to move, and exposes fewer to the bullets of the enemy. And thus our lines advanced this evening, meeting with a stubborn resistance, but still pressing onward, until most of the ground which we lost has been regained and reoccupied. Our lines are now being strengthened by the construction of breastworks and the planting of several batteries of artillery. The skirmishers on both sides, however, are firing away at each other at this late hour. The casualties in the Second corps throughout the day will number only a few hundred; but the loss by prisoners captured by the enemy will exceed, perhaps, a thousand.
before Petersrurg, June 22--11 P. M.This afternoon, pending a fight in which the Second corps was engaged, and in which the enemy temporarily got the best and captured some guns, which, however, were subsequently retaken, General Griffin's division, of this corps, was sent to the support of the Second, should its services be needed. Happily the brave and invincible veterans of the Second corps succeeded in fighting their own battle unaided, and in winning a glorious victory. It was a fierce conflict. Not only the first division, but all the divisions of this corps, expected every moment they might be as heavily engaged. They looked for it, and were ready for it, as they always have been known to be. As it was, the shells of the enemy's cannon fell among the First division, killing and wounding several. Rebel sharpshooters, too, kept up their accustomed watchfulness, and more than one was borne away wounded by their unerring bullets. Captain Keene, Twentieth Maine regiment, was shot by one of these sharpshooters, and instantly killed. Lieutenant Denvers, Twentieth Pennsylvania, dismounted cavalry, was severely but not dangerously wounded. This morning Brigadier-General Ayres, commanding the Second division, while inspecting his front line, had two narrow escapes from the bullets of sharpshooters. One bullet hit his right thumb, and another just grazed his face ; and during some cannonading in the early part of the day the shells, as usual, dropped in pretty thick about our headquarters, but doing no damage. A like complimentary salutation was paid to the First division headquarters, and those of Colonel Sweitzer. I was at the hospital an hour ago. One poor fellow was shot in both thighs, and it was necessary to amputate both legs. “Remember, I have a wife and four children,” was all he said before the operation was performed. He lived but two hours.
headquarters Army of the Potomac, June 23--6 A. M.Wilson's division of cavalry moved off in the direction of the Weldon railroad. When last heard from they had reached Reams' station, (ten miles west of Petersburg,) and were tearing up the track along the road. The Second and Sixth corps moved from their old positions on the right toward the Weldon railroad. General Lee seems to have anticipated a movement by our left flank, or else he designed to turn our right, as when near the Jerusalem plank-road the two corps were confronted by General Hill's corps, and a smart engagement ensued. A battery of the Twelfth New York artillery was annoying the rebels, who succeeded in getting round on the flank and charging it. The infantry supporting the battery were surprised, and after a faint show of resistance retired, leaving four guns in the hands of the rebels. Our line was then re-formed. The men were becoming accustomed to General Lee's new practice of acting entirely on the defensive, and must have been confused by his bold and sudden onset. Two divisions of the Fifth corps were within easy supporting distance on the right, and the Sixth corps was ready for any hostilities on the left. Charges were made by the rebels, who suffered severely with each fresh assault.
General R. S. Foster has been confided, by General Butler, a most important and perilous command on the James river. This position, since it is in full view of the enemy, is at a point on the James river between Aiken's landing and Four-Mile creek. General Foster's force is a formidable one, and is handled by as brave, accomplished, and sterling an officer as is known in the service. He will do the rebels and their shattered cause as much damage as any General in the army. During the twenty-first, General Foster drove in the rebel pickets twice — the One Hundredth regiment, New York volunteers, Colonel Dandy, making two most gallant charges, upon which he was heartily congratulated by General J. B. Howell, commanding the First brigade, First division. Captain Granger, Company K, of the One Hundredth, charged fully up to Mrs. Grover's, driving the enemy from that point, they being there in force. Captain Meborne, of the First New York mounted rifles, also gallantly drove the enemy three hours. The rebel picket line is in range of ours, and the enemy develops a large adjacent force. They are also reported to be in full force, with infantry and cavalry, under command of Lee — another nephew of General R. E. Lee--at Chapin's Bluff, four miles and a half from the Grover house. The gunboats commenced shelling the enemy at a quarter to seven o'clock on the evening of the twenty-first instant, from our left, maintaining a vigorous and effective fire until dark. The immediate result of this shelling was ascertained to be the driving of the enemy from the left to the right, whence they were again driven.