From the New York Herald, 7/4/1864

THE SITUATION.

The most important war news today is the account of a raid by the rebels into Maryland. Mr. Stanton reports that the enemy were advancing upon Martinsburg and destroying the railroad, but says that the news was confused and conflicting. The press despatches of last night, however, affirm that General Sigel, after a severe fight of four or five hours at Bunker Hill, was compelled to evacuate Martinsburg, which he did in good order, and retired to Harper's Ferry, where he now holds a position on Maryland Heights. It was reported the attacking party was a portion of Ewell’s corps. The railroad property and some supply trains for General Hunter were got off to a place of safety. Great alarm existed in Hagerstown and Frederick. A despatch, received in Baltimore at five o’clock last evening, states fighting had been going on all day near Leetown, about ten miles from Harper’s Ferry and three miles to the left of the railroad, between a force of the enemy that was moving in the direction of the Shepherdstown pike and the command which General Sigel had left there to occupy the place. Both forces engaged were small, and it is officially reported that our troops there had repelled successfully all attacks. All freight and passenger trains from the West were worked successfully through on Saturday night; but no express train for the West left Baltimore yesterday evening. At last accounts no injury had been done to the road or bridges. Mr. Stanton announces a despatch from General Grant’s headquarters at nine o’clock yesterday morning, relating to the results obtained by General Wilson’s late cavalry raid to the Danville Railroad. He says that sixty miles of railroad were thoroughly destroyed, and that the Danville road could not be repaired in less than forty days, even if all the materials were on hand. He has destroyed all the blacksmith’s shops where the rails might be straightened, and all the mills where scantlings for sleepers could be sawed. Thirty miles of the South Side road were destroyed. The despatch states that General Wilson’s loss of property is a small wagon train used to carry ammunition, his ambulance train and twelve cannon. The horses of the artillery and wagons were generally brought off. Two of the cannon were removed from their carriages, the wheels of which were broken and thrown into the water; and one other gun had been disabled by a rebel shot breaking it trunnions before it was abandoned. He estimates his total loss at seven hundred and fifty to one thousand men, including those lost from Kautz’ division. Our correspondents announce the arrival of General Kautz’ command at the camp near Petersburg on Thursday, and of General Wilson at Cabin Point, on the Surrey Court House road, on Friday morning. Intelligence, however, was then received that Wilson lost sixteen guns, which had to be spiked and abandoned. Our correspondent at General Butler headquarters says that when General Kautz passed through, on the 29th ult., on his return, it was reported that General Wilson had lost seventeen pieces of artillery, including four howitzers. The full particulars of the expedition are very graphically given by our correspondents today.

Additional news from General Hunter’s force yesterday informs us that he had arrived at Charlestown, Va., with his whole command, after a march of five hundred miles through mountain roads. His work was bravely done. He defeated the enemy in five different engagements, destroyed government property to the value of five millions of dollars of our money, including factories, tanyards, mills, foundries and furnaces in the Shenandoah valley, as far as Lynchburg. The most important establishments were a branch of the Tredegar Ironworks at Buchanan, working five hundred hands, and the Virginia Military Institute, at Lexington, with its capacious buildings and magazine, containing a large supply of ammunition, arms, &c. All the railroads and the canal on the route were totally destroyed.

The rebels made a night attack on General Ledlie's earthworks, which are in course of construction in front of Petersburg, at ten o’clock on Friday night. They charged in great force, but were driven back by a destructive fire from our men. Everything was quiet next morning and still remains so. A large fire was observed in Petersburg on Friday night, and the fire bells were distinctly heard by our troops. The rebels are reinforcing the city. A large corps arrived and got into position on Saturday in front of our left.

A despatch from General Sherman, dated at Marietta, Ga., yesterday, was received by Mr. Stanton, announcing the evacuation of Kenesaw and Marietta by the enemy, and the occupation of both points by our forces. General Sherman says that General Thomas is moving down the main road towards the Chattahoochie, and McPherson towards the mouth of the Nickajack, on the Sandtown road. Our cavalry is on the extreme flanks. Marietta is almost entirely abandoned by its inhabitants. More than a mile of the railroad iron has been removed between the town and the foot of the Kenesaw. The fight for the occupation of Kenesaw is said by our correspondent to have been very severe, lasting two hours.

Our news from South Carolina is to the 30th ult, by the steamship Fulton. Another rebel ram is said to have been launched at Charleston. The rebel cruiser Alabama and three others were expected to make their appearance off Hilton Head. Admiral Dahlgren had received information of the fact. All was quiet in the harbor, the batteries at Cummings’ Point throwing occasional shells into Charleston. Southern papers, which reached General Foster, say that Mr. Memminger has been succeeded as Secretary of the Treasury by a Mr. Furman, President of one of the Charleston banks.

Dates from New Orleans to the 25th ult. report the starting of an expedition under General Grover, with ten thousand men, up the Mississippi. When last heard from he had landed at Fort Adams and got fifteen miles into the interior. The object of the expedition is not related. General Marmaduke, with a large force of rebels - put down at twenty thousand, but of course exaggerated p was on the Washita river, according to some reports, while others affirm that he was crossing the Arkansas, with a force of eight thousand.

 

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