listen, this struggle must continue until the enemy is beaten out of his vain confidence of our subjugation. Then, and not till then, will it be possible to treat of peace. Till then; all tender of terms to the enemy will be received as proof that we are ready for submission, and will encourage him in the atrocious warfare which he is waging.

The Suppression of the New York World and the Journal of Commerce--Judge Russell's Charge to the Grand Jury
(Column 4)
Summary: Prints criticism from a Judge Russell about the government's suppression of two newspapers for disloyal remarks.
Terrible Explosion in Washington
(Column 6)
Summary: Reports on a deadly explosion at the arsenal in Washington in which nineteen were killed and fifteen to twenty more were wounded.

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Description of Page: Poetry and fiction, columns 1-3, classified ads, columns 4-6

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 2-6

A Crop of Roots
(Column 1)
Summary: Urges readers to diversify their harvests by planting root crops: parsnips, carrots, and beets. Says this will provide employment during a time of the year when jobs are usually scarce.

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Dispatches reporting on troop movement around Petersburg, Virginia, column 5

A Left-Handed Endorsement
(Column 1)
Summary: Calls the Repository "hypocritical" for praising Lincoln in one column and then condemning his cabinet in another.
Full Text of Article:

The old maxim that there is nothing new under the sun is again at fault, as seen in the amomalous [sic] position of the Repository on the Baltimore nominee for the presidency. In one column of its last issue we find an article abounding in hypocritical laudations of Abraham Lincoln; in another column appears an article, under the head of "Revision in the Cabinet," condemning his administration in the most unequivocal terms. How the intensely "loyal" worshippers of Abraham the First, will regard this disloyal assault on their great Master, is no concern of ours. We hope, however, we will be pardoned for venturing to advert to a single point.

The article in question is based on the assumption that the Cabinet of Mr. Lincoln is divided in sentiment, and the first conclusion arrived at is, that "a divided, discordant cabinet neutralizes its own influence upon the policy of the country, and can be peculiarly potent only for evil." This bold charge of the Repository against Mr. Lincoln and his cabinet will no doubt startle our readers as it did us. It will not do for the Repository to excuse itself by pretending that no part of the censure was intended for Mr. Lincoln. It cannot make an exception in favor of Mr. Lincoln without making itself appear ridiculous; for every tyre in politics knows that the President is directly responsible to the country for the conduct of his cabinet officers. He is not only responsible for the acts of each individual member of the cabinet, but it is his solemn duty to compel unity of purpose and harmonious action of the cabinet as a whole, if the welfare of the country demands it. The Repository says the welfare of the country does demand unity and harmony in the cabinet of the President, instead of which we have "palpable, irreconcilable dissensions" which can be potent "only for evil."

Now, who is responsible for this condition of things which the Repository says is potent only for evil? There can be but one answer to this question, and that is--Abraham Lincoln. He, and he alone, has the power to remedy the evil. These men that are so "discordant" in their views, hold their positions at his pleasure. He can remove them any day; and it is his duty, whenever a member of the cabinet fails in the proper discharge of his duties, to dismiss him forthwith. And yet the President has permitted these "palpable, irreconcilable dessensions" to exist for three long years, resulting in "evil only," and we are nevertheless cooly asked to re-elect this same man and continue these dissensions four years longer! This looks like a cruel joke on the part of our neighbor.

Extraordinary Statement
(Column 2)
Summary: Wonders where the reported 700,000 new recruits and the money appropriated to pay them have gone.
Harmony of the Cabinet
(Column 3)
Summary: Agrees with the Repository that unity among the President's cabinet members is wanting.
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Chastises the Repository for not judging General Grant by the same criteria that they judged (and criticized) General McClellan.
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Calls the Republicans and the rebels the "twin curses of the country," and suggests that electing an opposition administration would give the people back their liberties.
Latest Telegraphic News!
(Column 5)
Summary: Letters from U. S. Grant and E. M. Stanton discussing the Union army's advance within a mile of Petersburg.
(Names in announcement: , )
Full Text of Article:

By the Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Line--Offices in Shryock's Book Store and at the Depot.

Reported Expressly for THE VALLEY SPIRIT.

Petersburg Not Yet Taken--The Outer Fortifications of the City Carried--Official Details of the Great Flank Movement from the Chickahominy to the James River.

Washington, June 18--10 P.M.

Major General Dix, New York:

The following despatch from Gen. Grant, dated yesterday, at 11 o'clock, A. M., at City Point, has been received at this department:

The Ninth Corps this morning carried two more redoubts forming a part of the defences of Petersburg, capturing 450 prisoners and 4 guns.

Our successes are being followed up.

Our forces drew out from within fifty yards of the intrenchments at Cold Harbor, made a flank movement of an average of fifty miles' march, crossing the Chickahominy and James River, the latter being two thousand feet wide and eight and one-half feet deep at the point of crossing, and surprised the enemy's rear at Petersburg.

This was done without the loss of a wagon or piece of artillery, and only about one hundred fifty stragglers were picked up by the enemy.

In covering this move Warren's Corps and Wilson's cavalry had frequent skirmishing with the enemy, each losing from fifty to sixty killed and wounded, but inflicting an equal, if not a greater loss upon the enemy.

The Eighteenth Corps (Smith's) were transferred from White House to Bermuda Hundred by water, moved out near to Petersburg on the night of their arrival, and surprised, or rather captured, the very strong works northeast of Petersburg before sufficient force could be got in them by the enemy to hold them.

He was joined the night following this capture by the Second Corps, which in turn captured more of the enemy's redoubts further south, and this corps was followed by the Ninth, with the resutt [sic] above stated.

All the troops are now up except two divisions covering the wagon trains, and they will be up to-night.

The enemy, in their endeavors to reinforce Petersburg, abandoned their intrenchments in front of Bermuda Hundred. They no doubt expected troops from the north side of James River to take their places before they were discovered. Butler took advantage of this, and moved a force at once upon the railroad and plank road between Richmond and Petersburg, which I hope to retain possession of.

Too much credit cannot be given the troops and their commanders for the energy and fortitude displayed in the last five days. Day and night has been all the same, no delays being allowed on any account."

Later unofficial despatches show that at 8 o'clock this morning the enemy still occupied Petersburg.

Major Morton was killed in an assault yesterday.

Nothing has been receivd to-day from Sherman or Hunter.

Our Army Within One Mile of Petersburg.
Important from General Sherman's Department.

Washington June 19--9.45 P. M.

To Major Gen Dix:

This evening a despatch from City Point dated, 9 o'clock this morning, reached the department.

It reports that our forces advanced yesterday to within about a mile in front of Petersburg, where they found the enemy occupying a new line of entrenchments which alter successive assaults we failed to [illegible], but hold and have intrenched our position.

From the forces of the enemy within the new line it is inferred that Beauregard has been reinforced from Lee's army.

No report has been received by the Department concerning the casualities [sic] of our army in its operations since crossing the James River, except the death of Major Morton.

General Sherman reports to-day, that the enemy gave way last night in the midst of darkness and storm, and at daylight our pickets entered his line from right to left. The whole army is in pursuit and is as far as the Chattahouchie.

I start at once for Marietta.

No other military intelligence from any other quarter have been received to-day.

E. M. Stanton,
Secretary of War.

The Ladies' Fair
(Column 6)
Summary: Reports on the recent Ladies' Fair held at Franklin Hall for the benefit of the Christian Commission.
Full Text of Article:

The Fair held by the ladies of Chambersburg and vicinity for the benefit of the U.S. Christian Commission opened in Franklin Hall, on the 13th inst. and continued until Saturday evening last. The Hall and Court House were both used for the display of the articles for sale, and were thronged during the entire period with an interested and delighted crowd of visitors who dispensed their cash with commendable liberality. The Halls were decorated with much taste, and the display of articles in the various departments spoke well for the industry and zeal of the ladies of our town when excited into action by philanthropic and charitable objects.

The "Old Folks' Concert," on Friday and Saturday evenings, attracted immense crowds from the neighboring towns and villages, and on each evening the Hall was packed with a dense mass of delighted, though perspiring auditors. This feature of the Fair was perhaps the most successful and yielded a considerable amount of clear cash. The whole enterprise was successful, even beyond the expectations of the most sanguine of those engaged in it, and is a very satisfactory evidence of what can be done, in this community, for the relief of the sick and wounded heroes who have bared their bosoms to the bayonet and the bullet, in defense of our country.

We have been unable to procure a statement of the sum realized in each department, but learn that the gross reciepts [sic] will reach the sum of $4,300, and the nett [sic] profits not less than $3,200.

The ladies intend publishing a detailed statement of the receipts of each department, with the nett [sic] profits realized therefrom, which we expect to receive in time for publication in our next issue.

Revival of the Iron Business
(Column 6)
Summary: Reports that Major Hughes has sold the Mont Alto Iron Works to a Mr. Ahl of Cumberland County, who plans on erecting new furnaces.
(Names in announcement: Major Hughes)
Death of Capt. McKesson
(Column 6)
Summary: Reports that Captain Samuel R. McKesson died at age 42 after a long illness.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Samuel R. McKesson)
(Column 6)
Summary: Private John Greenawalt, son of Daniel Greenawalt and a member of the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry, died after being wounded during fighting at Cold Harbor.
(Names in announcement: Private John Greenawalt, Mr. Daniel Greenawalt)

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Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 3-6

[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Lists the officers elected at the June 13 meeting of the Friendship Fire Company: assistant engineer, Samuel Greenawalt; president, B. Latrobe Maurer; vice president, John A. Seiders; treasurer, J. L. Dechert; secretary, Jacob Jarrett; directors, Christian Fredrick, Peter Myers, J. W. Seibert; standing committee, Cyrus Gordon, John A. Seiders, Christian Fredrick, George Stumbaugh, Henry Bowman; chief pipeman, George Ludwig; assistant pipemen, Christian Heneberger, John Barnitz; hose attachers, George Remp, John A. Seiders, John Smith, Peter Myers, John Bert; hose guards, P. W. Jacobs, George Stumbaugh, John Smith, David S. Hoffman, Theodore Lightcap; auditors, J. L. Dechert, John A. Seiders, B. L. Maurer; axe men, Benjamin Duke, Christian Kunos; collector, Jacob Jarrett; superintendent, Christian Heneberger.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Greenawalt, B. Latrobe Maurer, J. L. Dechert, Jacob Jarrett, Christian Fredrick, Peters Myers, J. W. Seibert, Cyrus Gordon, John A. Seiders, George Stumbaugh, Henry Bowman, George Ludwig, Christian Heneberger, John Barnitz, George Remp, John Smith, Peter Myers, John Bert, P. W. Jacobs, David S. Hoffman, Theodore Lightcap, Benjamin Duke, Christian Kunos)
The Star Spangled Banner
(Column 1)
Summary: Praises the efforts of Capt. Sollenberger and the committee on superintendence for erecting a pole from which the star spangled banner can fly.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Sollenberger)
The Board of Enrollment
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the Board of Enrollment is making its way through the region and will eventually come to Chambersburg.
77th Regiment P.V.
(Column 2)
Summary: Lists casualties among members of the 77th Pennsylvania Volunteers from recent fighting in Georgia: Captain Samuel T. Davis, Company G, wounded severely in the groin; 1st Lieutenant Albert G. Stark, slightly, cheek; Sergeant Harry Miller, Company F, slightly, arm; Sergeant W. Hidler, Company C, slightly leg; Private David Neely, mortally; Private Peter Hardsock, slightly; Private David Cooper, Company D, slightly; Private Benjamin Authors, Company B, severely, ankle; Private Francis Moran, Company G, slightly.
(Names in announcement: Captain Samuel T. Davis, 1st Lieutenant Albert G. Stark, Sergeant Harry Miller, Sergeant W. Hidler, Private David Neely, Peter Hardsock, David Cooper, Benjamin Authors, Francis Moran)
Drafted Men Cannot Enlist as Volunteers
(Column 2)
Summary: Notes that a government order states that drafted men cannot enlist as volunteers after they have been drafted.
U. S. Christian Commission
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that the ladies of Mercersburg have collected one thousand dollars for the Christian Commission.
(Column 4)
Summary: On June 14, Rev. Samuel R. Fisher married Daniel Miller and Susan Meyers, daughter of Samuel B. Meyers.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Samuel R. Fisher, Daniel W. Miller, Susan Meyers, Samuel B. Meyers)
(Column 4)
Summary: Mrs. Mary Kennedy died on June 9 at age 83.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Mary Kennedy)
(Column 4)
Summary: Joshua Bitner, son of Jacob Bitner, died on June 10 at age 9 years, 6 months and 20 days.
(Names in announcement: Joshua Bitner, Jacob Bitner)
(Column 4)
Summary: Captain Samuel R. McKesson died on June 18 at age 42 years, 6 months and 6 days.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Samuel R. McKesson)
(Column 4)
Summary: Mary E. StClair, wife of William StClair, died on June 2 at age 19 years, 11 months and 3 days.
(Names in announcement: Mary E. StClair, William StClair)

-Page 06-

Description of Page: Dispatches reporting on troop movement and skirmishing in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Petersburg, Virginia, columns 1-3, classified ads, columns 3-6

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Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-6

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Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-6

Latest News by the Mails!
(Column 1)
Summary: Letters from Secretary of War Edwin Stanton describing the movement of the Army of the Potomac south of Richmond across the Chickahominy and James Rivers.
(Names in announcement: , )
Full Text of Article:

From The Army of the Potomac.
Official Despatch--The Army Crosses the James River--Gen. Grant at Bermuda Landing.

Washington, June 15, 7 A. M.

To Major General Dix, New York:

The movement of the Army of the Potomac to the south side of Richmond, across the Chickahominy and James Rivers, has progressed far enough to admit of the publication of some general facts without danger of a premature disclosure.

After several days preliminary preparations, the movement commenced on Sunday night. The 18th Army Corps, under command of General Smith, marched to the White House, and then embarked on transports for Bermuda Landing.

General Wright's corps and Burnside's moved to Jones' Bridge where they crossed the Chickahominy and marched thence to Charles City, on the James River. Hancock's and Warren's corps crossed the Chickahominy at Long Bridge, and marched thence to Wilcox's, on the James River. The James River was crossed by the army at Powhatan Point.

A despatch from Gen. Grant, dated Monday evening, 5 1/2 o'clock, headquarters, Wilcox's Landing, states that the advance of our troops had reached that place, and would commence crossing at City Point that night; that no fighting was reported during the movement, except a little cavalry skirmishing. Yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon at 1 o'clock, Gen. Grant was at Bermuda Landing.

In a despatch from him dated there, of that date, he says, "our forces will commence crossing the James River to-day. The enemy show no signs of yet having brought troops to the south side of Richmond. Our movements from Coal [sic] Harbor to the James River has been made with great celerity, and so far without loss or accident."

An unofficial despatch dated at headquarters, 5.20 P.M., says that Smith's corps was coming in, 5,000 having already landed.

A despatch from General Sherman's headquarters, dated at 3 P.M., yesterday, near Kenasaw, states that the General is in front, advancing his lines on Kenasaw.

Another unofficial despatch dated at 9 P.M., yesterday reports some advance to-day; that Thomas had gained ground, and that one rebel brigade is nearly surrounded.

It further reports that the rebel General Polk was killed to-day. His body was sent to Marietta.

In another part of General Sherman's East Mississippi division, our forces have not met with the success which has attended competent commanders.

Gen. Washburne, at Memphis, reports that the expedition, consisting of 3,000 cavalry and 5,000 infantry, and 16 pieces of artillery, sent out from there a few days ago, under command of Gen. Sturgis, encountered a large rebel force on the 10th inst., under command of Forrest, at Guntown, on the railroad running south from Corinth, and after a severe fight, in which our loss in killed and wounded was heavy, our forces were worsted; and at the last accounts Sturgis was at Colliersville, retreating towards Memphis. He further states that, with the troops that had lately arrived. Memphis is safe.

General Sherman, having received the news of Sturgis' defeat, reports that he has already made arrangement to repair the disaster, and has placed General A. J. Smith in command, who will resume the offensive immediately.

No other military intelligence has been received by this Department since my last telegram.

Edwin M. Stanton
Secretary of War

Reported Capture of Petersburg.

Fortress Monroe, June 16,
via Baltimote [sic], June 17.

Yesterday morning at 4 o'clock the 18th army corps, under the command of Gen. W. F. Smith, left City Point and marched into Petersburg.

Gen. Kautz's cavalry, comprising the 5th and 11th Pennsylvania and District of Columbia regiments, attacked the intrenchments of the rebels outside of Petersburg, and at 11 A. M. succeeded in carrying them and entered the city. They were supported by the advanced guard of General Smith's forces.

The troops were, at last accounts, marching in the direction of Petersburg as fast as they landed.

The crossing of James River by the army is described by those who had the good fortune of viewing it, as one of the most brilliant scenes of the war.

An endless stream of transports, barges and schooners have been making their way up the James River to the new base of supplies all day to-day.

Despatch from Secretary Stanton, to General Dix.

Washington, June 17, 1864.

To Major Gen. Dix:

The following despatches have been received by this Department:

City Point, June 15.

via Jamestown Island, 5.30 A. M., 16.

Smith with 15,000 men, attacked Petersburg this morning.

General Butler reports from his observatory, near Bermuda Hundred, that there has been sharp fighting, and that the troops and trains of the enemy were, as he writes, moving from the city across the Appomattox, as if retreating.

Hancock is not near enough to render Gen. Smith any aid.

The Richmond papers have nothing to indicate a suspicioun of our crossing the James River. They expect to be attacked from the direction of Malvern Hill.

City Point, Va., 5.30 P.M.
June 15, 1864.

Our latest report from Smith was at four P.M. He had carried a line of Intrenchments at Beatty's House, the colored troops assaulting and carrying the rifle pits with great gallantry, but he had not yet carried the main line. He describes the rebel artillery fire as very heavy.

He expected to assault this line just before dawn. Hancock is within three miles of Gen. Smith.

City Point, Va., 7 A.M. June 16.
Via Jamestown Island, 11.45 A.M.

At 7.30 P.M. yesterday Smith assaulted and carried the principal line of the enemy before Petersburg, taking thirteen cannon, several stands of colors, and between three and four hundred prisoners. This line is two miles from Petersburg. Hancock got up and took position on Smith's left at three A.M. to-day. There was heavy firing in that direction from five to six o'clock. No report has been received yet.

Dont Hard Landing, Va., 1 P.M.
June 15, 1864.

After sending my despatch this morning from the heights southeast of Petersburg, I went over the conquered lines with Gen. Grant and the engineer officers. The workers are of the very strongest kind, more difficult to take than was on Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga. The hardest fighting was done by the colored troops. The forts they stormed were the worst of all. After the affair was over General Smith went to thank them and tell them he was proud of their courage and dash. He says they cannot be excelled as soldiers, and that hereafter he will send them in a difficult place as readily as the best white troops. They captured six out of the sixteen cannon which he took.

The prisoners he took were from Beauregard's command. Some of them said they had just crossed the James River above Drury's bluff.

I do not think any of Lee's army had reached Petersburg when Smith stormed it. They seem to be there this morning, however, and to be making arrangements to hold the west side of the Appomattox. The town they cannot think of holding, for it lies directly under our guns.

The weather continues splendid.

City Point, Va., June 16--4.15 P.M.

Gen. Butler reports from Bermuda Hundred that the enemy have abandoned the works in front of that place. His troops are now engaged in tearing up the railroad between Petersburg and Richmond.

The following despatch does not designate the hour, and it is supposed to be later than the preceding ones:

Jamestown, Va., June 16.

I came down from the pontoon above Powhattan with despatches for Secretary Stanton. Just as I left Capt. Pitkin reported to me that Petersburg was in our possession.

Nothing of recent date has been heard from Gen. Sheridan, but the Richmond Whig of the 15th contains a despatch from Gen. Lee, stating that Sheridan had been routed in an engagement with Fitz Lee and Hampton, losing 500 prisoners, and leaving his dead and wounded on the field.

From General Sherman, a despatch dated last night at nine o'clock, has been received. It only states the relative position of the forces. No serious engagement had yet occurred.

Edwin M. Stanton
Secretary of War.