our last meal before starting upon the march to the James on the evening of the 12th, the conversation turned upon the losses which had occurred and the reinforcements which had been received up to that time.
The figures then known did not differ much from those contained in the accurate official reports afterward compiled.
From the opening of the campaign, May 4, to the movement across the James, June 12, the total casualties in the Army of the Potomac, including Sheridan's cavalry and Burnside's command, had been: killed, 7621; wounded, 38,339; captured or missing, 8966; total, 54,926.
The services of all the men included in these figures were not, however, permanently lost to the army.
A number of them were prisoners who were afterward exchanged, and many had been only slightly wounded, and were soon ready for duty again.
Some were doubtless counted more than once, as a soldier who was wounded in a battle twice, and afterward killed, may have been counted three times in makin
icient numbers to drive away the enemy's cavalry pickets.
A pontoon-bridge was then rapidly constructed.
Warren had kept close to the cavalry, and on the morning of the 13th his whole corps had crossed the bridge.
Hancock's corps followed.
Burnside set out on the road to Jones's Bridge, twenty miles below Cold Harbor, and was followed by Wright.
Cavalry covered the rear.
Warren moved out some distance on the Long Bridge road, so as to watch the routes leading toward Richmond and hold theWilcox's Landing, and went into camp on the north bank of the James, at the point where the crossing was to take place.
Hancock's corps made a forced march, and reached the river at Wilcox's Landing on the afternoon of June 13.
Wright's and Burnside's corps arrived there the next day. Warren's corps withdrew on the night of the 13th from the position to which it had advanced, and reached the James on the afternoon of the 14th.
The several corps had moved by forced marches over distances of
nied by most of his staff, and by Mr. Dana, Assistant Secretary of War.
The enemy was then constantly arriving and occupying his intrenchments in strong force.
Burnside's corps had just come up, and was put in position on Hancock's left.
At 10:15 A. M. Grant sent an order to Meade to hurry Warren forward, and start up the riverith the general-in-chief I started again for the front at Petersburg before dawn on the 17th, carrying instructions looking to the contemplated attacks that day. Burnside's troops surprised the enemy at daybreak by making a sudden rush upon his works, captured his intrenchments, swept his line for a mile, and took 600 prisoners, ay commanded by D. B. Birney, as Hancock's Gettysburg wound had broken out afresh the day before, entirely disabling him. Gallant assaults were repeatedly made by Burnside, Warren, and Birney; and while they did not succeed in the object of carrying the enemy's main line of fortifications, positions were gained closer to his works,
een sent back from Butler's front to the Army of the Potomac, and Martindale's command had been returned to Butler, so that Meade's and Butler's armies were again complete.
Meade's corps were disposed as follows, from right to left of the line: Burnside, Warren, Birney (Hancock's), Wright.
On the morning of June 22, Wright's and Birney's corps moved westward with a view to crossing the Weldon Railroad and swinging around to the left; but they were vigorously attacked and forced back some dinxious about the fate of the cavalry and the progress of Wright's corps, which had been sent to Reams's Station to Wilson's relief, but did not reach there in time.
He rode out to the Petersburg front with his staff, held interviews with Meade, Burnside, and Smith, and visited the lines to make a personal inspection of the principal batteries.
He became impressed with the idea that more field-artillery could be used to advantage at several points, and when we returned to headquarters that even
in the presence of subordinates, and the want of harmony and cooperation which he had exhibited, and that he had spoken to Grant about this, and had gone so far as to write a letter to him asking that Warren might be relieved; but that, in the hope that disagreements might not occur in future, and in order to avoid doing him so serious an injury, he had withheld the letter.
A thorough examination of Warren's front and other parts of the line was made.
Sharp firing occurred in front of Burnside, which was thought to indicate something of importance; but it was only a random fusillade on the part of the troops, kept up between the parts of the lines which were quite close together.
Saturday, July 23, William H. Seward, the Secretary of State, came down from Washington to visit General Grant and see the armies.
He arrived at seven o'clock in the morning on the steamer City of Hudson, and came at once to General Grant's quarters.
The general had seen but little of the distingui
er the assaults on the 17th and 18th of June, Burnside's corps established a line of earthworks withhe end of June he communicated the project to Burnside, who talked the matter over with General Meeality concentrated his forces in the rear of Burnside at a point fifteen miles distant, ready to brbeen moved to a position in Burnside's rear.
Burnside had proposed to put Ferrero's colored troops te troops were assigned to make the assault.
Burnside, of course, was allowed to choose the divisio left, about three hundred yards distant, and Burnside was supposed to be one of the number.
To reath in apprehension for the general's safety.
Burnside was in the earthwork for which we were headina medium of personal dispute.
Meade had sent Burnside a note saying: Do you mean to say your office is the obstacle?
I wish to know the truth.
Burnside replied: I have never, in any report, said ankilfully handled.
He had no unkind words for Burnside, but he felt that this disaster had greatly i[13 more...]