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ades of Birney's division, who swept at Gettysburg, when Meade was able over the plain on the double-quick, to throw divisions and corps from disregarding the heavy fire of its de- right to left to breast a coming shock, fenders, swarmed over the parapet, or strike a return blow, in half the and drove out the garrison, capturing time that Lee required to countervail 30, with a total loss of 150. Repeat the movement. So, when Burnside, ed efforts by the enemy to burn the approaching the river half way bebridge during the ensuing night were tween our right and left wings, atbaffled; and in the morning it was tempted to cross, his advance division discovered that they had retreated; (Crittenden's) was promptly repelled when Hancock quietly crossed and with heavy loss; and when Warren established himself on the south side; attempted to connect with Burnside as Wright, following Warren, had by pushing Crawford's division down done at Jericho ford the night before. the south bank of the river, he in

The passage of the river thus turn was assailed in overwhelming seemed to be triumphantly and force, and was with difficulty extricheaply effected; but the appearance cated. Grant paused and pondered, was delusive. The river was barely and studied and planned; but Lee's fordable at different points, with position was absolutely invulnerable, high, rocky banks; and Lee had or only to be wrested from good solchosen a strong position, with both diers with an enormous disparity of flanks drawn back; his right cov- force, and by a frightful sacrifice of ered by marshes; his left resting life. After deliberate and careful on Little river; his front on the reconnoissances, continued throughNorth Anna narrow and strong; our out two days, an assault was forarmy being situated much as his was borne, and our army, cautiously with

FLANK MOVEMENT TO COLD HARBOR.

579

drawing at nightfall“ from the ene- | 800—doubtless stimulated the genemy's front, rëcrossed the river unas- ral eagerness for battle. A reconsailed, and, after pushing well east to noissance in force along our front avoid another charge on the flank of was accordingly made; developing its long columns while extended in the enemy's position across Tolopomovement, again turned southward | tomy creek, with its right on the and took the road to Richmond: the Mechanicsville pike, near Bethesda 6th corps in advance, followed in church, where Col. Hardin’s brigade succession by the 5th, 9th, and 20: of Reserves, Crawford's division, was Hancock not starting till next morn-struck" on its flank by Rhodes's diing; when Sheridan, with our caval- vision of Ewell's corps, and hurried ry in the advance, was, after a march back to the Shady Grove road; where of 22 miles, approaching the Pamun- Crawford, bringing up the remainder key at Hanovertown. Wright's corps of the Reserves and Kitching's brigcrossed directly, and took post to ade (of Warren's corps), repulsed cover the fords; Warren's and Burn- Rhodes, and established our left on side's were over the next morning ;| the Mechanicsville pike. Meantime, Hancock crossed almost four miles Hancock, on our right, had been higher; so that our whole army was stopped, after heavy skirmishing, at south of the Pamunkey without loss, the Tolopotomy, finding the enemy and in unobstructed communication in his front too strong and too well with its new base at White House. covered by defenses and a swamp;

Lee had, as usual, a much shorter while Burnside had come into posiroad, and was already in position on tion on his left, and Wright on his our new front; his army facing right. Reconnoissances showed the north-eastward, covering both rail enemy's position so unassailable in roads as well as the road to Richmond, front that no course seemed open and rendering it hazardous, if not im- but an attempt to flank its right, possible, to cross the Chickahominy crossing the Chickahominy opposite on his right so as to interpose be- or just below Cold HARBOR; a focus tween him and the Confederate capi- of roads which Sheridan had seized,“ tal. Grant had shown at the North after a brief skirmish, and on which Anna his aversion to sacrificing the the 6th corps, moving in the rear lives of his men when there was a from our right to our left, was immepracticable alternative; but now it diately directed; reaching it next seemed that the great object of the day—just before Gen. W. F. Smith, campaign positively required a dis- with 10,000 men detached from Butregard of the advantages of position ler's army, and brought around by possessed by the enemy. A spirited steamboats to White House, came up fight" at Hawes's shop, on our front, and took post on its right; and the wherein Sheridan, with the brigades two were met here by orders from of Davies, Gregg, and Custer, met Meade to advance and repel the and worsted the Rebel troopers un enemy in their front, with a view to der Fitzhugh Lee and Hampton- forcing a passage of the Chickaour loss being 400, and the enemy's hominy.

“ May 26. 7 May 28. ** May 28, P. u. * May 29. 10 May 31.

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the enemy's, taking 600e, was far withdraw en

e, hower held; an in mass

The attack was made at 4 P. M.: lution; so that (as Lincoln once rethe enemy of course posted in a wood, marked to McClellan) the chief obwhich concealed their strength, facing stacle had been shifted, not sura level, open field, across which our mounted, by our movement to the men advanced with great spirit under left. Nevertheless, Hancock was now a heavy fire, carrying a good part of called down from our right to the the enemy's advanced line of rifle left of Wright; Warren was directed trenches and taking 600 prisoners. to extend his left so as to connect Their second line, however, was far with Smith; while Burnside was to stronger and more firmly held; and withdraw entirely from the front and night fell with the Rebels stillfully in mass on the right and rear of Warits possession : our advance holding and bivouacking on the ground it. These flank movements, in the prehad gained, at a cost of 2,000 killed sence of a vigilant and resolute eneand wounded. For Longstreet's my, may not often prove so disastrous corps, which had confronted our right as Rosecrans found them at the the day before, had been moved Chickamauga, but they are always rapidly to our left, parallel with critical. Burnside, attempting to Wright's movement, and was here obey this order in broad daylight," facing us before the Chickahominy, his movement was of course detected as it had just been on the Tolopoto by the foe in his front, who sharply my, with a little less advantage of followed up his skirmishers covering position but the same spirit and reso- the operation, taking some of them

.“ June 2, P. M.

umgren.

GRAND ASSAULT AT COLD HARBOR.

581

prisoners, and, striking Warren's left, , trebly so had our countrymen been cut off and captured 400 more; ar-armed with the Enfield rifle or Springresting Warren's extension to the left, field musket of to-day. by compelling him to look to the At sunrise, or a little before, the safety of his corps. But new dispo- assault was made" along our whole sitions were made, and Grant and front—bravely, firmly, swiftly made; Meade, now at Cold Harbor, resolved and as swiftly repulsed with terrible that the Rebel lines should be forced slaughter. On our left, Barlow's dion the morrow."

vision of Hancock's corps gained a The two armies held much of the transitory advantage; dislodging the ground covered by McClellan's right, enemy from their position in a sunkunder Fitz-John Porter, prior to Lee's en road, taking three guns and sevebold advance, nearly two years be- ral hundred prisoners. But his secfore: Gaines's mill being directly in ond line failed to advance promptly the rear of the Confederate center; to the support of the first, against while Sheridan's cavalry patrolled the which the enemy rallied in overroads in our rear leading to our base whelming force, retaking their deat White House, covered our left and fenses, hurling Barlow back, but not observed the Chickahominy east- to the lines from which he started. ward of Richmond. Wilson, with He fell back a few yards only, and his cavalry division, watched our covered his front so quickly that the right flank. Burnside was still on enemy could not dislodge him. Warren's right and rear; Smith, Gibbon,charging on Barlow's right, Wright, and Hancock stretched far- was checked by a swamp, which sepather and farther to the left. In our rated his command : part of which front, Lee not only had a very good gained the Rebel works nevertheless; position naturally, but he knew how Col. McMahon planting his colors on to make the most of its advantages— their intrenchments a moment before the single point in which (but it is a he fell mortally wounded. No part vital one) his admirers can justify of the Rebel works was held; but their claim for him of a rare military part of Gibbon's men also covered genius. No other American has ever themselves so close to the enemy's 80 thoroughly appreciated and so lines that, while the Rebels dared readily seized the enormous advan- not come out to capture them, they tage which the increased range, pre-could not get away, save by crawling cision; and efficiency given to mus-off under cover of fog or thick darkketry by rifling, have insured to the ness. defensive, when wielded by a com- | Wright's and Smith's assaults were mander who knows how speedily a less determined-at all events, less trench may be dug and a slight breast- sanguinary-than Hancock's; and work thrown up which will stop nine-Warren, having a long line to hold, tenths of the bullets that would oth- was content to hold it. Burnside erwise draw blood. The lessons of swung two of his divisions around to Bunker Hill and New Orleans, im- flank the enemy's left, which he hotly pressive as they were, must have been engaged, and must have worsted had 42 June 3.

* June 3.

the battle along our front been pro- | front advanced on several points and tracted. But that could not be forced back on none; but Lee, overTwenty minutes after the first shot estimating the effects of our repulse was fired, fully 10,000 of our men on the morale of our men, and seeing were stretched writhing on the sod, that our hastily constructed intrenchor still and calm in death; while the ments directly before his lines were enemy's loss was probably little more but slight, hazarded a night attack" than 1,000. And when, some hours on our front, but was repulsed at later, orders were sent by Gen. Meade every point, and soon desisted. Next to each corps commander to renew day, a partial assault was made on the assault at once, without regard to our left; but this also was easily reany other, the men simply and unani- pulsed. Meantime, our army was mously refused to obey it. They gradually moving to its left, by the knew that success was hopeless, and successive withdrawals of Burnside the attempt to gain it murderous: and of Warren; when another night hence they refused to be sacrificed to attack was made on our right, again no purpose.

held by Burnside, but without sucOur total loss at and around Cold cess. And now an armistice of two Harbor was 13,153; of whom 1,705 hours was arranged, during which the were killed, 9,042 wounded, and 2,406 wounded lying between the armies missing. Among the killed were act- were removed and the dead buried. ing Brigadiers P. A. Porter,“ Lewis Next day," our left was extended 0. Morris, and F. F. Wead; all of to the Chickahominy, finding the New York. Cols. Edward Pye, 95th enemy in force opposite Sumner's N. Y., 0. H. Morris, 66th N. Y., J.C. and Bottom's bridges; while SheriDrake, 112th N. Y., John McConihe, dan was dispatched with two divi169th N. Y., Edwin Schall, 51st Pa., sions of cavalry around Lee's left, to and F. A. Haskell, 36th Wisc. Brig.- tear up the Virginia Central railGen. R. O. Tyler was among the se- road in his rear, which he did: crossverely wounded. Brig.-Gen. Doles ing the Pamunkey at Aylett's, breakwas the only Rebel officer of note re- ing the Fredericksburg road at Chesported as killed. Col. Lawrence M. terfield station, and thence pushing Keitt, formerly a conspicuous M. C. over the North Anna by Chilesburg from South Carolina, had fallen the and Mount Pleasant, over the upper day before.

branches of the North Anna,“ strik

ing the Central railroad at Trevilian's, Our army had suffered terribly in routing a body of Rebel horse, under this battle; but it had lost blood Wade Hampton, that interfered with only. The fighting closed with our his operations, and breaking up the

* Col. Peter A. Porter, of Niagara Falls, son of nated in 1863 as Union candidate for Secretary Gen. Peter B. Porter, who served with honorin the of State, he responded that his neighbors had War of 1812, and was Secretary of War under intrusted him with the lives of their sons, and J. Q. Adams. Col. Porter, in the prime of life, he could not leave them while the War lasted. and in the enjoyment of every thing calculated He was but one among thousands animated by to make life desirable, volunteered from a sense like motives; but none ever volunteered from

of duty; saying his country had done so much purer impulses, or served with more unselfish • for him that he could not hesitate to do all in his devotion, than Peter A. Porter.

power for her in her hour of peril. When nomi.! June 4. *6 June 6. ? June 7. "June 10.

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