Spotsylvania C. H., May 19,
Via Chesterfield, May 21.
Yesterday morning, about day, the enemy, with a considerable force of picked troops, assaulted our left wing.
The attack, however, was quite feeble, and we readily repulsed them with slight loss on our side, but with considerable slaughter of the enemy.
The fight lasted about one and a half hours. During this engagement we captured about sixty prisoners, and the enemy left over two hundred dead on the field.
Last night the enemy retired from our left, leaving their dead unburied.
They seem to be massing on our right, either for the purpose of attacking us again or to fall back.
After the fight of yesterday on our left the enemy opened vigorous cannonading on our right wing, to which we responded, and a fierce artillery duel was kept up for two hours; our side, however, losing very slightly.
Our men to day have been busy collecting arms on that part of the field abandoned by the enemy.
Many arms are being obtained, which were buried by the enemy.
Yesterday evening there was some cavalry fighting near Guiney's Station, but it amounted to very little.
Up to three o'clock yesterday nothing of interest occurred.
About that time General Ewell
moved forward in force an armed reconnaissance toward the enemy's right flank.
About five o'clock our skirmishers engaged those of the enemy a little west and north of the road leading from Spotsylvania Court-House to Fredericksburg
The enemy soon brought up a heavy force, consisting of Hancock
's second, a large part of Burnside
's ninth corps, and heavy artillery troops drawn from the defences at Washington
and armed as infantry, when a considerable fight ensued, and at one time our line of skirmishers had possession of the enemy's wagon train, but were compelled to relinquish it, not however, until we had brought off some of their mules.
The fight lasted until 9 o'clock at night, when Ewell
fell back to his original position, having lost in the engagement about 150 wounded, about 30 killed, and a few missing.
The prisoners report the enemy's loss much heavier.
We captured about 100 prisoners.
Not a gun has been fired to-day.
It is supposed Grant
is awaiting reinforcements in order to renew the attack.
To-day matters have been quiet all day.--Yesterday Meade
sent a flag of truce to Gen. Lee
, thanking him for sending him Wadsworth
's body, for which he applied by flag of truce during the Wilderness
, on the 13th, issued a congratulatory order to his troops.
He claims that Lee
has now abandoned his last entrenched position, which he had so pertinaciously held, suffering a loss of 18 guns, 24 colors, and 8,000 prisoners. Meade
further says the fight is not over, the enemy must be pursued and, if possible, overcome, and that he (Meade
) expects reinforcements, which Lee
cannot possibly get.
Up to 3 o'clock to-day there has been no fighting.
The weather is warm, and the roads are fast drying.