Page images

purpose Wright was directed to extend his left, concentrate on that wing, and be prepared to assault. Hancock, with the Second Corps, was to move during the night to the left of Wright, and assault the salient at daylight. Warren was also to make an assault to keep the enemy in his lines, and Burnside, with the Ninth Corps, was ordered to assault on the extreme left.

At daylight of the 12th, the Second Corps gallantly assaulted and carried the salient, capturing Major-General Johnson and BrigadierGeneral Steuart of the Confederate army, with over 3,000 prisoners, 20 guns, and numerous colors. Hancock' immediately reformed his command, and was advancing to the enemy's second line, when he was attacked furiously by the enemy, who desperately endeavored all day to recover his lost position and guns. In this affair Brig. Gen. A. S. Webb was severely wounded. Wright, with the Sixth Corps, on Hancock's right, sustained his share of this battle-one of the bloodiest of the campaign. In view of the great exertions of the enemy, Warren, after failing to succeed in his assault on the right, was moved to the left to the support of Wright and Hancock. Burnside assaulted on Hancock's left, but without any other decisive results than keeping occupied a large force of the enemy.

On the 13th, it was ascertained that the enemy, failing to recover his lost ground, had retired to an inner and shorter line. Having fully settled this fact by reconnaissances, dispositions were made to turn his right flank. During the night of the 13th, the Fifth, followed by the Sixth Corps, was moved over to the Fredericksburg road. The 14th of May was occupied in placing these two corps in position. The enemy was found very strongly posted on the Fredericksburg road in front of the Court-House, and it was deemed inexpedient to attack at this point. During this day Upton's brigade, Sixth Corps, was attacked and compelled to retire from an advanced position it held, but the ground was immediately retaken by Ayres' brigade, Fifth Corps, in conjunction with supports from Neill's division, Sixth Corps.

From the 15th to the 17th of May the army was employed in constant reconnoitering and skirmishing, developing the enemy's position and learning the ground ; also in establishing a base at Aquia Creek, sending the sick and wounded there, and drawing therefrom necessary supplies. On the 19th, the Second and Ninth Corps were moved to the left, the former in reserve, the latter taking post on the left of the Sixth. Ewell's corps of the enemy attempted in the afternoon to turn our right and get possession of the Fredericksburg road. His attack was gallantly met by a division of heavy artillery, new troops, under Brig. Gen. R. O. "Tyler, who, being re-enforced by Crawford, of the Fifth, and Birney, of the Second, promptly repulsed and drove Ewell back, inflicting heavy losses on him. Some of Ewell's forces, pushing to the rear on the Fredericksburg road, met Ferrero's division (colored troops) by whom they were checked and repulsed.

On the 20th of May the Second Corps, with a small force of cavalry, under Brigadier-General Torbert, were pushed through Bowl. ing Green to Milford. Torbert had a handsome affair with some of the enemy's infantry, who disputed his passage of the bridge at Milford. Torbert carried the bridge and drove the enemy, capturing over 100 prisoners. May 21, 22, and 23 were employed in moving the army from Spotsylvania Court-House to the North Anna River. In this movement the Sixth Corps was the rear guard, and on the afternoon of the 21st, when about retiring from Spotsyl. vania, the enemy attacked in force and were handsomely repulsed by Russell's division. On the 23d, on reaching the North Anna near the railroad crossing, Birney's division, of the Second Corps, carried some advanced works the enemy held on the north bank, and secured intact the bridge of the Telegraph road. The Ninth Corps confronted and skirmished with the enemy at Ox Ford, while the Fifth, crossing at Jericho Ford, was attacked by the enemy, all of whose assaults were repulsed. May 24, 25, and 26 were spent on the North Anna. The Second Corps on the left having two divisions on the south side, the Ninth Corps in the center with one division on the south side, and the Fifth and Sixth on the south side extending over to Little River and crossing the Central railroad. During this time portions of the Second, Fifth, and Sixth Corps were engaged destroying the Fredericksburg railroad and the Central road.

On the 25th, the Cavalry Corps rejoined the army, Major-General Sheridan having successfully accomplished the object of the expedition for which he was detached. Leaving on the 9th of May, on the 10th he reached Beaver Dam Station of the Central road, destroying 10 miles of the road, 2 locomotives, 3 trains, and a large amount of stores, estimated at over 1,500,000 rations, overtaking and recapturing about 400 of our men, who were being marched to Richmond as prisoners. Crossing the South Anna at Ground Squirrel Bridge, Ashland Station was captured at daylight of the 11th of May, and the depot, 6 miles of the road, a train, and large quantity of stores destroyed. Hearing the enemy was massing his cavalry at the Yellow Tavern, General Sheridan proceeded there, and attacked, and after an obstinate battle drove the enemy 4 miles, mortally wounding Generals Stuart and Gordon, capturing 2 pieces of artillery and taking between 200 and 300 prisoners. Having gained the Brook pike, a force charged across Brook Run, capturing the enemy's first line of works, but desisted from attacking the second line across the Mechanicsville pike. Crossing the Meadow Bridge, driving the enemy from his front, and repulsing an attack on his rear of infantry from the city, Sheridan proceeded to destroy the railroad bridge over the Chickahominy, and then moved to Haxall's Landing, which he reached on the 14th of May. Remaining here three days to refit, he started on his return on the 17th, reached Baltimore Store on the 18th; on the 21st, destroyed two bridges and some track near Hanover Court-House, encountered and drove the enemy's cavalry across the Chickahominy on the 21st, and crossed the Pamunkey, at White House, on the 230 May, reaching Milford and rejoining the army on the 25th May. On the 26th, Wilson's division crossed the North Anna, above Jericho Ford, and assisted the infantry in destroying the Central road. On the night of the 26th May Sheridan, with two divisions of cavalry, supported by Russell's division, Sixth Corps, moved down the Pamunkey, and by noon on the 27th seized the crossing at Hanovertown and threw a bridge there.

On the 27th and 28th, the army moved and crossed the Pamunkey; the Fifth and Ninth Corps at Hanovertown, the Second and Sixth at Hundley's Ford. On the 28th, Sheridan had a sharp engagement with the enemy's cavalry, meeting them at Haw's Shop, but driving them back to the crossing of the Totopotomoy, where he maintained his position till relieved by the Second Corps. On the 29th,


Hancock advanced on the road from Haw's Shop to Atlee's Station, driving the enemy into his works on the other side of the Totopotomoy. Warren took position on the Shady Grove Church road, skirmishing with the enemy. Wright moved on the right of the Second Corps, occupying for a time Hanover Court-House, and then closing in to the left. On the 30th, the Ninth Corps moved between the Second and Fifth Corps, pushing out on the road to Pole Green Church. Late in the evening the enemy attacked Warren near Bethesda Church, and attempted to turn his left, but were foiled and repulsed. To relieve Warren, Hancock was ordered to attack, when Barlow carried the first line of rifle-pits occupied by the enemy on the opposite side of the Totopotomoy.

On the 31st, Wilson's division of cavalry moved to Hanover Junction and destroyed the railroad bridges over the Anna River, at the same time defeating and driving away the enemy's cavalry sent to intercept him. Sheridan with two divisions was sent to occupy Cold Harbor, driving the enemy out of that place. Sheridan reporting himself pressed at Cold Harbor, was directed to maintain his position at all hazards, which he did manfully till Wright, with the Sixth Corps, and Maj. Gen. W.F. Smith, with troops from the James River, via White House, could join him. These arrived on the 1st of June, relieving Sheridan, when both Wright and Smith attacked the enemy, taking parts of a line he was holding and forcing him back to another line.

On the 2d of June the Second Corps was moved to Cold Harbor, and took position on the left of Wright, who was on the left of Smith. Burnside was drawn in to Bethesda Church, and Warren extended to the left to connect with Smith. In executing this operation, both Warren and Burnside were attacked, repulsing and punishing the enemy, but losing some prisoners by the flanking of their skirmish line. Wilson, returning from Hanovor Junction, demonstrated on Burnside's right. Sheridan held the lower crossings of the Chickahominy, and covered the roads to the White House, now the depot for supplies.

At , a. m., June 3, a vigorous assault was made by the Second, Sixth, and Eighteenth Corps. Barlow's division, Second Corps, carried a part of the enemy's line on our extreme left, but before Barlow could be re-enforced, the enemy rallying compelled him to withdraw.

The assaults of the Sixth and Eighteenth Corps being unsuccessful, about 11 a. m. offensive operations closed.

In the mean time Burnside had gained some advantage, reporting he had carried an advance line of the enemy. The losses on both sides in this attack were severe. In the afternoon the enemy attacked Burnside and Warren, with no more success than we met in the morning: The army was directed to intrench in its then position, close up [to] the enemy's main line of works. About 9 p. m., the enemy made an assault on Gibbon's division, Second Corps, and was easily repulsed. During the day Wilson, operating on our extreme right, turned the enemy's left, attacking and forcing him back, taking a number of prisoners.

On June 4, Burnside reporting the enemy withdrawn from his front, the Ninth Corps was drawn in and posted between the Fifth and Eighteenth. On the 6th, the Fifth Corps was withdrawn and massed in rear of the center, and on the 7th, the Second Corps, being extended to the Chickahominy, two divisions of the Fifth were sent to extend as far as Dispatch Station, on the York River Railroad. At this date two divisions of cavalry, under Sheridan, were sent to Gordonsville to destroy more effectually the Central railroad, and communicate, if practicable, with the forces operating in the valley. On June 12 the movement was made to the James, the Fifth Corps, preceded by Wilson's division of cavalry, moving on the night of the 12th, seizing the crossing at Long Bridge, and early on the 13th taking position on the Long Bridge road, where it crossed the White Oak Swamp At this point Wilson's cavalry and Crawford's division repulsed all attempts of the enemy to advance on this road. The Second Corps followed the Fifth, withdrawing from Cold Harbor on the night of the 12th, crossing at Long Bridge, and reaching the James at Charles City Court-House on the evening of the 13th. The Second Corps having passed, the Fifth was withdrawn to the James, and Wilson's cavalry posted so as to cover the approaches from the White Oak Swamp to the James. The Sixth and Ninth Corps crossed at Jones' Bridge, and the trains by a bridge at Cole’s Ferry. The troops under Maj. Gen. W. F. Smith, temporarily serving with the Army of the Potomac, were relieved and removed on the night of the 12th to the White House. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, [Inclosure No. 2.!


Major-General, Commanding. Lieut. Col. T. S. BOWERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


(Inclosure No. 1.]

Tabular statement of casualties in the Army of the Potomac from May 5, 1864, to

November 1, 1864.

[blocks in formation]

* For continuation of report, see Volume XL, Part I.

Statement showing the number of guns captured from the enemy; also the number of guns lost during the operations of the Army of the Potomac from May 4, 1864, to November 1, 1864. Thirty-two guns were captured and 25 guns lost, as follows:

[blocks in formation]

Statement showing the number of colors captured from the enemy during the

operations of the Army of the Potomac from May 4, 1864, to November 1, 1864.


Captured by-
Cavalry Corps

3 Second Corps.

40 Fifth Corps.

10 Sixth Corps.

3 Ninth Corps

11 Number of colors captured

67 NOTE.— The foregoing statement is made up from the reports of captured colors that have been received. Two divisions of the Cavalry Corps and the Sixth Corps, having been transferred from this army, it is not certainly known that all the colors captured by these troops prior to their transfer have been reported.

(Inclosure No. 4.)

Statement showing the number of prisoners captured by the Army of the Potomac

during the operations from May 4, 1864, to November 1, 1864.

From May 1 to May 12.
From May 12 to July 31,
From July 31 to August 31.
From August 31 to September 30
From September 30 to October 31


78 1, 138


15, 373

« PreviousContinue »