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MORE FIGHTING AT SPOTTSYLVANIA C. I. 573 and Griffin's divisions were detached I recently drawn from the defenses of from Warren and sent to the aid of Washington, by whom he was galHancock, who still held fast to the lantly repulsed and driven off, though captured work, but could not go be- not without serious loss on our side. yond it; while Lee made tive succes. The reckless fighting of the artillesive and desperate assaults on him, rists—mainly veterans in service, but with intent to hurl him back; the new to the field-excited general admen fighting hand-to-hand, with their miration, but cost blood. The 2d respective flags often planted on op- and 5th corps hurrying to their aid, posite sides of the same breastwork. Ewell's men were run off and scatThese assaults were all repelled with tered in the woods, on our left, where frightful carnage ; but Hancock was several hundreds of them were hunted unable to advance, as he had expect up and taken prisoners. Somewhat ed to do, and ultimately got off but delayed by this sally, our ariny, mov20 of the captured guns. Rain set in ing by the left, resumed, next night,** again at noon; but the fighting con- its march to Richmond. tinued till near midnight, when it was Gen. Meade reports his losses up terminated by Lee's desisting and to this time at 39,791; to which someleaving Hancock in possession of thing must be added for the losses his hard-won prize; but that was of Burnside's corps before it was the extent of our advantage, which formally incorporated with the Army had cost us several thousand men, of the Potomac. If we assume that and the enemy almost as many. Lee half these fell in the Wilderness, our fortified and held a line immediately losses around Spottsylvania C. H. in front of Ilancock ; so that the ene- were scarcely less than 20,000 men. iny's general position proved as in- The Rebels, holding a ridge, genervulnerable as ever.
ally fighting on the defensive and beHere ensued several days of ma- hind breastworks, had suffered conneuvering, marching and counter- siderably less, but still quite heavily. marching, in quest of a weak point | Among their officers killed were in the enemy's defenses; but none Gens. Daniels, Perrin, and J. M. was found : an assault being delivered Jones. on the 18th, by Gibbon's and Bar- In the Wilderness, our army had low's divisions, supported by Birney's cut loose from its original base north and Tyler's, nearly in front of the of the Rapidan. It had since estabwork they had so gallantly carried on lished a new one at Fredericksburg, the 12tlı; but they were stopped by to which its wounded were sent, and formidable abatis, and repulsed, los- where they were met by officers, ing heavily.
nurses, and other employés of the Next afternoon, observing or sus Sanitary and Christian Associations, pecting that our army was gradually with the amplest and most thoughtmoving to the left, with intent to flank ful provision for the mitigation and pass him, Lee threw forward Ew- of their sufferings. As it moved ell against our weakened right, held down toward Richmond, new bases by Tyler's division of foot artillerists were established at Port Royal and
20 May 20-21.
then at White House ; so that, while gallop, and our assault was repulsed; there was doubtless much suffering Sheridan crossing the Chickahominy from privation as well as from at Meadow bridge, beating off atwounds, it was always within a short tacks both front and rear, burning the distance of posts to which abundant railroad bridge, and moving to Haxsupplies were forwarded from Wash- all's;" where he rested three days, ington and from the great commer- and then, moving by White House cial cities, under the efficient direc- and Hanover C. H., rejoined the tion of Gen. Rufus Ingalls, its chief Army of the Potomac. Quartermaster.
Gen. Butler, commanding at For. On emerging from the Wilderness, tress Monroe, had been rëenforced in Gen. Sheridan, with the better part pursuance of a programme suggested of our cavalry, led by Merritt, Wil- by him and concurred in by Gen. son, and Gregg, was dispatched” on Grant: Gen. W. F. Smith's (18th) a raid toward Richmond. Crossing corps and Gen. Gillmore's (10th) next day the North Anna, Sheridan corps (from South Carolina) having carried the Beaverdam station on been sent him, raising our effective the Virginia Central, destroying the strength in his department to some track, three trains of cars, a million 40,000 men, of whom perhaps 30,000 and a half of rations, and liberating were disposable. Ilaving senta a 400 Union prisoners captured in the small force on steamboats up the York Wilderness and now on their way to to White House, to move out and Richmond. Stuart's cavalry here menace Richmond so as to draw the overtook and assailed his flank and enemy's attention to that quarter, the rear, but to little purpose. Crossing day after Gillmore's arrival his real the South Anna at Ground Squirrel movement commenced," in cooperabridge, Sheridan captured Ashland tion with General Grant's, and with Station at daylight;" breaking up others. Embarking his infantry and the railroad, destroying a train and a artillery, 25,000 strong, Gen. Butler large quantity of stores. He then re- proceeded up James river, while Gen. sumed his march to Richmond. Kautz, with 3,000 cavalry, moved
Stuart had meantime passed him and out from Suffolk, crossing the Blackmassed his cavalry at Yellow Tavern, water and cutting the Weldon road at a few miles north of Richmond, where Stonycreek ; Col. R. West, with 1,500 he proposed to stop the raid. A spir- more troopers, simultaneously advanited fight ensued, wherein Stuart was cing from Williamsburg up the north mortally wounded (as was Brig.-Gen. bank of the James. The arined transJ. B. Gordon) and his force driven ports moved up the James by night, off the turnpike toward Ashland, the unarmed following next day,* pioleaving the road to Richmond open. neered by the iron-clads and other Sheridan pressed down it; Custer naval forces under Admiral Lee. carrying the outer line of defenses Wilson's wharf, Fort Powhattan, and and taking 100 prisoners. But Rich- City Point, were seized without remond was no longer to be taken on a sistance ; 10,000 men being at once
1 May 9. 9 May 11. * May 14. " May l. 3 May 4. * May 6.
BUTLER MENACES PETERSBURG AND RICHMOND. 575
pushed forward to possess and secure | prehension by Gillmore's withdrawthe peninsula between the James and al. When, therefore, the first resothe Appomattox, known as Bermuda lute effort was made o to cut the railHundreds. Next day, Gen. Smith road, some portion either of the North moved out toward the railroad from or South Carolina forces had already Richmond to Petersburg, but failed arrived; and, when it was renewed, ** to strike it. On the 7th, Gen. Smith, the enemy had been materially with his own and part of Gillmore's strengthened. Still, the advantage corps, struck the railroad near Port of numbers was clearly on our side; Walthall junction, and commenced and the enemy was forced to uncover destroying it; having to fight D. H. the railroad, which was destroyed for Hill, but with advantage to our side ; some distance; our troops pressing while Col. West's cavalry, having southward to Swift creek, three miles forded the Chickahominy, arrived from Petersburg. But now, deceived opposite City Point. After breaking by fresh, joyful, but hardly truthful, up the railroad for some distance, Washington advices, Butler turned Gen. Butler, misled by advices from his face northward, to participate in Washington that Gen. Lee was beat the expected speedy capture of Richen and in full retreat on Richmond mond; pushing his lines gradually up —which would have brought him to Proctor's creek, whence the enemy down suddenly in overwhelming force withdrew" to an intrenched line beon this army—drew back within his hind it, which Gen. Gillmore flanked, intrenchments, which he was engaged and which was to have been assaultin strengthening for the apprehended ed; but our troops had been so disemergency. The fact that his two persed that the requisite force was corps commanders did not cordially not at hand; so the attack was decooperate, while Gillmore did not ferred till next morning." execute his orders 60 promptly and But Beauregard — whom Butler vigorously as he deemed fit, somewhat supposed still at or below Petersincreased the inevitable perplexities burg, unable to get up — was on of the commander's critical position. hand, with a formidable force, and
Had Butler been directed to move intent on making himself disagreeat once on Petersburg, he could able. A dense fog shrouded every hardly have failed to capture that thing, when, before daylight, our city—there being no considerable sleeping soldiers on the front were Rebel force then in lower Virginia, startled by a grand crash of artillery and might have been enabled to hold and musketry. Our forces had been it; separating, for a time, the Rebel so disposed that there was over a capital and Lee's army from the mile of open country between our South proper. But, the first astoun- right and the James, merely picketed ding news of his movement up the by 150 cavalry; and Beauregard, James summoned Beauregard by having made careful observations betelegraph from Charleston, with all fore dark, attempted at once to asthe forces that could be scraped from sault in front, to turn this flank, and that region—now relieved of all ap- to strike heavily our left with a divi27 May 7. 28 May 9.
* Yay 13.
. 30 May 16.
sion under Gen. Whiting, which he Whiting, who was to have struck had left on the Petersburg side of the Gillmore on our left, failed, for some gap in the railroad.
reason, to do so; hence, Gillmore The attempt to turn our right was stood in idle expectancy, until Smith at first a decided success. Heck- drew back, when he did likewise. man's brigade, here posted, was sur- We had lost in this collision about prised and overwhelmed. The ene- 4,000 men; the Rebels at least 3,000. my gained the rear of this flank, and Beauregard cautiously followed up, was carrying all before him, when he and erected a line of works across the met the 112th New York-one of peninsula in front of ours; so that Gen. three Gillmore regiments which But- Butler wrote to Gen. Grant that he ler had fortunately sent to Smith as was “bottled up:” a remark that the a support to his long, thin line. Join- | Lieutenant-General, rather inconsided on the instant by the 9th Maine, erately, adopts in his report of the this regiment held the road junction campaign. So long as our navy which the enemy were pressing on to and transports held undisputed posseize, and stubbornly refused to move. session of the rivers, enabling Butler
The Rebel commander, disconcerted to launch his troops in any direction by this unexpected resistance, and but directly northward, the remark reluctant to advance in the fog to had but little pertinence or force; unknown and incalculable perils, de- as the unobstructed and ready withsisted and withdrew.
drawal," soon afterward, of Smith's The front of Smith's line, held by corps to rëenforce the Army of the the divisions of Brooks and Weitzel, Potomac, sufficiently proves. When was impetuously assailed; but Smith, that detachment was required, Buthaving found a quantity of telegraph ler was on the point of striking that wire lying idle, had resolved to make determined blow at Petersburg which a precautionary use of it, by direct- should liave been his first, and, but ing his men to stretch it tightly along for misinformation as to Lee's distheir front, winding it occasionally comfiture, probably would have been around a tree or stump, at a height successful. of two or three feet from the ground. There was further fighting along The assaulting enemy,rushing blindly Gen. Butler's front, on the 18th, 19th, upon this in their charge, pitched 20th, and 21st, with considerable loss headlong over it, and were shot or on each side; but without decisive bayoneted ere they could regain their results. "Gen. Terry's line was forced feet. Their attack in front was thus re- back on the 20th, but röestablished pulsed—the assailants recoiling with next day. And Gen. Kautz, who had loss.
been sent on a cavalry raid to cut the Beauregard thereupon renewed liis railroads leading southward and westeffort to turn our right; sending a ward from Petersburg, acting with large force, and directing it to make caution, achieved but a moderate a farther detour; which was done, success; cutting the Danville road at and Smith thereby compelled to fall Coalfield, Powhattan, and Chula, but back.
failing to destroy the iron bridge at 31 May 30-31.
GRANT ADVANCES TO THE NORTH ANNA.
Matoax, which was strongly guard-, front, on Griffin's division, made at 5 ed. He did a little harm also to the P. M. by Wilcox's and Heth's divisions Lynchburg and Weldon road; mak- (six brigades) of Hill's corps, but ing his way circuitously but safely promptly and effectually repulsed thence" to City Point. Meantime, with loss to the enemy; who thereour fleet had had a difficult and dan- upon sent Brown, with three brigades, gerous task in fishing the James for to turn our right. This maneuver torpedoes; by one of which, the small was well executed; the blow falling gunboat Com. Jones had been utterly on Cutler's division while getting destroyed," and 50 of its crew killed into position, crushing in his left, and or wounded. The gunboats Shosho- throwing the whole into confusion. nee and Brewster were likewise de Pressing swiftly to their right, the stroyed by explosions, but not of tor- charging column struck the right of pedoes.
Griffin's division, which was saved by
refusing that flank, while Bartlett's Gen. Grant's flanking advance from brigade was hurried forward to its Spottsylvania to the North Anna support. In making this advance, was admirably planned and executed the 83d Pennsylvania, Lt. Col. Mcwithout loss—a single blow aimed by Coy, swept closely past the flank of Hill at the front of Wright's (6th) Brown's column, when McCoy incorps, just before it started" to cover stantly wheeled his forward comthe movement, being easily repelled. panies into line, and gave a volley, But, as our movement was easily de- which, delivered at close quarters on tected from the higher ground held the flank and rear of the Rebel colby Lee, and as his position covered umn, threw it into utter disorder and the direct and best road leading rout: one of McCoy's men seizing straight to Richmond, compelling Brown by the collar and dragging Grant to make a considerable detour him into our lines, while nearly 1,000 eastward and move by inferior roads, of his men were gathered up as priit was inevitable on our part that, soners. Our loss here was but 350, on approaching the North Anna, and the enemy's attack was comnear the crossing of the Fredericks- pletely foiled. Warren established burg railroad, our army should find and intrenched his lines without farits old antagonist planted across that ther resistance. stream, in an admirable position, cov- Gen. Hancock struck the North ering the Central road (on which | Anna at the Chesterfield bridge, a Breckinridge, having beaten Sigel in mile above the Fredericksburg railthe Valley, was now hurrying down road, where he was confronted by to rëenforce Lee), and prepared to McLaws's division of Longstreet's dispute resolutely its farther advance. corps, mainly across the river, but
Warren, on our right, crossed that holding an ugly fortification or bridgeafternoon at Jericho ford, the enemy head on this side; which, at 6 P. M., being in slender force in his imme- after a vigorous fire from three secdiate presence; but they were very tions of artillery, was stormed and soon strengthened, and an attack in carried by Pierce's and Egan's brig* May 17.
" May 21.
25 May 23. VOL. II.-37
3 May 6.