occurred throughout the war. No regular report from the Confederate
side, except the brief statements of Beauregard
, has ever reached the public, and these contain no details of how Butler
's right wing was broken—the principal event in that bloody battle.
One reason for this silence on our side is due to the fact that our forces were gathered as they arrived and placed in temporary organization under officers assigned to them for the occasion; another reason is that all eyes were turned toward the fields of Spotsylvania
, where the armies of Grant
made music which drowned the thunder of cannons and rattle of musketry at Drewry's Bluff
The forces engaged.
The Federal army assigned to the capture of Petersburg
, called the Army of the James, commanded by General Butler
, composed of the Tenth and Eighteenth army corps, numbered, according to its own report, thirty-eight thousand seven hundred men and eighty-eight guns, besides a fleet of gunboats and monitors.
The Confederate forces, commanded by General Beauregard
, consisted of Gracie
's and Barton
's brigades, forming Ransom
's division; Corse
's, Bushrod Johnson
's and Hagood
's brigades, forming Hoke
's division, and Colquitt
's and Ransom
's brigades under Colquitt
Attached to this force were three battalions of artillery and three small regiments of cavalry, the whole or gross number being given as seventeen thousand and three hundred.
This was the force at Drewry's Bluff
engaged on the 16th of May.
North of Petersburg
, near Swift creek
, General Whiting
was in charge, having Wise
's and Martin
's brigades and Dearing
's cavalry with him. This force, however, took no part in the battle.
Their number is given as forty-six hundred.
Taking the figures representing the aggregate or gross numbers, we have: Federals, thirty-eight thousand and seven hundred; Confederates, twenty-one thousand and nine hundred.