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Doc. 94. Grant's operations in Virginia.


Meade's address to the Army,

headquarters Army of the Potomac, May 13.
soldiers: The moment has arrived when your commanding general feels authorized to address you in terms of congratulation.

For eight days and nights, almost without intermission, in rain and sunshine, you have been gallantly fighting a desperate foe, in positions naturally strong, and rendered doubly so by intrenchments.

You have compelled him to abandon his fortifications on the Rapidan, to retire, and attempt to stop your onward progress, and now he has abandoned the last intrenched position so tenaciously held, suffering in all a loss of eighteen guns, twenty-two colors, and eight thousand prisoners, including two general officers.

Your heroic deeds and noble endurance of fatigue and privation will ever be memorable. Let us return thanks to God for the mercy thus shown us, and ask earnestly for its continuance.

Soldiers! Your work is not over. The enemy must be pursued and if possible overcome. The courage and fortitude you have displayed renders your commanding general confident that your future efforts will result in success.

While we mourn the loss of many gallant comrades, let us remember that the enemy must have suffered equal, if not greater losses.

We shall soon receive reinforcements, which he cannot expect.

Let us determine, then, to continue vigorously the work so well begun, and, under God's [545] blessing, in a short time the object of our labors will be accomplished.

Geo. G. Meade. Major-General Commanding. S. Williams, A. A. G.


General Lee's address.

headquarters Army or Northern Virginia May 14, 1864.
First--The general commanding takes great pleasure in announcing to the army the series of successes that, by the favor of God, have recently been achieved by our arms.

Second--A part of the enemy's force threatening the valley of Virginia has been routed by General Imboden,and driven back to the Potomac, with the loss of their train and a number of prisoners.

Third--Another body of the enemy, under General Averell, penetrated to the Virginia and Tennessee railroad at Dublin depot. A portion of his force has been dispersed by Generals Morgan and W. E. Jones, who are in pursuit of the remainder.

Fourth--The army of General Banks sustained a severe defeat in Western Louisiana by the forces of General Kirby Smith, and retreated to Alexandria, losing several thousand prisoners, thirty-five pieces of artillery, and a large number of wagons. Some of the most formidable gun-boats that accompanied the expedition were destroyed to save them from capture.

Fifth--The expedition of General Steele into Western Arkansas has ended in a complete disaster. Northern journals of the tenth instant announce his surrender, with an army of nine thousand men, to General Price.

Sixth--The cavalry force sent by General Grant to attack Richmond has been repulsed, and retired toward the Peninsula. Every demonstration of the enemy south of James river has, up to this time, been successfully repelled.

Seventh--The heroic valor of this army, with the blessing of Almighty God, has thus far checked the principal army of the enemy, and inflicted upon it heavy losses. The eyes and hearts of your countrymen are turned to you with confidence, and their prayers attend you in your gallant struggle. Encouraged by the success that has been vouchsafed to us, and stimulated by the great interests that depend upon the issue, let every man resolve to endure all and brave all, until, by the assistance of a just and merciful God, the enemy shall be driven back, and peace secured to our country. Continue to emulate the valor of your comrades who have fallen; and remember that it depends upon you whether they shall have died in vain. It is in your power, under God, to defeat the last great effort of the enemy, establish the in-independence of your native land, and earn the lasting love and gratitude of your countrymen and the admiration of mankind.



A National account.

headquarters Army of the Potomac, near Spottsylvania Court-House, Thursday, May 19, 10 P. M.
The rebels, at five o'clock this evening, made an attempt to repeat Jackson's Chancellorsville flanking movement, and gave us an unanticipated hour or two of fighting, which has ended with their complete repulse. Ewell's corps (Jackson's old command), made a detour around our right wing, and suddenly emerged on the Spottsylvania and Fredericksburg plank-road, striking our rear and breaking out upon our trains. The only force at the point was a portion of the heavy artillery division of General Robert Tyler, which reached the army a day or two ago from Washington, and has never before been in battle. These were unable at first to check the advance of the rebels, who pounced upon our ammunition train, a portion of which they captured, and broke into an open space within three quarters of a mile of these headquarters. General Tyler, however, promptly gathered up his force, threw it upon the rebels, and finally repulsed them handsomely. Immediately upon the announcement of the attack, General Meade despatched two divisions of Hancock's corps (those of Barlow and Birney), from our extreme left, and Crawford's division of Warren's corps from the centre. Birney formed his line, and threw it into the woods in support of Tyler, while the Pennsylvania Reserves were sent around on the rebel right flank, with the view of preventing their recrossing the Ny. The rebels, finding themselves checked, fell back and recrossed the Ny at a point three or four miles above. The rebel force engaged was Hood's division of Ewell's corps, the remainder of the corps supporting. The honor of their repulse rests with Tyler's regiments (heavy artillery used as infantry), which withstood their first baptism of battle nobly. Their loss was heavy, and will probably reach a hundred killed and four or five hundred wounded. This was in part owing to the fact that, being fresh troops, they did not know how to cover themselves, as old troops do, and they illustrated the well-known fact that new troops, in their first engagement, generally fight with more reckless daring than even veterans. It should be mentioned that the wagons taken by the rebels were promptly recaptured, and we took besides from seventy-five to a hundred prisoners.

The assault on the part of the enemy was boldly conceived and executed, and was probably prompted by the fact that General Meade has to-day been withdrawing the forces from the right of our line and massing them on the left. The object of the rebels, therefore, was doubt-less to discover where our right rested, and to seize such booty as might fall in their way. The purpose, as will be seen, was completely foiled, and though the suddenness of the attack produced a temporary flurry, Generals Grant and Meade seem how in perfect good humor with the result.



[546]

A Southern account.

Army of Northern Virginia, near Spottsylvania Court-House, May 20, 1864.
About three o'clock yesterday evening Lieutenant-General Ewell, with the whole of the Second corps, moved forward on a reconnoissance in force, leaving our intrenchments about three P. M. This move was intended to strike the enemy on their extreme right flank. The country through which the move was made is diversified by woods and fields, and so much of forest that it was quite possible so to move as to escape the observation of the enemy. Lieutennt-General Ewell moved by a circuitous route, striking the enemy's line of skirmishers at a point a little north and west of the road leading from Fredericksburg to Spottsylvania Court-house, and about eight miles from the former place.

About five P. M. our skirmishers came upon the enemy's line of skirmishers, and a sharp engagement ensued between them. Our column started with artillery, but owing to the condition of the roads, were compelled to move without it. The enemy, during the action, brought two pieces into position. The force of the enemy which we encountered consisted of Hancock's Second, a part of the Ninth, and some of the heavy artillery troops under Augur, who were brought here on Sunday last, armed as infantry-men. Our skirmishers attacked their skirmish line most furiously, and drove them back some half a mile, when we came in contact with their immense lines of battle, and we were compelled to give back, they assaulting us. Not satisfied at our temporarily giving back, the enemy, reinforced by a second line, attempted to press, when we in turn repulsed them most handsomely. After this, for four or five times, they assaulted, with great noise, our line of skirmishers, but in every instance were successfully repelled.

During the engagement, which lasted from about five until nine o'clock, our skirmishers reached the main road running from Fredericksburg to Spottsylvania Court-house. On this road the enemy's train was moving. Into it our skirmishers dashed, cutting loose some and shooting others of their mules, and capturing a quartermaster. About nine o'clock at night the fighting ceased, and our men retired to their original position behind the intrenchments, with a loss of about one hundred and fifty wounded, some thirty killed, and some few stragglers who were “gobbled up” by the enemy. We captured and brought off about a hundred prisoners, who represent their loss quite heavy. During the action, Lieutenant-General Ewell's horse was shot under him. The General received a severe fall, which jarred him considerably. He is to-day, however, again in the saddle.

The object of this move is said to have been a reconnoissance in force, to determine the enemy's position. We certainly accomplished very little, while we lost some good men, among them the gallant Colonel Boyd, of Daniels' North Carolina brigade, who was killed. The conduct of most of the troops is highly commended, especially Pegram's Virginia brigade, of whom General Ewell spoke in regard to their bearing on this occasion in terms of most exalted praise. Jones' Virginia and the Stonewall brigade, in Johnson's division, or rather the remnants thereof, are said not to have done so well.

To-day I have ridden around the lines, and there is a quiet most profound. The pickets have ceased firing at each other. The enemy's large wagon-train can be plainly seen parked in front of the

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