Sherman, Grant and Thomas.
Notwithstanding the air of mystery which the Richmond press have attempted to throw around the futile efforts of the rebel government to impede the advance of Gen. Sherman, there is evidence that he is marching on triumphantly toward the goal for which he set out. Gen. Grant, who never speaks without full warrant for his assertions, says that the Richmond papers now confess that Sherman will reach the sea coast in safety, and the next arrival from Hilton Head will probably bring information of his approach in that quarter. In spite of the boasting of the rebels, there is no evidence that he has yet met with disaster, or even serious opposition in any part of his march. He has, without doubt, thoroughly destroyed all the railroad lines on his route, thus completely severing Alabama and Mississippi from communication with Richmond. Gov. Brown has also been cut off from the eastern part of Georgia, and Mr. Wright, President of the Georgia Senate, has assumed to discharge the functions of the gubernatorial office in that quarter.
There are rumors of a formidable movement of Gen. Grant's army against Richmond, and it is intimated that there is a strong naval force in James river ready to co-operate with the land forces. At the hour of writing, however, we have no report of actual results, except that a strong cavalry reconnaissance had been made by Gen. Gregg south of Petersburg, apparently for the purpose of determining whether any considerable part of Lee's army was being sent against Sherman.
The dispatches in reference to the fight at Franklin, Tenn., as they came to us and appeared in the JOURNAL yesterday morning, belittled that affair. The fighting seems to have been of the most sanguinary character, and the rebel losses enormous, being estimated at 5,000 to 6,000, of which 1,000 were prisoners. Our own loss is put down at 700 to 1,000. Gen. A.J. Smith has reached Nashville and reinforced Thomas with his veterans. Gen. Schofield has fallen back from Franklin, which judging from the battle on Wednesday, showing his ability to maintain his position, would seem not to have been an enforced retreat. There are some intimations that a strong fleet of Union gunboats are ascending the Tennessee with the design of destroying Hood's pontoons and cutting off his retreat. If this is accomplished, then the "tug of war" will have commenced and the fate of his army will be decided north of the Tennessee.
The "situation" at Richmond, and in Georgia and Tennessee increases in interest, and further developments will be awaited with intense solicitude.