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Cfre JiflMers' Journal.
WEDNESDAY MORNING, OCT. 12 ,1864.
THOS. V. COO"PERrr.T_r-ditor and Publisher.
AMY M. BRADLEY, Proprietor.
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"THE SOLDIERS' JOURNAL,"
"PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AT
RENDEZVOUS OP DISTRIBUTION, VA.,
CONVALESCENT CAMI', VA.
At the subscription price of $!£,OO per annum,
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The proceeds resulting from its sale to he devot
» ed to a fund for the maintenance of the or
phans of soldiers who have fallen ,or
may yet fall, in defence of the
cause of the Union
Its primary objects will be to promote the interests
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all necessary information as to the methods of keep
ing in good order their accounts with the Government.
The soldier in hospital will find in our columns in
structions bow to procure pay and clothing when en
titled to it; what are the requisites exacted by tiie
Government when furloughs are granted; and dis
charged soldiers will be put in the Way of procuring
prompt settlements of their accounts without the in
terference of claim agents.
Aside from this THE SOLDIERS' JOURNAL will
contain interesting original and selected reading mat
tor. It is the intention of those engaged in its publi
cation to make its pages lively and readable, and it is
believed that the varied talent pledged to its support
will enable it to take at least a respectable rank
among the journals of the country.
* Our Military Situation.
On Thursday, the 29th alt., the grand change of
our position in front of Petersburg and Rich
mond was effected by the movement of the Army
of the James, under Butler, to the north side of
that river, where it captured a fort on Chapin's
Bluff which is said to be the key to the outer
works of Richmond, and so acknowledged by
the rebels, if wo may judge anything by the des
peration they displayed in attempting its recap
ture. The corps of Birney was also thrown to
tho Newmarket road, where it held a dangerous
but very important position. On the following
day tho forces of Meade were moved, and by a
military surprise, got within two miles of the
Southside railroad with little loss, actually trav
ersing fortified ground that it was expected
would cost thousands of lives in its taking. It
is a maxim of old that no good military chieftan
will allow himself to bo surprised, whether by
night or day, and that any such inattention is
disgraceful. Yet Lee has thus suffered on two
memorable occasions, and his lesser shadows
were equal victims at Atlanta and in the Shen
andoah Valley. The honor redounds to Grant
and his generals in proportion to the damage
done their enemies, which was in each and every
case of a nature not soon to be forgotten.
On Saturday last Lee essayed to better Lis po
sition—to retrieve his lost honors—and to drive
tho Army of the James from its position by a
sudden movement, intended as a counter-sur
prise. He sent two divisions to attack the line of
the 18th corps, was handsomely repulsed, and
then, with unsurpassed desperation in the histo
ry of the numerous battles around Richmond,
attempted to flank and isolate Birney. The lat
ter had become used to these tactics, first at
Chancollorsvillo, later at the Wilderness. It is
an unwise policy to make an opponent the espe
cial butt of a peculiar hobby in the hope of final
ly boating him, as it arouses all his wits and con
centres his attention just where it should be. A
rising general is more generally apt to profit by
experience when that experience was of a plea
sant kind, and ministered to his hopes and ambi
tions. Birney is just snob a man, and it were a
lasting discredit did he forget a lesson so new
and pleasing. Lee seems to have forgotten this,
Or.knew no other way of gaining his object than
by his " ower tried " movement. That which
he thought a Hanking surprise, was simply ex
pected, and every preparation had been made
for its meeting. Lee was therefore the greater
loser by his attempted surprise than he would
have been gainer with perfect success. He left
his hundreds of dead and wounded on the field,
and hurried back to bis old line. He was not
permitted to remain there, but was pursued, and
Birney has now turned and entrenched the works
adjoining the inner defences of Richmond !
Thus Grant, with his world-noted persistence,
his ever ready expedients, will continue, until
the fate of Richmond will be that of Vicksburg,
and later acts of Lee's history will read so very
much like those of poor Pemberton's that mili
tary critics will think them stale.
The situation of our other armies gives satis
faction. Sheridan and Sherman are mysterious
and quiet, for very good reasons, as will soon be
apparent, We may expect many rumors, de
signed mainly to affect the State and Presiden
tial elections—news, perhaps, of disaster and de
feat—or of impossible victories, suitable to the
object of the manufacturer; but we must be
chary about beliveing anything without the well
known stamp "official" of Edwin M. Stanton.
it • —
THE LATEST NEWS.
f Washington, Oct. 8, 12 M.
Major General Dix, New York :
This department has received the following re
, ports of the enemy's assault yesterday upon
General Butler's lines, their subsequent repulse,
and General Birney's brilliant action, driving
the enemy to their inner lines of entrenchments
Header's Tenth Corps, 10:15 A. M.
Major General Butler:
I'have repulsed the attack of the enemy on
, our right flank with great slaughter. The troops
seem to be Fields' and Rickets' divisions. I
send you a batch of prisoners. lam extending
> my right flank. The enemy seem to be eiitreneli
i ing on the Darby road.
D. B. Birney, Major General.
lIEADQ'nS. DEPT. VIRCtINIA AND N. CaHOLINA,
10:30 P. M.
L Lieutenant General 77. S. Grant:
t Gen. Birney holds the enemy in the inner line
t of entrenchments around Richmond, extending
from the Darbytown road, to connect with Weit-
T /el, on the left, near Fort Harrison.
I There has been no movement at Petersburg.
> We have much the best of this day's work. A
, thousand at least of the enemy killed and
wounded, a hundred prisoners, and a bloody re
' pulse. General Gregg, commanding Field's di
t vision, is reported by a lady who saw the body as
j killed. B. I*. Biitleu, Major General.
, No dispatches have been received from the
commands of General Sherman later than were
reported in my telegram of yesterday.
E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.
—The cold snap of the past three days remind* us of
winter, and great coats and gloves are in demand.
—The discontented and disloyal have latterly com
plained of the increased expenditure of the govern
ment since the late call for 500,000 men to reinforce the
armies in the field, and have tried to scare the people
info a belief that our war expenses are over 85,000,000
per day. The late exhibit of the state of our finances
gives all such statements the He. On September 30th,
our whole national debt amounted to 81,955,973,716,
while May 14th it was #1,730,870,937—being an increase
in one hundred and ninety days of $225,102,789, making
our expenses about $1,580,000 per day.
—The progress of the Dodd trial for treason in In
dianapolis, lifts higher and higher the curtain which
covered the conspiracy of the Sons of Liberty in the
Western States. It has already been proven that the
number enrolled in Illinois was 10,000, Missouri 40,000,
and Indiana nearly 00,000. Hut the action of our gov
ernment, together with the general gloom which has
latterly prevailed among the sympathizers of seces
sion, has rendered the Sons and their paper rolls ex
tremely mythical. It was their plan to have Ohio in
vaded by Morgan and Wheeler, Indiana by Longstreet,
and Missouri by Price and Marmaduke—all of which
accomplished, the signal was to be given for these
round thousands to aid their more courageous leaders
in rebellion. The Supreme Commander, no less a
man than Vallandigham, was to give that signal.—
Val. beats Falstaff", and his recruits are just about as
courageous and reliable as those of his windy proto
—We have another astounding batch of Mexican
news by way of New Orleans. Mexican, Frenchmen
and Texan rebels seem to be all keeping up a general
rumpus on the Itlo Grande, and the whole affair is as
laughable as possible for an afl'air to be. The news
from the Rio Grande, however, is fully equalled in
oddity by that from the Mexican capitol—which is,
that during the absence of the Emperor Maxamlllian,
Gen. Mtrumon, backed by the Archbishop and clergy,
Issued a proclamation declaring against Maxamilllan
—that he had captured half of the city and appealed
to the people to sustain him and drive out the Inva
ders'. The affair looks utterly Incredible and prepos
terous, and yet It is thoroughly Mexican in character.
It is precisely like what has occurred in Mexico _
hundred times during the past forty years. Maxamil
lian will learn the habits of his people by and by,
even if he lose his wits and head in the learning.
—The following general order, regulating the man
ner in which soldiers shall vote in the field, was
issued by the Adjutant General last week:—
" In order to secure a fair distribution of tickets
among soldiers in the field, who, by the laws of their
respective States, are entitled to vote at the approach
ing elections, the following rules and regulations are
First. One agent for each army corps may be desig
nated by the State Executive or by the State Commit
tee of each political party, who, on presenting his cre
dentials from the State Executive, or from the Chair
man of said Committee, shall receive from this de
partment a pass to the headquarters of the corps for
which he is designated, with tickets, or proxies, when
required by State laws, which may be placet by him
in the hands of such person or persons as lie may so
led, for distribution among the officers and soldiers.
Second. Civilian inspectors of each political party,
not to exceed one for every brigade, may in like man
ner be designated, who shall receive passes, on appli
cation to the Adjutant General, to he present on the
day of election to see that the elections are fairly con
Third. No political speeches, harangues, or canvass
ing among the troops, will be permitted.
Fourth. Commanding officers are enjoined to take
such measures as may be essential to secure freedom
and fairness In the elections, and that they be con
ducted with due regard to good order and military
Fifth. Any officer or private who may wantonly
destroy tickets, or prevent their proper distribution
among the legal voters, interfere with the freedom of
election, or make any fraudulent or false return, will
he deemed guilty of an offense against good order and
military discipline, and be punished by sunniiary.di.s
mlssal or court-martial.