The war News.
Rumors from the front were abundant yesterday; yet it is a singular fact that the nearer the scene of operations to Richmond, the more difficult it is to obtain reliable accounts of the progress of events. We give ow such reports as we have received.
From General Lee's army.
At an early hour yesterday morning the sound of a heavy and rapid cannonade was heard from the direction of the lines, and a gentleman who passed near the scene informs us that the discharges of infantry for period were incessant. It is reported this engagement took place in front of General Hoke's division, which, being reinforced, drove the enemy back with considerable slaughter and captured 300 prisoners. We learn through a courier that the enemy came up in heavy force of infantry, supported by a battery, that our troops rushed forward, charged the battery, captured its and took stand of colors. It is stated that some prisoners, but that the enemy were fairly repulsed.
We also hear a report that an engagement took place below Gaines's Mill, with a similar result, and the capture of seventy wagons loaded with commissary stores, on their way from the White House to Grant's army.
We are not prepared to vouch for the truth of these reports entirely, though there is no doubt of the fact that in the fighting yesterday the advantage remained with the Confederates.
Large fires, five in number, and apparently some four or five miles apart, were seen yesterday in the direction of Old Church. The impression prevails that the enemy were burning the farm houses in that vicinity, though they may have been destroying their own stores.
The Yankees have torn up about five miles of the track of the Central Railroad (the New York World's correspondent claims eight) above Hewlett's, and rendered a good deal of the iron totally unfit for use. This was done in furtherance of their purpose to evacuate that line, and under the supposition that it would cut off one of our avenues of communication with the interior.
It is believed that the enemy now occupy Tunstall's Station, on the York River Railroad, twenty miles from Richmond. A picket who left the vicinity of the White House on Tuesday evening reports that the fields in the neighborhood of that place were literally alive with Yankee cavalry, placed there to cover the landing of Smith's forces from the transports.
A cavalry fight occurred on Tuesday evening near Cold Harbor, in which Major Cabell Flournoy, commanding the 6th Virginia cavalry, lost his life. His remains were brought in yesterday and forwarded to his home in Pittsylvania county. He was a son of the Hon. Thomas Stanhope Flournoy, of Halifax. It is stated that this regiment was on picket at the time, and that the enemy, succeeding in getting in its rear by a flank movement, delivered their fire at a distance of ten yards. Our men maintained their fire until their ammunition was exhausted, and then out their way through, bringing off their wounded.
We hear that Col. L. M. Keitt, commanding the 20th South Carolina regiment, was wounded yesterday.
We were unable to learn, at a late hour last night, anything from official sources of the situation of affairs at the front. We may, however, receive additional particulars by telegraph before going to press.
The enemy at Ashland.
A force of the enemy, consisting of cavalry, artillery, and infantry, mostly negro troops, made their appearance yesterday at Ashland, on the Richmond and Fredericksburg railroad, and it is currently reported that they burnt the buildings at that place. They came from the direction of Port Royal, Caroline county.
Since the above was written, we have learned from the telegraph operator, who reached the city last night, that the enemy's advance entered Ashland yesterday afternoon about 3 o'clock, when he prudently was reported on the way down having get as far as Hanover Junction. None of the troops seen by him were negroes. The Yankees, immediately on their fire to a blacksmith shop, and it is presumed that they finished their work of destruction by burning all the buildings in the place. At the same time skirmishing was going on between Ashland and Wickham's farm, and we regret to hear a report that Lieutenant Colonel Brown, of the Maryland Line, was shot through the head and killed.
From the Southside.
Comparative quiet prevails along our lines in Chesterfield county. A sharp skirmish took place on Tuesday on the south bank of the Appomattox, in Prince George county, between a portion of General Dearing's command and a force of the enemy's "nigger" troops. The enemy were strongly entrenched, with their right flank protected by gunboats, two of which moved up and participated in the fight. Our casualties were four killed and nine wounded--among the former, Lieutenant Tomlinson, of the 7th Confederate cavalry, and among the latter, Lieut. Col. Kennedy, of Col. Griffin's Georgia cavalry. The loss of the enemy was numerically about the same.