April 1, 1865: The Richmond Daily Dispatch scoffs

View of Lynchburg canal in Richmond

The Richmond Daily Dispatch can hear the cannons from the battle, but they don’t believe there’s really an attack going on. This is the last issue they’ll put out until December.


The News.
The Richmond and Petersburg lines.

All continues, and seems likely to continue, quiet on the north side of James river. The enemy are expending their activity on our right.

Immediately at Petersburg, in front of General Gordon’s lines, there has been no stir since the feu d’eufer of Wednesday night. The performances of that night are quite sufficient to last a considerable length of time. The heroes of that dark and sulphurous, but bloodless, field can afford to rest on their laurels for the present. General Lee, in his official report of this affair, which we received late Thursday night, and published yesterday, says:

“General Gordon reports that the enemy, at 11 o’clock P. M.yesterday, advanced against a part of his line, defended by Brigadier-General Lewis, but was repulsed.”

We have quoted this dispatch to call attention to the fact that, whereas it says the enemy advanced at 11 o’clock Wednesday night, the cannonade, as every one in Petersburg and Richmond, who is not stone deaf, knows, began before 10 o’clock, and was at its fiercest before 11. The report to the contrary notwithstanding, we cannot help adhering to our opinion, expressed yesterday, that there was no attack at all. Of course we do not think our officers willfully misrepresented the case, but that, in the shadow of that darkest of nights, they were mistaken. We look with interest to the Yankee account of the affair, which we will receive to-morrow. We should not be surprised if they have a flaming account of a repulse of the rebels, with the usual “horrible slaughter.”

Affairs on the right.

The enemy have pushed a heavy column beyond our right, southwest of Petersburg, but we have heard nothing from that quarter that we can rely upon as authentic since General Lee’s report of Thursday [published yesterday], in which he says “there was skirmishing near Dinwiddie Courthouse yesterday [Wednesday], without decisive result.”

The Petersburg Express of yesterday says Grant’s long-contemplated movement to extend his left towards the Southside railroad has begun, and that he has forty thousand men on the field.

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