breastworks across the base of the salient, and not until near the dawn of the 13th were Lee
's well-nigh exhausted men withdrawn from the long-held and much-fought-for horseshoe salient, to find rest behind the new works their comrades had constructed, thus straightening his front and giving him a shorter and more formidable line than he had held before.
Notwithstanding the capture of Johnson
's division, at the opening of the combat, Lee
's losses, from his 50,000 present, were only some 8,000 men; but these were 18 per cent of his army.
had thrown twenty-two brigades against Lee
's center, at the salient, but had failed to reach his rear, and had really gained nothing but great losses for his strenuous efforts; from his 100,000 in hand, 16,000 were killed or wounded.
At 6:30 of the afternoon of the 12th, after the close of the famous battle of Spottsylvania Court House
dispatched to Halleck
: ‘The eighth day of battle closes. . . . The enemy are obstinate and seem to have found the last ditch.
We have lost no organization,’ etc. Dana
, a half hour later, telegraphed to Stanton
The battle has raged without cessation throughout the day. Wright and Hancock have borne the brunt of it. . . . Burnside's troops generally have borne themselves like good soldiers.
I should here mention that only his white troops have been engaged, the colored division having been kept in the rear to guard the trains.
Warren has gained nothing.
His attacks were made in the forenoon, with so much delay, that Grant and Meade were greatly dissatisfied; but when they were made they were unsuccessful, though attended with considerable loss.
The rebel works in his front were very strong, and finally, at about 1 o'clock, the chief portion of his troops were withdrawn from his lines and brought to the support of Wright.
It was then intended to attempt a grand assault, with a very powerful column under Wright, at about 5 o'clock; but when the men were brought up, they were so tired from the long day's work, and the chances of success were so much short of certainty, that General Wright advised General Meade to postpone the attempt, and accordingly the obstinate battle was allowed to pause here.
The results of the day are, that we have crowded the enemy out of some of his most important positions. . . . Our troops rest to-night upon the ground they have so victoriously fought for.
At 8 next morning, May 13th, Dana
Lee abandoned his position during the night—whether to occupy a new one in the vicinity or to make a thorough retreat is not determined. . . . Though our army is greatly fatigued, from the enormous efforts of yesterday, the news of Lee's departure inspires the men with fresh energy.
The whole force will soon be in motion, but the heavy rain of he last thirty-six hours renders the roads very difficult for wagons and artillery. . . . The proportion of severely