Foreign and Colonial IntelligenceThe Illustrated London News, vol. 45, no. 1274, p. 182.
August 20, 1864
General Grant has sustained a severe repulse at Petersburg. The North estimate their entire losses at nearly 6000 in killed, wounded, and captured.
Grant had conceived the idea of undermining a fort which was considered the key of the Confederate intrenchments. The works were begun on the 28th of June, under the direction of Colonel Pleasants, a Pennsylvanian engineer of repute; and on the 28th of July all was ready. A tunnel 500 ft. in length, 5½ ft. in height, and 4 ft. in width at the bottom, had been bored. The mine under the fort was charged with six tons of gunpowder. When the work was finished, Grant, in order to distract the attention of the enemy, transferred a portion of his army (as stated in our last Number) to the north side of the James River; but on the 29th of July they returned. Early in the morning of Saturday, the 30th, the mine was exploded, and the fort, shattered into fragments, rose high into the air and came down in a shower of ruins, destroying the whole garrison, consisting of a body of South Carolina troops, in the wreck. Hereupon a strong body of Federal troops advanced, under cover of a tremendous fire from their own artillery, and captured the mined earthwork and part of the first line of the intrenchments. To support this force and to seize the inner lines, two columns of negro troops, under General Burnside, were pushed on. But the attempt was vain. The inner line of works commanded the outer, and the assailants were crushed with a storm of shot and shell. Presently the Confederates, leaving the shelter of their intrenchments, charged down upon the enemy, and the negro troops broke and fled, a demoralised mob, to the rear; their officers, who strove in vain to rally them, being nearly all cut off. The Confederates swept on with irresistible fury and charged the white troops as successfully as they had charged the black. The loss inflicted was terrible. General Bartlett, with his whole Staff, and about 1500 Federal soldiers, were made prisoners. At last the Federals found shelter within their own defences. It is stated that the Federals, in their first rush, after the explosion of the mine, took four hundred prisoners. Excepting this and the men killed in the fort, the South does not seem to have suffered any serious loss. On the 31st ult. President Lincoln went to Fort Monroe, and had an interview with Grant. On the 2nd inst., the Federal dead were buried, a short truce having been made for that purpose. Rumours are rife that Grant is about to be transferred to Washington; but there is no sort of evidence that he has any intention of abandoning his position on the south side of the James River.
The Confederates have recrossed into Maryland in force and occupied Hagerstown. There is no definite information, however, as to their movements. A small body of their cavalry has burned the greater portion of Chambersburg, in Pennsylvania, because a required contribution was not paid. The Governor of Pennsylvania has called for 30,000 militia for immediate service. Great alarm exists among the population in the Cumberland Valley. The Pennsylvanian farmers are driving off their stock.
It has been non-officially reported from Washington that, on the 27th ult., General Hood made another attack upon Sherman's intrenched position at Atlanta, but was repulsed with a loss of nearly 1000 in killed, the Federal loss being a little over 600 in killed and wounded. Confederate accounts state that on the night of the 24th ult. General Sherman attempted to break Hood's lines, but was repulsed by General Cheatham after a sharp fight, lasting an hour. The Federal cavalry under Stoneman are said to have cut the railroad communication between Macon and Atlanta; but General Hood reports that Stoneman had been captured with 500 of his men. Another paragraph says that General M'Call's division, while retreating, was routed, and a large portion of his forces captured.
It is stated, non-officially, that Admiral Farragut's fleet of ironclads had passed the forts at Mobile, and was preparing to attack the city.
Some members of the committee on the Confederate States have issued a report charging President Lincoln with usurpation of power and seeking to secure re-election by unfair means.
Richmond papers announce the re-election of Governor Vance in North Carolina--Holden, the peace candidate, receiving but few votes. The Southern papers regard Vance's election as an endorsement by he people of North Carolina of the policy of the Richmond Government.
Gold has gone up to 260.