They drove in our pickets, and attacked the main line formed in the meantime, but yielded to the first charge made by Torbert's men. They were driven back in confusion, and pursued two miles to the vicinity of Cold Harbor. The enemy left their killed and wounded, to the number of about one hundred, on the field. Our loss was two officers killed and three wounded, five men killed and sixty-eight wounded. Lieutenants Angler and Martin, of the Seventeenth Pennsylvania, were the officers killed. As soon as General Meade was apprised of the attempt of the enemy on Warren's left, he ordered a general advance of the whole line west of the Tolopotomy to be made for its relief, but it being nearly dark, only General Hancock, whose headquarters were nearest, received the order in time to execute it. He drove the enemy's pickets and outposts away, and took and still holds their rifle-pits. He captured about one hundred prisoners. May 31.--At midnight the enemy attempted to surprise Hancock's corps in the position in advance of our line, which it took last evening and held during the night. They were repulsed with great slaughter, leaving five hundred prisoners in our hands. During the night it was determined to advance the remainder of the line so as to bring it up with Hancock's left and right. This movement commenced about six o'clock this morning, and brought on heavy skirmishing along the entire front. The artillery has been at work at different points of the line during the last hour. The enemy's outposts are evidently making strong resistance to our advance, but, as yet,there are no indications that it will bring on a general engagement. It is positively known that Lee's army holds a naturally strong position, constantly improved by steady work with picks and shovels during the last few days, on the hills skirting the north bank of the Chickahominy. We are threatening his right, but there are, as yet, no indications of any disposition on the part of the enemy of abandoning their present line and falling back to another on the south side of the Chickahominy. On the contrary, they show as much readiness to act on the offensive as they did in front of Spottsylvania Court-house and on the North Anna. They may precipitate a general action at any moment. It is certain that Breckinridge's forces are with Lee, and prisoners say that Beauregard's are joining him.
headquarters Army of the Potomac, in the field, near Hanovertown, Va. Tuesday, May 31.By one of those odd coincidences, of which the history of the Virginia campaigns is so full, General Grant's headquarters are this morning at the very point which formed the extreme right wing of the Army of the Potomac in the Peninsular campaign two years ago. Hawes' Shop, near which we now are, four or five miles south-west of Hanover Court-house, was then occupied by the Fifth Regular cavalry, as an outpost, and it was here, just two years ago, that Stuart, moving from Hanover Court-house, to make a raid around McClellan's lines, struck our right flank. Draw a line of five or six miles in length, from the Pamunkey near Hanover Court-house, where our right now rests, almost due south to the Tolopotomy creek, three miles south of Hanovertown, and you will have our line of battle as it now stands. Five miles west of our line runs the famous stream Chickahominy. Along that river in front of, and covering the Virginia Central railroad, from Atlee's station to Shady Grove, five miles north of Richmond, the rebel front is formed, midway in the interval that divides these two points. The skirmish lines of the two armies meet, and to our ears the morning air brings the crackle of musketry, like the sputtering of a caldron, while now and then comes the boom of guns, whose reverberations are easily heard in the capital of rebellion. Gaines' Mill and Mechanicsville are within an hour's ride. Fair Oaks you can reach in a two hours stroll. Richmond is ten miles off. It is there that history repeats itself. The present position of this army is the result of that fine turning movement, which, commencing on Thursday last, in two days planted our corps across the Pamunkey river, rendered useless the elaborate rebel defences of the South Anna, and secured us communication with York river, the Chesapeake, and the ample resources which those waters float. It appears to be conceived that this movement is understood to be a following up of the enemy, who is supposed to have fallen back from his lines between the North and South Anna, a conception which does injustice to the generalship of our commander. It was not Lee but Grant who took the initiative, Lee would gladly have remained in his line along the South Anna, and would willingly have awaited battle there, but was forced out of his cherished position, just as he was compelled to evacuate the lines of Spottsylvania, by an offensive movement, threatening his communications, a movement bold in conception and masterly in execution. There are, says the Archduke Charles, battles which are already won by the mere direction of the strategy of advance. In a like sense it can fairly be claimed that by a couple of days' marching this army has gained a victory more substantial than a week's hard pounding could in the situation have won, and that we are entitled to regard this great flank manoeuvre, as confirmed by the tone of mingled mortification and braggadocio in which the Richmond press treats it. “Grant,” says the Examiner of Saturday, the twenty-eighth, “has definitely declined battle at Hanover Junction. Perhaps we should say that his army has saved him the trouble of declining it. It is certain that both armies are moving. Two stories have lately prevailed of the direction which Grant is going. One account represented a large ”