On this day 150 years ago, Confederate war clerk John B. Jones noted that fighting had occurred near Fort Harrison out on the New Market Heights south east of Richmond.
September 30th.—Cloudy, and occasional showers.
None of the papers except the Whig were published this morning, the printers, etc. being called out to defend the city. Every device of the military authorities has been employed to put the people here in the ranks. Guards everywhere, on horseback and on foot, in the city and at the suburbs, are arresting pedestrians, who, if they have not passes from Gen. Kemper, are hurried to some of the depots or to the City Square (iron palings), and confined until marched to the field or released. Two of the clerks of the War Department, who went down to the Spottswood Hotel to hear the news, although having the Secretary’s own details, were hustled off to a prison on Gary Street to report to Lieut. Bates, who alone could release them. But when they arrived, no Lieut. Bates was there, and they found themselves incarcerated with some five hundred others of all classes and conditions. Here they remained cooped up for an hour, when they espied an officer who knew them, and who had them released.
To-day the guards arrested Judges Reagan and Davis, Postmaster-General and Attorney-General, both members of the cabinet, because neither of them were over fifty years old. Judge Reagan grew angry and stormed a little; but both were released immediately.
Gen. Lee dispatched Gen. Bragg, at 9 p.m. last night, that all the assaults of the enemy on Fort Gilmer had been repulsed, the enemy losing many in killed, and wounded, and prisoners, while our loss was small.
And we have driven the Yankees from Staunton, and have them in full retreat again as far as Harrisonburg.
To-day at 2 p.m. another battle occurred at or near Fort Harrison or Signal Hill, supposed to be an attempt on our part to retake the post. I never heard more furious shelling, and fear our loss was frightful, provided it was our assault on the enemy’s lines. We could see the white smoke, from the observatory, floating along the horizon over the woods and down the river. The melee of sounds was terrific: heavy siege guns (from our steam-rams, probably) mingled with the incessant roar of field artillery. At 3 p.m. all was comparatively quiet, and we await intelligence of the result.