Another movement of the enemy from the Peninsula.
Early yesterday morning intelligence reached the city that the enemy, in considerable force, had reached Bottom's bridge, with the supposed intention of another advance upon Richmond. As a matter of consequence, considerable excitement resulted, and rumors were abundant and conflicting. Many believed that the demonstration was made by Beast Butler, with the earnest determination of rescuing the Yankee prisoners now in Richmond, whilst others properly conjectured that it was a feint to divert attention from other, and, at present, more important points. During the day we endeavored to ascertain something reliable with regard to this new movement, and the result of our efforts, as obtained from the best reliable sources of information, disclosed the following facts:
On Saturday night, about 9 o'clock, our pockets below Bottom's Bridge discovered that the enemy were advancing in some force — both cavalry and infantry. The pickets retired before them until the bridge was crossed, when a stand was made, and the farther advance of the enemy awaited. In the meantime a supporting force had been sent down to the bridge, and preparations were at once made to dispute its passage by the enemy. At day light yesterday morning the anticipated attempt to cross the bridge was made, but easily repulsed, when they formed a line of battle, and it was readily supposed that they intended to make another effort to cross the Chickahominy, but finding our men resolution their purpose of maintaining their ground, after remaining in line of battle for an hour or two, the Yankees retired, whether to give up the struggle altogether, or to await further reinforcements, is not known.
The announcement of the approach of the enemy induced the requisite preparation upon the part of the authorities here to insure them a proper reception, and hundreds of our citizens girded on their armors to go out and resist the advance of the invaders.
Whilst attention was directed to this quarter, a report obtained currency that the enemy were making a movement on the Rapidan and that they had crossed that river in considerable force. This report, though not together without foundation, was greatly enumerated as to the magnitude of the movement. We learn that the enemy did yesterday morning cross the Rapidan in force sufficient to compel the retirement of our pickets, but without making any formidable demonstration withdrew before night to the north bank of the river.
Last night matters in the city had settled down and things had again resumed their usual quiet.
-The Daily Dispatch: February 8, 1864.
This is a cross posting from New Kent County History.