Primary tabs



Afternoon Dispatches.

Highly Important from Army of the Potomac.



Numbers of the Foe Buried in Ruins


The Movement Across the James River a Ruse


The Rebel Raid Across the Potomac.


NEW YORK, August 1. — The morning papers have nothing later from Petersburg than our dispatches yesterday and but few additional details.

The following is of interest:

[Times' Special.]


Soon after daybreak as was practicable for troops to move in co-operation, an immense mine reaching far away under the enemy's line of earthworks in front of Burnside's corps was fired. The explosion was the signal for the discharge of every piece of artillery we have in position from the Appomattox to our extreme left. The effect was magnificent. Ninety-five pieces of ordnance fired so simultaneously that it seemed as if they might have been discharged by the pull of one lanyard.

The firing thus opened kept upon the same manner, with scarcely a perceptible lull, for at least an hour and a half, when it slackened to some extent.

The result of the explosion of the mine was the almost total annihilation of one regiment and the burying of three guns.

Under cover of the artillery, and pushing our advantage ground by suddenness of assault, the 9th corps advanced, taking possession of the works through the gap made by the explosion and driving the enemy to their second line, which crowns the hill tops east of town.

Nineteen of the 22d South Carolina were buried by the explosion, and have been dug out alive, though badly bruised and scratched, and some of them doubtless mortally injured. The attack they pronounce a surprise.

The mine was 400 feet long, constructed with two galleries diverging from the main passage, making three chambers, in which a train of powder 15 inches wide and deep. The effect of the explosion was very disastrous.

The grandeur of the artillery fire I have never seen surpassed. The enemy's artillery played but feeble. A very few minutes elapsed before the rebel lines were entirely shut from view by banks of smoke, and our gunners could only be guided in their work by having obtained proper range before.

Many of the shells from the front of the 18th corps must have struck far into the streets of Petersburg. From that direction a column of heavy black smoke arose soon after the opening of the fire, evidently from burning buildings.

After the rebel lines were pierced, they made a hurried movement to their left, and suffered heavily from an enfilading fire.

Gen. Ledlie's division, of Burnside's corps, led the attack, the 14th New York heavy artillery having the advance. About 100 prisoners, so far, have been brought into Burnside's headquarters. Cannonading is still [unknown] and the rebels hold their position obstinately. Our infantry has just received orders to advance.

[Herald's Special.]

The mine was to have been sprung at 3 o'clock this morning, and the Lieutenant General, accompanied by his staff, reached Burnside's headquarters about that hour. Meade and his staff also assembled at the same headquarters. The appointed hour for the explosion of the mine arrived, but for some reason did not take place. Everything moveable in the way of the troops had been placed in a position to move at the first signal.

The entire 2d corps was held in reserve but up to the hour of writing the dispatch they had not been called into action. At four o'clock clouds of dust were seen rising from the rebel entrenchments; this was followed by a general upheaving of earthworks, reaching probably 50 feet. The whole mass looked like a huge fountain of earth and dust, and formed a most imposing spectacle. Simultaneously with this explosion our batteries along the entire line, opened a most murderous and destructive fire on the rebel breastworks, and the infantry with deafening cheers rushed into the embankments of the enemy.

Constant cannonading, lasting now one hour and twenty minutes has been going on.

At six o'clock our valiant troops had captured and occupied the first line of rebel entrenchments.

Prisoners are constantly arriving from the front. Several of our wounded are also coming in. They report that the slaughter inflicted upon the enemy by the explosion and the accurate range of our shells from the guns and mortars, as terrible in the extreme.

So far victory is ours. The air is thick with flying missiles. We are pushing the enemy steadily and surely, and occupying his fortifications.

The World's special says the movement of the 2d corps across James river was a feint, as they were brought back during the darkness of Friday night to their old position.

Sheridan with a large force is operating around the rebel's right wing, and important results are anticipated.

The World's special from Frederick, July 31, says no rebel infantry had crossed the Potomac. Three regiments of cavalry, with five pieces of artillery, penetrated Pennsylvania as far as Chambersburg, and perhaps beyond.

Our cavalry, under Col. Lowell, held passes of South Mountain; also, Boonesboro.

The enemy have recrossed the Potomac and no force of rebels are now in Maryland.