Matoax, which was strongly guarded.
He did a little harm also to the Lynchburg
road; making his way circuitously but safely thence1
to City Point
Meantime, our fleet had had a difficult and dangerous task in fishing the James
for torpedoes; by one of which, the small gunboat Corn
had been utterly destroyed,2
and 50 of its crew killed or wounded.
The gunboats Shoshonee
were likewise destroyed by explosions, but not of torpedoes.
's flanking advance from Spottsylvania
to the North Anna
was admirably planned and executed without loss — a single blow aimed by Hill
at the front of Wright
's (6th) corps, just before it started3
to cover the movement, being easily repelled.
But, as our movement was easily detected from the higher ground held by Lee
, and as his position covered the direct and best road leading straight to Richmond
, compelling Grant
to make a considerable detour eastward and move by inferior roads, it was inevitable on our part that, on approaching4
the North Anna
, near the crossing of the Fredericksburg railroad, our army should find its old antagonist planted across that stream, in an admirable position, covering the Central
road (on which Breckinridge
, having beaten Sigel
in the Valley
, was now hurrying down to reenforce Lee
), and prepared to dispute resolutely its farther advance.
, on our right, crossed that afternoon at Jericho ford, the enemy being in slender force in his immediate presence; but they were very soon strengthened, and an attack in front, on Griffin
's division, made at 5 P. M. by Wilcox
's and Heth
's divisions (six brigades) of Hill
's corps, but promptly and effectually repulsed with loss to the enemy; who there-upon sent Brown
, with three brigades, to turn our right.
This maneuver was well executed; the blow falling on Cutler
's division while getting into position, crushing in his left, and throwing the whole into confusion.
Pressing swiftly to their right, the charging column struck the right of Griffin
's division, which was saved by refusing that flank, while Bartlett
's brigade was hurried forward to its support.
In making this advance, the 83d Pennsylvania, Lt.-Col. Mc-Coy
, swept closely past the flank of Brown
's column, when McCoy
instantly wheeled his forward companies into line, and gave a volley, which, delivered at close quarters on the flank and rear of the Rebel
column, threw it into utter disorder and rout: one of McCoy
's men seizing Brown
by the collar and dragging him into our lines, while nearly 1,000 of his men were gathered up as prisoners.
Our loss here was but 350, and the enemy's attack was completely foiled.
established and intrenched his lines without farther resistance.
struck the North Anna
at the Chesterfield bridge
, a mile above the Fredericksburg railroad, where lie was confronted by McLaws
's division of Longstreet
's corps, mainly across the river, but holding an ugly fortification or bridge-head on this side; which, at 6 P. M., after a vigorous fire from three sections of artillery, was stormed and carried by Pierce
's and Egan