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Grant's First Petersburg Offensive Part 1

The Herald Despatches

Operations of the Second Corps

Mr. Finley Anderson's Despatch

Battlefield Near Petersburg,
Friday, June 17, 1864 - 11 p.m.

The attack on the enemy by Hancock's corps last evening was intended to be supported by a grand assaulting column of part of Burnside's corps;but just as his column was moving out, near midnight, the enemy made a demonstration on his lines, whereupon he suspended the assault until quiet should be restored, and when he would be enabled by a sudden dash to take the enemy by surprise. That Burnside did this morning in a handsome manner, gaining a portion of the fortifications not previously carried by us, and capturing four guns and some five hundred prisoners.

The Second Corps Joins In - Thursday Evening's Operations

In this operation he was efficiently assisted by a portion of Barlow's division of the Second Corps. Hancock's advance last evening was very successful on the right, where Birney gained the crest in front of part of his division; but Barlow was not quite so successful on the left; for, although he took the rifle pits occupied by the enemy's skirmishers, the main line of fortifications proved too strong for his advance brigade so that counting in with the killed and wounded the loss of a few hundred prisoners it can be correctly said that the advantage which we gained was not so great as was first supposed. When Barlow's division was marching in columns over the open plain, and was forming in the fields, it was exposed to a very severe enfilading fire from the enemy's artillery. The fire increased as the troops moved forward in line of battle to the assault.

Our Object - What Was Done

The object to be obtained was to break the rebel line, and to take other redoubts and works in the chain of fortifications, so that all the works, save those on the flank, would then be in our hands. Immediately after
the enemy's artillery opened on Barlow's division on the left our artillery along the breastworks commenced firing into the enemy's position, so as to cover the advance of our skirmishers and supporting lines. Then Birney's line, which was strengthened by detachments from Gibbon's division and Smith's corps, gradually advanced. He soon drove away the enemy skirmishers and took the crest they occupied. The opposing lines of battle had a sharp contest for a time, but the enemy was found to be strongly intrenched on an inner line. This inner line was not a series of continuous fortifications, but field works thrown up in consequence of the loss of the more important works, already in our possession. The left of Birney's line being considerably exposed,

General Barlow was directed to temporarily close to the right, until other troops should be brought up to hold the gap.

Burnside's Co-Operation - Direction of the Struggle

In the meantime a brigade of Burnside's corps was sent for, and was subsequently put in position at that point. General Barlow's division advanced in splendid style under that severe artillery fire and soon General Miles' brigade was engaged with the advanced forces of the of the
enemy. General Miles drove them from the rifle pits and pushed on towards the stronger works. The remainder of the division was also immediately engaged, and suffered considerably from the severe opposing fire of both small arms and artillery. Burnside co-operated with Barlow in the attack. The fight was continued with vigor from six to nine o'clock, after which the firing gradually slackened. Barlow was informed that Burnside would furnish all the troops he wanted on the left, and that, if necessary, an assaulting column of five thousand men would soon be organized. Barlow believed that with the assistance of such an assaulting column the works could be carried that night. Accordingly Burnside was ordered to prepare his troops for an assault, in column, to be made as soon as they were well in hand. But the enemy opening on Burnside compelled him to defer his intended assault, which however, was successfully made just at the break of day this morning.

Our Skirmishers Captured

Last evening the whole skirmish line in front of a part of Barlow's position and consisting of detachments from the Seventh New York Heavy Artillery regiment, which is now acting as infantry, were captured together with their colors. They were at the time in the rebel works to
which the skirmish line had advanced. Barlow lost several hundred men prisoners.

Burnside Recaptures the Lost Colors

The two flags taken by the enemy last night were retaken by General Burnside in his assault this morning.

Friday's Operations

The Second Corps has not been heavily engaged to day. The lines of the command were strengthened and the troops placed so as to be available at every point. The position occupied by the enemy in front of Birney was found to be so strong that it was not deemed advisable to push him forward. Occasional artillery and picket firing however continued in his front throughout the day. General Gibbon's division, on the right of Birney's, was also kept in its established line. But Barlow, on the left, was ordered forward to attack in conjunction with General Burnside, and co-operated with him efficiently. His front line, consisting of the First Brigade, commanded by General Miles, and the Third, Colonel McDougal, was pushed forward on Burnside's right to about the same position that it occupied in the front last night before it was withdrawn. With the exception of the support given to Burnside by a part of Barlow's division the Second Corps took little active part in the operations throughout the day.

The Enemy Feeling Our Position - Prospects

About nine o'clock this evening the enemy came out in considerable force in front of Birney's line and in a short but sharp attack felt the strength of his position. Birney drove the rebels back, and now finally holds his lines, which are very strong. Maneuvers on both sides would
indicate that a general engagement is very imminent.

General Hancock

is still suffering so severely from the condition of his old Gettysburg wound that to day he has been unable to sit in the saddle, and therefore has not been in a position to personally superintend the operations in the field.


Operations of the Ninth Corps

Mr. J.C. Fitzpatrick's Despatch

Ninth Army Corps, Near Petersburg, Va.
June 17 - A.M.

The March to Petersburg

The march to Petersburg by our corps was accomplished in a very brief space of time. We left the vicinity of Charles City Court House on the evening of the 15th, crossing the James River, on the pontoon bridge at Wilson's Landing, and thence proceeded, by a forced night march, to this point, which was reached yesterday afternoon. The distance we came is some twenty-six miles, which was made in eighteen hours.

The Fighting

No respite, however, was granted our wearied column. The march terminated in a battle, which lasted several hours.

Potter's Division

had the lead of the corps, and on arriving here went immediately into position, forming on the left of Barlow's division of the Second Corps.

During the day the troops had been urged forward at the top of their speed. During the night they had been marched with a halt of only two hours, and now when their limbs ached with fatigue, and their eyelids were heavy with sleep they were brought face to face with the enemy.

The Ninth Corps

though of a veteran nucleus in its organization, is composed mainly of new troops, upon whom the operations of the past few days have reflected the highest credit. Their powers of endurance have certainly manifested themselves. The brunt of the fighting in our corps yesterday was done by Potter's division, but as the other divisions were in position, and under fire, it would be unjust not to give them mention in the glorious record of the battles before Petersburg.

General Wilcox's Division

was in support of General Barlow, and was in turn supported by the First Division, General Ledlie. "In support" and "In Reserve" are terms which to some imply positions of safety. On the contrary, supporting columns are often subjected to a most severe fire, as, owing to the wild and
random nature of volley firing and the overshooting of artillery, the line receives the missiles intended for their comrades in advance. An old soldier will tell you that nothing is more trying tothe nerves and courage than to remain inactive under fire.


The vicinity of the fighting is an open and rolling space of ground, beyond which there is a belt of timber, on the edge of the city. From the higher points of land the steeples and housetops of Petersburg are in sight.

Charge of Griffin's Brigade

While the main attack was made by the Second Corps, General Potter, after the disposition of our troops as above mentioned, pushed forward the Second Brigade, under Colonel Griffin, supported by the First under Colonel Curtin. After some slight skirmishing, and simultaneously with
the charge of Barlow, Griffin dashed across the open space and encountered the enemy, who advanced from their works, determined to meet him in line of battle. A volley, however, drove them back and by a gallant charge Griffin's men carried first the enemy's line of rifle pits. A desperate musketry fight now ensued, which was succeeded toward nightfall by another charge by Griffin's brigade, who carried the first line of the enemy's breastworks, which in their character were of formidable construction. The result was a victory of a most gratifying nature. The firing continued at intervals throughout the night. In this position were affairs as day dawned this morning.

Friday Morning - Other Charges and Works Carried

About four o'clock, the division of General Potter, supported by that of General Ledlie, moved further to the left, where the rebels still held possession of the first line of works. Here, by a gallant and desperate charge, the works were carried and we are now in complete ossession of their first line.

A Rebel Brigade and Several Guns Captured

One brigade of rebels, numbering some four hundred men, captured by General Potter who, in addition, captured nine pieces of artillery.

Our Loss

will amount to about five hundred killed and wounded.


There has been some heavy cannonading again this forenoon, but it is quiet as I write. We expect sharp work before nightfall. Perhaps June 17 will be the anniversary of another great battle.

Ninth Army Corps, Before Petersburg
June 17 - P.M.

The Battle of Friday

The day has closed upon another terrific conflict. Our corps has been engaged once more since morning, and again has victory crowned our efforts. The enemy have been driven from all their outer works and their possession of the city now depends upon a last and single line of defense.

The Cost of the Victory

The victory has been a costly one to us. Nearly fifteen hundred of our gallant boys now lie motionless in death or writhing in the agony of their wounds.

The Fight of the Morning

So fast do our engagements succeed each other that it would require the hands of Briarus to keep pace in recording the details. I sent you this morning a brief and hastily written account of the gallant fight of Potter's division. In the hurry of preparing my last letter, I was unable to speak as fully as I desired of the achievement, and the
description of another battle now crowds upon my attention. The charge of last night by the Second Corps and the division of General Potter of our corps resulted in driving the enemy from a portion only of their first line of breastworks. The Second and Ninth Corps, the advance of
the Army of the Potomac, were the only columns in position to attack.

The remaining corps were still behind on the road; consequently the breadth of our The first brigade inside the rebel works held only a portion of the line.

The enemy were still in possession on both sides of them and those who had been driven out were in advance, firing from another line of rifle pits. A terrible cross fire from both flanks and a direct fire from the front harassed the brigade who held on to their prize with a tenacity
which secured the ultimate victorious result. The brigades of Pierce and Marshall came to the rescue, however, and drove the rebels from the flanks. It was a most terrific encounter. The rebels fully comprehended the necessity of maintaining their ground and the fight was a hand to
hand one across the breastworks in which muskets were crossed and the combattants bayoneted on either side. It was a real struggle in which the men came face to face, hand to hand, and in which the result was determined by persistent courage. Yankee steel triumphed and the rebels
fell back once more, leaving us in possession of the works and of their wounded, and several hundred prisoners. The ditch inside was filled with their wounded, whose bayonet wounds gave ample evidence of the terrific struggle.

Colonel Marshall

was wounded during the engagement. A minie ball struck a rock near by, flattened itself and glancing off, struck him in the thigh, inflicting a severe contusion.

General Ledlie Reinforced

Hartranft's brigade, in the meantime, after falling back from the right, reformed in rear of Colonel Christ's brigade and took position as support, while Colonel Christ reinforced the line of General Ledlie where ever supports were needed.

Colonel Christ - His Courage and His Wound

I cannot help paying a passing compliment to the gallantry and coolness of Colonel Christ, who handled his men in the most admirable manner. His quick eye scoured the battlefield, and where the enemy seemed the most determined and where our men needed assistance, he quickly dispatched his regiments. He amply redeemed the fortunes of the Third Division, and it
is to be regretted that his success was purchased at the price of a painful wound. A bullet struck him in the side of the head, just behind the left ear and traversed about three inches of his skull. He is perfectly conscious and composed, despite the nature of his injury and the surgeons are inclined to believe that the brain is unharmed.

The Fight on Friday

It is a singular coincidence that General Burnside's battles have been most frequently fought on Friday. To day adds another to the list. June 17 is rendered doubly historic.

Our Artillery

Let me not pass over the artillerists, who so nobly did their share of to day's work. I will not enumerate all the batteries engaged. Suffice it to say that all did their duty. Twenty pounders and ten pounders , steel and brass, parrots and howitzers. The artillery part of the fight was as terrific as any of the war. It was one incessant roar of discharges and continuous scream of missiles.

Fought Like Devils

The combattants fought like devils. It seemed as if they had lost all attributes of humanity and sought each others destruction like fiends incarnate. The war has not afforded an instance of more desperate fighting.

Our Antagonists

From the reports of prisoners we learn that the divisions of Generals Ransom and Bushrod Johnson constituted a portion of the force opposed to us. The Thirty-Fifth North Carolina Regiment was literally cut to pieces - as prisoners from it state - also a Tennessee regiment whose number hs escaped my memory.

Death of Major Morton

Major Morton, engineer officer on General Burnside's staff, was killed early in the action. He was placing a brigade in position when he received the fatal round. The bullet entered his breast above the heart and came out on the right of the spine, causing death almost instantly. A
man more devoted in his patriotism or more energetic in the discharge of his duties does not exist in the army.

Major James St. Clair Morton was born in the year 1829 in the city of Philadelphia and educated at West Point, where he graduated in 1851, second in a class numbering forty-two soldiers. His first military duty was performed in Charleston, S.C. in 1851-52, as assistant engineer in
the completion of the harbor fortifications. In 1860 Major Morton was selected by the Navy Department to make an exploration of the Chiriqui Country, South America, to test the practicability of an inter-ocean railroad route across the isthmus between the present Panama and Nicaragua routes. On his return he was placed in charge of the entire work of the Washington Acquaduct. In 1861 he was sent to the Gulf of Mexico for the purpose of putting the fortifications of the Dry Tortugas in a state of defense. In May 1862 he reported for duty to General Halleck and was assigned as Chief Engineer of the Army of the Ohio under
General Buell. When General Buell's troops marched to Kentucky, he was ordered to remain at Nashville where, in conjunction with Generals Negley and Palmer, he superintended the defenses of the city. When the Army of
the Cumberland was given to the charge of General Rosecrans he was placed in command of the Pioneer Brigade. At the Battle of Stone River and numerous other occasions he proved that he was as brave as he was skillfull.

Major Morton was made a lieutenant on July 1, 1856 and on the 5th of August, 1861 he was promoted to captain. He was nominated for a brigadier general of volunteers to date from Nov. 29, 1862, and was chief engineer to General Rosecrans until October 10, 1863. He was then mustered out as a general and ordered to report to General Burnside as
chief engineer of the Ninth Corps, with the rank of major. He has acted gallantly during the whole of the present campaign, and has given his life for his country while still a young man.

Miscellaneous Incidents

The Fifty-Ninth Massachusetts Regment captured one stand of rebel colors. Captain Bean of the same regiment was wounded near the shoulder and upon being informed by the surgeons that it was necessary to amputate the arm, exclaimed, "All right. I'll seek an appointment on Pierce's staff."

Colonel Pierce, commanding Second Brigade, has only one arm. The other he made a present of to the rebels at Malvern Hill. This explains the
point of the remark. The incident ? ? indifference under circumstances of the most painful seriousness.

Ninth Corps June 18 - 6 a.m.

Musketry Firing Of Saturday

There was some sharp musketry firng during the night. There was cannonading about daylight this morning, but it is all quiet as I write.


The Eighteenth Corps

Mr. J.A. Brady's Despatch

Headquarters, Eighteenth Army Corps
In the Field, June 16, 1864

The March for Petersburg

At one o'clock on the morning of the 15th the column of Major General Smith - only arrived at Bermuda Hundred on the previous night - set out for Petersburg. Kautz's cavalry division took the lead, and before daylight the entire command had crossed the pontoon bridge across the
Appomattox above Point of Rocks, and was in full march for the rebel city. Kautz, pushing rapidly ahead, drove the rebel pickets before him until he arrived at their first line, when he turned to the left and moved to the fortifications on the other side of the city.

General Smith's Troops

General Smith had under his command two divisions of his own corps and Hink's division of negroes, besides the cavalry division of Kautz.

Following after the cavalry the negroes arrived second on the battle field and were seen before the first line of rebel works, along the front of which the cavalry had passed some time before.

The Negroes

General Hinks formed his command in line of battle, and advanced upon the rebels, Duncan commanding his right and Holman his left. The result of the charge was waited for with great with great anxiety. The majority of the whites expected that the colored troops would run but the stable
forces astonished everybody by their achievements. With a wild yell that must certainly have struck terror into the hearts of their foe, the Twenty-Second and Fifth United States Colored Regiments, commanded by Colonels Kidder and Conner, charged under a hot fire of musketry and artillery over the rebel ditch and parapet, and drove the enemy before them, capturing a large brass field piece and taking entire possession of their works.

The First Rebel Loss

was entirely unexpected, as they had nothing of the kind put up at this place when Gilmore made his unsuccessful advance a few days since. They had evidently not completed the works here. An unfinished abatis, composed of only sixteen sharpened trees was found by the rebels of not
the least service.

The Negroes in the Works

When the negroes found themselves within the works of the enemy no words could paint their delight. Numbers of them kissed the gun they had captured with extravagent satisfaction and a feverish anxiety was manifested to go ahead and charge some more of the rebel works. A number
of the colored troops were wounded and a few killed in the first charge.

A large crowd congregated with looks of unutterable admiration, about Sergeant Richardson and Corporal Wobey of the Twenty-Second United States Colored Regiment, who had carried the colors of their regiment and had been the first men in the works.

The Rebel Force

The rebel force had been believed to be merely Petersburg militia and but little doubt had been entertained of our being able to enter Petersburg with the same ease as Gilmore could have done it on the last occasion. His attempt we found however had prepared the enemy and additional works and additional men were found between us and the city we coveted.

Brooks Advances

Immediately after the negroes had got into position, and were waiting orders to charge the work they afterwards carried, Brooks' division began to make its appearance, and in a very short interval of time was in position on their right and moving forward to flank the enemy to turn his
left, while Hinks charged his front. Unexpectedly to everybody however the darkies successfully carried the rebel position before Brooks' veterans could interfere, and they were in consequence not engaged until the grand fight in the evening. They lost many slightly wounded throughout the day from the enemy's bullets and from heavy artillery
firing which they had to sustain while getting into position. It would require more than a heavy shelling however to drive back Brooks and the gallant soldier held his position, and carried out General Smith's orders
throughout the day with his usual systematic coolness.

Martindale's Division

which had to take another road after crossing the pontoon, and thus compelled to make a circuitous march along the winding Appomattox, was not on the enemy's front until near midday.

The Line Formed

General Smith gradually formed his line of battle along the whole rebel front, and about noon the rapid discharges of Kautz's howitzers and the far off cheering and imperceptible discharges of his carbines, as the cavalry charged on foot, showed us that this splendid and successful officer was making a desperate effort to carry the massive in his front.

All through the afternoon Brooks, on the centre, and Martindale and Hinks, on his flanks, were skirmishing with the enemy, but owing to the formidable character of the rebel works, and the difficult nature of the ground, it was only with the utmost difficulty that the troops could properly be disposed for charging effectively.

The Outer Works Taken

A simultaneous advance by the three infantry divisions, after a desperate fght, carried the enemy's outer line, and we succeeded in getting a good position on which to mass our artillery so as to operate on their main works, which were discovered to be strong earthworks, flanked here and
there by massive earth forts. Beauregard has evidently not forgotten his engineering skill, and every position was admirably selected.

The Artillery Commander

The artillery was under the direction of Captain Follet, chief of that arm in this corps, and was composed of --- pieces, some of which were magnificent rifled guns. Thompson's, James' and Boise's batteries were soon in position on the high ground, immediately in front of Brooks, between the City Point and Jordan roads, and commenced a succession of artillery volleys that drowned every other sound, and completely silenced the rebel guns. Their discharges filled the air with smoke and dust that
obscured all view.

The Grand Charge

Night was rapidly approaching when the charge was finally ordered by General Smith. At half past five P.M. Brooks advanced in the centre with the Thirteenth New Hampshire, Eighth Connecticut, Ninety-Second and One Hundred and Eighteenth New York of Burnham's brigade on his front. When they approached the rebel works they for the first time realized their formidable chracter.

General Burnham

however, dauntlessly pushed on and the event justified his actions through the ditches and moats and clambered the high walls with a loud cheer, and the demoralized rebels fled before him. In five minutes he had carried their works and captured six guns, a flag, and two hundred
and forty prisoners.

General Martindale's Action

Martindale on the right swept over the open country with Stannard leading and carrying the rebel position, captured three guns and a number of prisoners.

General Hinks

by a masterly series of maneuvers and desperate fighting had captured a portion that we now examine with astonishment. General Grant, viewing the works to day, expressed himself greatly astonished. After the line
had been carried the General rode along the front of his victorious soldiers and was greeted with loud and continued cheers. This success, when it is considered with what little loss it was accomplished, and when the enormous strength and importance of the rebel works are properly
viewed, is undoubtedly one of the greatest triumphs of the war. Strange to say, with all his rare fighting qualities, "Baldy Smith's" first consideration has always been the lives of his soldiers and the most desperate enterprises are accomplished under his command with a most
disproportionely small loss on our side.

The Enemy's Shelling

was miserably inaccurate, the shells falling wide of their mark and only on rare occasions inflicting damage.


Operations of the Cavalry

Francis C. Long's Despatch

Headquarters, First Brigade, Third Division
Cavalry Corps, Near St. Mary's Church, Va.
June 16 - a.m.

General Wilson's Cavalry

The 3rd Division is again busy with the enemy, but this time it covers the rear of our advancin army, holding the rebels in check till our army and trains can be transported either up or across the James River.

Lee Puzzled

That Lee was puzzled to account for the late movement Grant has executed is obvious to every one. Instead of wasting his strength at Bermuda Hundred, as the probable place Grant was aiming at, he still adhered to the idea that we were intending to give him battle in the swamps of the
Chickahominy and in the forests lying to the westward towards White Oak Bridge. Acting under this very reasonable impression, he formed his line in advantageous positions in the almost impassable morasses, and in
the heavy timber in that section with his left resting, it is supposed, in the neighborhood of Baltimore Cross Roads and his right extending to Curl's Neck on the James opposite the Point of Rocks.

A Reconnoisance in Force

At daybreak yesterday morning, the 15th instant, Colonel Chapman in command of the 2nd Brigade went out to reconoitre the enemy's line towards Malvern Hill, while Colonel McIntosh of the 3rd Pennsylvania, commanding the 1st Brigade, marched a column in the direction of White
Oak Swamp for the same purpose. The 1st brigade passed St. Semary's Church, following the road to the swamp above alluded to, the 18th Pennsylvania cavalry, under Col. Bryan being in the advance. The enemy was encountered some distance this side of the swamp, and a brisk fight ensued between our men and his sharpshooters who, hidden entirely from view, poured a deadly fire into the 18th Pennsylvania, killing and wounding several almost at the first discharge. Not deeming it prudent to hold the position against so strong a line of the enemy's riflemen,
Colonel Bryan fell back in excellent order for about half a mile, and took a better position A section of artillery and a force of cavalry coming to his support, the rebels were held until a late hour in the afternoon when the force fell back to St. Semary's Church which had been occupied as a temporazry field hospital during the skirmish. After the
wounded had been removed to the rear the church was held as a picket station, the 1st Connecticut Cavalry under the command of Major George O. Marcy, being stationed at the church. Charles H. Munton, Company C of the Connecticut Cavalry regiment was killed, and James Betty of Company L
was captured.

We append the casualties in the 18th Pennsylvania.

Casualties in the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry

List shows 18th th Penn. 2 killed 20 wounded 10 missing = 32

Casualties in Other Regiments

1st Mass. Cav. - 0 killed 1 wounded 0 missing = 1

5th NY Cav. - 0 killed 9 wounded 0 missing = 9

2nd Ohio Cav. - 0 killed 2 wounded 0 missing = 2

4th Pa. Cav. - 0 killed 1 wounded 0 missing = 1

3rd NJ Cav. - 0 killed 1 wounded 0 missing = 1

Total: 2 killed 34 wounded 10 missing = 46

Operations of the 2nd Brigade

The 2nd Brigade advancing towards Malvern Hill in two columns, the right going by Phil1lips' House and the left following the Turkey Creek Road at
Malvern Hill. The columns connected, and with the assistance of a gun boat that cooperated with them, they succeeded in ousting a considerable force of the enemy from the hill. Two regiments dismounted and deployed as skirmishers and ultimately took position on the hill and discovered that the corps of A.P. Hill and Pickett were in their immediate front. A perfect furor of excitement was raised in the rebel camps when Chapman's Brigade arrived at Malvern Hill.

Immense clouds of dust suddenly commenced raising in every direction, showing plainly that heavy bodies of troops had been put in motion. Malvern Hill was held until a large force of rebels came up, when our cavalry fell back as far as Turkey Creek, which place they still occupy. I regret that I have been unable to ascertain the casualties in the brigade and the details of the reconnoisance, but being with the other column at White Oak Swamp, it is impossible to do so at present.

This division of cavalry now pickets from the vicinity of Long Bridge on the Chickahominy to Harrison's Landing on the James, covering the entire rear of the Army of the Potomac.

Additional Particulars

Battery E of the 1st United States Artillery accompanied the 1st Brigade and rendered important service in front of White Oak Swamp. When the rebels left their rifle pits and advanced upon the 18th Pennsylvania, Lt. Maysadier, who commanded the battery, opened on them with canister
and soon drove them back to their intrenchments with considerable confusion. The enemy appeared to be in force, and our losses would have been extensive had it not been for the skillful manner in which Col.
McIntosh handled his men, taking much pains to keep them from the enemy's view.

The Very Latest

Mr. A. Davidson's Despatch

City Point, June 18 - 9 a.m.

Reports From Petersburg

There was heavy firing last night in the direction of Petersburg, no definite or reliable account of which has yet been received here.

Various rumors are afloat; one that Grant was bombarding Petersburg, another that a corps of Lee's army had attacked Butler.

General Butler Actively at Work

It is said that yesterday a portion of Butler's command advanced to the railroad, and destroyed four or five miles of track. It is also reported that he drove the enemy, captured several pieces of artillery and some hundred prisoners.

I have just come from Bermuda Hundred and can learn nothing reliable there.

The Mail Boat Fired Upon

The mail boat was fired into last night above Wilson's Landing. A gunboat soon cleaned the rebels out.

NY Herald June 20, 1864 p. 1 col. 1- 5