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was at once evident that the familiar spot known as White House was henceforth to be our base of supplies.' Thirteen miles east of White House is West Point, where the Mattapony and Pamunkey form, by their confluence, the York River. The distance by the winding stream is much greater. A railroad connects the two points.
In the afternoon of Friday, General Meade's head-quarters were at Mongohick Church, situated at the cross-roads on Mehixen Creek, in King William County, ten miles north or Hanovertown. On Saturday morning, the 28th, our troops had obtained complete possession of Hanovertown and the neighboring region, having marched probably twenty-five miles, in the heat and dust, since Thursday night. On Sunday, the 29th, the whole army was successfully across the Pamunkey, and fronted southwest, about three miles from the river. The corps moved cautiously forward, and an attack from Lee was expected. None such was made, however, and the only firing came from reconnoitring parties far in the front. Reconnoissances were made from each corps, followed up by a gradual advance. It appeared that the enemy was in force half a dozen miles distant from our lines, across Tolopatomoy Creek, with his extreme right holding Shady Grove and Mechanicsville, his right centre in front of Atler's Station on the Virginia Central, and his left still persistently covering Hanover CourtHouse. Trains now began to run to and from White House, and dispositions were made for battle.
Original Plan of Campaign.-Butler's Expedition up the James.-Movement on Peterg
burg.-Fort Darling. --Repulse of the Union Forces.-Attack by Beauregard.Beauregard Re-enforces Lee.-Smith sent to Support Grant.
The campaign of General Grant upon his appointment as LieutenantGeneral to the chief command of all the armies of the United States, comprised a simultaneous movement by the army under Sherman in Tennessee, by that under Sigel in the Valley of the Shenandoah, and another under Butler, which was to land at City Point on the James River, and destroy the Petersburg Railroad connection with Richmond, thus preventing Beauregard, who commanded on the south side of the James, from going to re-enforce Lee. This expedition, consisting of the Eighteenth Corps, Major-General W. F. Smith, known as Baldy Smith, and the Tenth Corps, Major-General Gillmore, was embarked on transports at Yorktown and Gloucester Point. Demonstrations of an advance up York River were made to deceive the enemy, and then the whole proceeded up the James. This movement, made on the same day as that on which Meade's army crossed the Rapidan, took the enemy somewhat by surprise. There was no attempt at City Point or elsewhere to dispute the landing, which was described in the official telegram as follows:
"OFF CITY POINT, VA., May 5. “Lieutenant-General GRANT, Commanding Armies of the United States, Washington,
D. C.: “We have seized Wilson's Wharf Landing. A brigade of Wild's colored troops are there. At Fort Powhattan Landing two regiments of the same brigade have landed At City Point, Hinks's Division, with the remaining troops and battery, bare landed The remainder of both the Eighteenth and Tenth Army Corps are being landed at Bermuda Hundred, above the Appomattox.
“No opposition experienced thus far. The movement was apparently a complete surprise. Both army corps left Yorktown during last night. The monitors are all over the bar at Harrison's Landing and above City Point. The operations of the fleet have been conducted to-day with energy and success. Generals Smith and Gillmore are pushing the landing of the men. General Graham, with the army gunboats, led the advance during the night, capturing the signal-station of the rebels.
“ Colonel West, with eighteen hundred caralry, made several demonstrations from Williamsburg yesterday morning. General Kautz left Suffolk this morning with his cavalry, for the service indicated during the conference with the Lieutenant-General.
“ The New York Aag-of-truce boat was found lying at the wharf, with four hundred prisoners, whom she had not time to deliver. She went up yesterday morning.
We are landing troops during the night-a hazardous service in the face of the enemy.
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General Commanding. * Å. F. PUFFER, Captain and A. D. C."
General Kautz, with three thousand cavalry from Suffolk, on the sanue day with the movement up the James River, had forced the Blackwater, and burnt the railroad bridge at Stony Creek, below Petersburg, but not in time to prevent the troops under Hill reaching Petersburg in time to contest the progress of our troops. He also made a dash at Petersburg, but was compelled to retire with loss. On Monday, the 9th, our troops advanced in force against the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, with the purpose of more effectually disabling this main line of supply for General Lee. Gillmore on the right and Smith on the left, feeling their way cautiously through the thick woods, they advanced in momentary expectation of a fight; but contrary to expectation, their march was unopposed, and, after doing some damage, the troops occupied the north bank of Swift Creek, three miles above Petersburg.
While in front of Vicksburg, in conversation with a number of officers, General Grant, without expecting to be ever called to the place, gave his views of the proper plan to capture Richmond. He said that, in his view, two armies should move against the rebel capital-one by way of the Rapidan, and the other by way of Petersburg. Either of these columns should be strong enough to fight Lee out of his intrenchments—a circumstance which would compel Lee to keep his army together, as a division, with the James River between the sections, must prove fatal. The army on the south was to cut off communications, and threaten the destruction of the rebel capital from the south, and be able to take it, if Lee did not fall back; if he did fall back, the army from the north could press him, and besiege him in the capital, and by means of gunboats a perfect connection across James River could be kept up. The moment the army on the south side occupied Manchester, Richmond would become untenable; and under any circumstances, with all communications cut, the city could not stand a long siege; and though a portion of the rebel army might escape, it could only do so in a demoralized condition. Such being the views of Grant, it is evident what part General Butler was intended to play in the campaign.
On Friday, May 13th, a cavalry expedition under Kautz went out for the purpose of destroying the railroad communications between Richmond and Danville. In support of this movement Gillmore advanced with his corps, on the left, up the railroad towards Chester and Richmond, while Smith, with the Eighteenth Corps, moved on the right, up the Richmond and Petersburg turnpike along the James River. Ames's Third Division of the Tenth Corps remained to watch Petersburg. Smith advanced, skirmishing with the enemy, until he reached Proctor's Run, three miles from Fort Darling, and Gillmore, on the left, reached the Halfway House, when the troops rested for the night. In the morning the enemy were discovered behind a line of earthworks, stretching from the James to a quarter of a mile beyond the railroad, and constituting the outer defences of Fort Darling. Brisk skirmishing at once commenced. The Third New Hampshire, the One Hundredth New York, and Twenty-fourth Massachusetts were sent to turn the enemy's right flank, while our left, under Gillmore, was ordered to swing round upon the centre and right. The attack of the flanking party was successful, and the enemy withdrew to a stronger line, threequarters of a mile beyond. More or less skirmishing was kept up until the 16th, when the enemy, under Beauregard, attacked vigorously. Our line was formed with Smith's Corps on the right, and Gillmore's on the left. Early Monday morning, the 16th, concealed by a very dense fog, the enemy, under General Ransom, massed his troops against our right wing, which at that time was particularly vulnerable. He burst upon Hickman's Brigade, of Weitzel's Division, Smith's Corps, and, in the blinding fog and darkness, a terrific conflict ensued. Borne down at last by numbers, the gallant brigade fell to the rear with loss of some artillery, four stands of colors, and about three hundred prisoners. Here Colonel Drake's Brigade, Weitzel's Division, consisting of the Eighth Maine and One Hundred and Twelfth New York, came to the rescue, and by hard fighting for a time stayed the tide of the enemy. Farther to the left, Wistar's and Burnham's Brigades of Weitzel's Division were also set upon with fury. On our left there was a simultaneous attack, Hawley's and Barton's Brigades of Terry's Division, Tenth Corps, were roughly handled, and the line forced back. Gillmore covered the retreat. A movement of the enemy to cut off the retreat was repulsed by Ames. The two corps then fell back to their intrenchments, the enemy holding the turnpike. Our total loss was nearly four thousand men, a great proportion of them being captured on the right, from Heckman's Brigade, consisting of the Ninth New Jersey, and the Twenty-third, Twenty-fifth, and Twentyseventh Massachusetts. Ashby's and Belger's batteries lost ten guns.
A large number of officers, including General Heckman, were also captured by the enemy, who admitted a loss of fifteen hundred.'
The cavalry under General Kautz returned at sundown on Tuesday. The object had been to tap the Richmond and Danville Railroad, and the attempt had more or less annoyed the enemy.
Thus the prime object of the expedition of General Butler seems to have failed, although he had succeeded in getting a foothold on the south side of the James. If, after his first landing at the month of the Appomattox River, he had shown more vigor, it is difficult to see how Petersburg, distant some ten miles from the James River, could have been saved. As it was, time was given to Beauregard to gather up a force from Charleston and Wilmington, and he had little difficulty in subsequently inflicting a defeat on Butler's forces. Butler was also blamed for not intrenching when he carried the first line of the ene. my's works. The movement would then perhaps have proved a success.
The forces remained inactive until the 19th, when Beauregard moved in front of the Union lines, and about midnight attacked Terry's and Ames's Divisions of the Tenth Corps. With some intermissions the attack was kept up until nine o'clock of Friday, the 20th. A more vigorous assault was then made. In front of General Ames's line was a series of rifle-pits, between which and our intrenchments intervened a field devastated by fire, around which the woods formed an irregular semicircle. The enemy came down upon these rifle-pits in force, capturing them after a desperate fight. In an attempt to retake the riflepits, the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania and Thirteenth Illinois Regiments were ordered to move through the woods to co-operate with a movement made by another portion of Gillmore's forces. Misunderstanding the order, the troops were moved by the flank along the skirt of the woods. Marching steadily along, they came unexpectedly upon : battery, which opened a murderous cross-fire, literally mowing them down. It appeared to the looker-on as though the entire force melted away before this terrific rain of grape and canister. The loss is estimated at three hundred. The other movement was successful, and the enemy were driven from their position. The rebel General Walker was dangerously wounded and captured. Butler then ordered the navy gunboats in the Appomattox to shell the woods in front of the left and towards the centre.
Butler was now in a measure shut up in his lines, and Beauregard was enabled to send a portion of his force to the support of Lee. His total force was composed of twelve brigades : Clingman's, Greysie's, and Ranson's Brigades of North Carolina troops; Hunton's, Burton's, Terry's, Corse's, and Wise's Virginia Brigades; Hagood's and Walker's South Carolina Brigades, and Bushrod E. Johnson's Brigade-al. together about thirty thousand men.
On Tuesday, the 24th, some of the enemy's cavalry, under Fitzhugh Lee, attacked the fort at Wilson's Wharf, on the north bank of the James, garrisoned by colored troops, but retired with the loss of twenty-six killed and many wounded. On the 26th, Genernl Martindale made a similar attack upon the enemy's lines at Bakehouse Creek, and retired with the loss of thirty men.
It was now that Grant, moving by his left, was approaching White House, his new base of supplies, and required re-enforcements over and above what had been sent from the North. General Smith with the Eighteenth Corps was therefore detached on the 29th, for the White House via Fortress Monroe. From the moment of the departure of the Eighteenth Corps, Butler was penned up between a watchful enemy and the river, secured, however, from disaster by the gunboats. The movement of Smith's Corps was promptly known to the enemy, who also detached a force to Lee, which reached him before Smith joined Meade. Butler remained within his lines, against which the enemy made occasional demonstrations, without important results on either side.
Position of Grant's Army.--Warren's Advance.-Further Development of the Union •
Left Wing.-Severe Battles around Cold Harbor.-New Flank Movement determined upon.-Crossing of the James and Junction with Butler.-Results of that Campaign.
The morning of Monday, May 30th, found Grant's line of battle disposed as follows: Wright's Corps on the extreme right, extending in the direction of Hanover Court-House; Hancock's on the right centre, on the Shady Grove road; Warren's on the left centre, on the Mechanicsville road; Burnside's on the left, and a little in rear, and so disposed as to threaten Richmond. Our right and rear were covered by Wilson's Third Cavalry Division, which had previously been ordered to destroy the railroad bridges over the Little River and South Anna, and to break up the roads leading thence to Hawe's Shop. Gregg's and Torbert's Divisions were dispatched out on our left Aank. The Old Church Tavern cross-roads were held by Torbert's Division, with a picket force of two squadrons along the road leading from Cold Harbor to Old Church Tavern.
About noon, Torbert's pickets were driven in by an apparent attempt to get in our rear. A brisk skirmish was followed by the retreat of the enemy along the Cold Harbor road. Towards five o'clock, Warren began to move slowly towards Mechanicsville. Crawford's Division, which was in advance, towards Shady Grove, and a little detached, was suddenly assailed by Rhodes's Division, of Early's Corps, with great vigor. The flank of Warren's Corps being thus endangered, General Meade ordered an attack all along the line, in order to relieve him. Hancock was the only one who received the order in time to attack before dark, and he immediately dashed upon the enemy's skirmish line, captured their rifle-pits, and held them all night. The engagement was rapid and brilliant, and the losses not large. Warren held his ground, about seven miles distant from Richmond, and near Mechanicsville. The enemy at once moved down troops to prevent any further dangerous concentration on his right. At midnight, an attack was made upon Hancock, inflicting more or less loss, but without material success. On Tuesday, the 31st, a general advance of our lines began, attended by considerable firing, the enemy being little inclined to be pushed farther back from bis position. The army now occupied nearly the same ground that it had two years before,