Latest from the North.
McClellan still Victorious!
the rebels in a Trap.
offer of more troops from the Northern States.
We have succeeded in obtaining Baltimore
papers to the 3d inst., and New York papers to the 2d inst. The extracts from them tell the same old story--‘"Federal Victory,"’ and the ‘"Confederates in a Trap."’
[Special Dispatch to the New York Tribune.]
Battle Field, Sunday, June 29, 1862, A. M.--A severe and most determined battle was fought on the right wing of the Army of the Potomac, on Thursday and Friday, the 26th and 27th instants, which is claimed by some of our officers as a successful strategic movement, into which the enemy have unwillingly been drawn, and which will soon result in the capture of Richmond
and the entire Rebel army.
The attack was made by the enemy in immense force, who crossed the Chickahominy river
near the railroad, above Mechanicsville
, on Thursday afternoon, and fought desperately, but were unable to drive our men back a single rod from their position, not withstanding that we had to contend, in an unequal combat, with nearly or quite ten to one.
The only forces engaged on that day was McCall
's Division which was lodged on the opposite side of a swampy ravine, about a mile and a half back from the Chickahominy river
The battle lasted from about 2 until 9 P. M., when the enemy drew off, renewing the attack at the break of day, and after several hours of hard fighting Gen. McCall
's division was ordered to fall back.
The soldiers, supposing that the order was given from fear of being overpowered, said they could hold the ground, and begged that the order might be countermanded, which was refused and the yielded with great reluctance.
was on the field during the afternoon and up to a late hour at night, directing the movements, and expressed himself well satisfied with the result.
On Friday morning commenced what is called the ‘"strategic movement,"’ which, it is hoped, will be a success, although at one time it nearly proved fatal to a considerable portion of the army.
Below I give the facts of the two days battle as gathered by personal observation and from various other sources, but which, as is always the case while the battle is raging or immediately after, are imperfect, in consequence of the condicting statements of persons located at different points of the field of operations.
The Confederates' attack on Thursday.
On Thursday, about noon, the enemy made an attack upon General Stoneman
's forces in the vicinity of Hanover Court-House, probably for the purpose of accomplishing an out-flanking movement on the right, and to engage our attention in that direction.
Shortly afterward they commenced a vigorous cannonading from the works situated on an eminence opposite Mechanicville, about one and a half miles distant; also from two batteries, one above and the other below.
They were replied to by Campbell
's Pennsylvania batteries on picket duty, one on the Mechanicsville
road, and another from behind earthworks at the right of a grove.
The Confederates cross the Chickahominy
About two P. M. the enemy's infantry and squadrons of cavalry crossed the Chickahominy
in immense force, a short distance above the Virginia Central Railroad, making a rapid advance, through lowlands, and forest, toward General McCall
's division, who were entrenched on a hilly woodland across a swampy ravine, about a mile in the rear of Mechanicsville
Part of the Pennsylvania Bucktails captured.
The 1st Pennsylvania Rifles (Bucktail's) and Campbell
's Pennsylvania battery were on picket duty, all of whom, except one company, fell back behind the breast works and rifle-pits, where a line of battle was drawn up. Company K.
of the Bucktails, who were on picket beyond the railroad, were surrounded by the enemy, and the last that was known of them they were trying to cut their way through an immensely superior force.
Their fate is not knows, but it is presumed that the greater portion of them were taken prisoners.
A terrible conflict.
The enemy advanced down at the rear of Mechanicsville
, on a low marshy ground, to where our forces were drawn up behind rifle pits and earth works, on an eminence on the northerly side of the ravine, when the conflict became most terrible.
The Confederates, with the most determined courage, attempted to press forward over miry ground but the bullets and grapeshot fell among them like hall until, in the words of an officer, ‘"they lay like flies on a bowl of sugar."’ and at dark withdrew.
The cannonading was kept up on both sides until about nine P. M., when the battle ceased.
Our forces were covered by earthworks, and suffered but slightly.
The casualties, as far as known are given below.
Late in the afternoon the enemy made a charge with cavalry.
About one hundred of them came rushing down and attempted to cross the ravine, when the horses became mired.
A squadron of our cavalry, seeing the position in which the enemy were placed, made a charge down the hill, when the cavalry abandoned their horses and fled.
The infantry fight was then renewed, and according to the statement of my informant, Surgeon Humphrey
, of the Pennsylvania Bucktail Regiment
, continued until about seven P. M., when a retreat was ordered, very much against the will of the Pennsylvania
boys, who begged to be allowed to defend their position, which they felt confident they could continue to hold.
The outer forces began to fall back.
's corps were some distance below, near what is well known here as Dr. Gaines
Retreat of our right wing.
At the break of day I turned out from my comfortable bed (the ground,) after the fight of the day before, for the right wing, where there had been an incessant cannonading for some time.
The first that attracted my attention was the immense line of baggage and forage wagons, extending about four miles. Next came a cavalcade of ambulance wagons, extending as far as the eye could reach, and on the next eminence the view was changed.
Next came stragglers, who never happen to be under fire, but can report hairbreadth escapes and personal adventures, with the finale that ‘"our regiment is all out up, and only about two hundred and fifty of us left."’ Next came along the sick soldiers on foot, and, lastly, a negro, dragging one foot after the other, apparently much frightened, and a soldier by his side, damning him for not moving faster.
A moment after we descended the hill to a ravine known as Gaines's Mills, and halted for an artillery battery which was hurriedly crossing the bridge, and as the last of the train passed over, an order was given to destroy it. At this moment a depleted regiment came over the eminence, and seeing the work of destruction going on, cried out, ‘"stop, stop, the enemy are close upon us,"’ some of them at the same time glancing back ward.
Your correspondent had started out breakfastless for Mechanicsville
, but suddenly became impressed with the idea that he had some business in an opposite direction.
Returning about two miles, he came into an open space of rolling land about one and three-quarters miles in length, extending to Woodbury's Bridge, across the Chickahominy
, and about one and a half miles in width, perhaps one-third of which is bottom land, next to the Chickahominy
, and the remainder high rolling land skirted with woods.
Previous to reaching the open space, skirmishers were being thrown out, and their actions would lead one inclined to timidity to suspect that the enemy had crept up uncomfortably near.
Passing to the open space, we saw an immense force; some drawn up in line of battle, and others marching and countermarching.
These consisted of Porter
's corps and McCall
boys, who had yielded against their will.
The Second day's battle.
Two hours afterward the enemy came feeling their way through the woods, and finally a general battle ensued.
The cannonading was terrific, and the musketry can only be understood by those who have heard the crash of immense trees in quick succession.
's gallant Zouaves were lying upon the ground for two hours, while our batteries were shelling the woods over them.
Finally, toward night, the enemy attempted to break the centre line in front of Duryea
's Zouaves, and the musketry firing became most terrific, lasting some twenty or thirty minutes, after which, there was a lull.
Shortly afterward an attempt was made to break through the right which was repulsed, and half an hour later another attempt was made on the left, with the same result.
The battle had then been raging for some four hours without any apparent change or advantage on either side.
Reinforcements of artillery and infantry then, came steadily along over the bridge, marching through the heat and dust over the hill to the field, of battle.
The enemy then seemed to make that last desperate, determined effort, and came near forcing our men back into the low ground, between the hill and bridge, where they could serve been slaughtered by tens of thousands before they could have crossed that long, narrow bridge.
Wagons, artillery, ambulances, and men, were hurrying towards the bridge, and a panic, was almost inevitable, when a strong gather was placed across the bridge.
The fresh to their work.
At the time, when the enemy had almost reached the tight hospital, one half mile from the river.
Thomas Francis Mongber
's Irishman came over the hill, distanced to the bale arms, and advanced to go to work.
They gave a yell and went to work, and the result was that the enemy fall back to the woods, and thus matters mostly up to 11 o'clock yesterday (Sunday) morning.
At deck, an attack was made along the front of the entire line, and was removed at 2 A. M., In frontier Conn
, and Edmund, possibility ....
, of Pennsylvania
, was killed, his head blown off by a shell.
When we lost, Easton
's battery, we lost its valuable commander besides.
Ten guns were taken from us by a sudden flank attack, covered by the thick smoke which hung around the pieces and slowly drifted to leeward.
The Pennsylvania Reserve drove the attacking regiments of Jackson
To-day they were over powered by the same troops, reinforced.
's Regulars, called up, proved unequal to the task of stopping them, and Slocum
's command had to be added to them.
The Count de Paris
testifies to the remarkably good conduct of all the regiments that sustained this unequal attack on Porter
They gave way, indeed, but not one of them ran. Their losses are enormous.
The regular 11th infantry is about annihilated.--Nearly every officer in it is killed or wounded.
The 14th also suffered severely.
, of the regulars, a kinsman of Gen. McClellan
's, is killed; Col. Platt
, of a New York regiment, is also killed, and Lieut. Cols. Black
Our loss in officers is very marked.
Indeed, the disproportion in numbers was so extraordinary, and the obstinacy of our troops so unyielding, that our losses were inevitably large.
The artillery in both Porter
's and Smith
's divisions piled the Confederates
The fire was horribly effective.
At Savage's Station the wounded already fill the great street of tents in the garden, and begin to pave the grass yard as after the Seven Pines
The same moaning and shrieking fill the night as then, and again bear testimony against the style of warfare which submits regiments to the fire of brigades.
This fight of to-day (Friday) cannot be subscribed save by a memorandum of the positions respectively held by the opposing parties at fission, and by the list of killed and wounded.
On the Confederate
side, however, it was characterized by the steadfast old policy for which their leaders are to be so much honored, of pouring fresh and eager troops upon our weary trip, and endeavoring to crush us with superior weight of are and vastly superior exhibition of force.
Twice, all along the front, did the bloody and determined attack cling to our lines of battle and our rifle pits and redoubts.
thundered on them with fifty cannon; thinner's, Hooker
's, and Ayres
's guns reaped them with a very death harvest.
Their loss in killed and wounded was horrible.
We but debate now if our dead, wounded, and missing, equal those of the Seven Pines
, or exceed theirs 1--In the meantime, not withstanding the disproportion of numbers, the Union
line is at every point about where it was in the morning, and the heroes behind it are in hearth
From another correspondent:
Savage's Station, Saturday, June 28, A. M. --During last night the ambulances were engaged bringing in the killed and wounded, and as morning was breaking, about 600 had been brought in. A careful estimate of our less acts the figures of killed and wounded up to this time (6½ A. M.,) at 1,260.
The loss of the enemy is reported on all hands as being much larger, their dead lying as one officer reported, who saw them in a ravine, piled up ‘"as thick as flies on a bowl of sugar."’
The railroad from Savage Station to White-House
I found well guarded, especially at Dispatch Station.
On my arrival at White-House
, I found that Gen. McClellan
had ordered that all civilians should leave that place immediately.
A train was (soon after we arrived there) sent up to Dispatch Station, but the engineer came back stating that the station was in the hands of the enemy, and he left his train and returned through the woods.
Late in the afternoon of Friday Gen. McClellan
's headquarters were removed from near the Chief
a hominy back to near Savage Station, as also all the wagons, numbering thousands, ammunition commissary stores, forage, cattle — in short, everything — were all moved back to Savage's Station.
was on the battle field during the whole of the first day, and returned to his headquarters apparently well pleased with the progress of affairs.
In our list of killed and wounded will be found represented 54 regiments.
The army correspondent of the New York Herald
gives a graphic account of the battle of last Thursday and Friday before Richmond
, from which we take the following:
A sudden emergence of a regiment from a wood, and a prompt occupation of two rifle pits partially in possession of some of the Pennsylvania
reserve, gave the Confederates
and advantages in Stents
, which they improved during the day. The attack because general.
Its severity and the seriousness of the issue, as felt by the Commander in Chief
, were keenly appreciated about 9 o'clock, by the guarded whispering of the news that all the public property at White House Landing
had been embarked, and all the transports and vessels under charter ordered to sail under convoy to the Hampton Roads
The truth at last dawned upon the eyes of the dullest.
had not soldiers enough to fight the enemy in front, and to maintain the base of his supplies and guard his connection with it by railroad.
Early in the action, Porter
's wounded were ordered to a remoter hospital than that in which they lay. The regulars, for the first time, were brought up and set to work.
Before noon the Pennsylvania
troops beyond Gaines's mills had yielded the ground to numbers, and retired under order — burning commissary and other property before they went, and destroying a bridge over the Chickahominy
as they crossed it. An attack in great force upon Smith
's division was also made.
The Vermont troops and New York 33d, and others, with Ayres
's battery and Cowen
's, repelled it with terrible slaughter.
Super abounding in regiments as brave and resolute as tigers, the Confederates
rolled their freshmen in successive waves upon Sumner
, and thereby carried the general assault to the lines of Hooker
[On the left.--Ed.
] The ground is a swampy wilderness, dotted with clearings, in corn and wheat, and oats.
A battle all along the front we occupy cannot be seen even from a balloon.--The woods will hide the most of it. They will mask nearly all of a battle in front of the corpse d'armee,
or of the divisions either.
11 P. M.--There is a council of the three or four best minds in the army at this late hour of the night.
If they decide that we are not strong enough to maintain our position against the long-accumulated numbers of the enemy, and that we must retreat to-morrow, on whom shall rest the grievous responsibility of resisting or refusing McClellan
's appeals for reinforcements?
Later--12½ A. M.--Count de Paris
took prisoner a Confederate Major
, who belonged to Jackson
He said he had been in the Valley of the Shenandoah
all winter, and came here yesterday with part of Jackson
The rest of it arrived this morning.
The whole of it was here.
He said that in the attack on our right the Confederates
had from sixty to eighty thousand troops.
This will explain the enormous fire under which our men were borne down and swept away, precisely as some of the regiments were swept away at the Seven Pines
On the Confederate
side, it is estimated that full sixty thousand men took part in the action.
is known to have been in command, and under him Generals Hill
It was late at night when the firing ceased.
As this is written it is now past midnight.
Bodied of the dead cover the hill-sides and fill the fastnesses of the woods.
The groans of the wounded fill the air, and anxious scores are wandering wearily about in quest of missing friends.
cannot find their brigades, Colonels
their regiments, Captains
their companies, and vice versa.
Each waits with anxiety the dawning morrow, to know what of hope it shall bring of those now missing, and of fate to themselves.
It is a mournful night!
Statement of officers from the Battlefield.
[Prepared for the New York Express]
A Major and two Captains
, from the left wing of McClellan
's army, reached this city this morning at 5 o'clock, having left White House
at 11 o'clock on Saturday morning. They give the following particulars of the fight:
They report the battle as having been commenced by McClellan
on Friday morning, and than the Confederates
immediately responded, and met them at all points, ready, evidently, for a desperate resistance.
The right-wing were then nearing a Confederate fortification, of an almost impregnable character, when McClellan
rode up, and this Major
says he heard him give the following order ‘"fall back on the right to--(a distance of five miles, called White House
) and on the centre, too, if necessary; but hold that position when reached, at all hazards."’ The Pennsylvania
‘"Bucktails"’ were then in command of a Napoleon battery, and were mowing the Confederates
down at a fearful rate with their destructive missiles.
As fast as the attack of the enemy were thinned out they required to fill up instantly, and every man came up to the action, he says, nobly.
The last details complained at this order, and desired fight it out just then." but the order had to be obeyed, and they commenced to retreat, the enemy pursuing and fighting all the time.
was in command in person, and this movement was kept up for a distance of five miles, when the Irish brigade met the enemy and stopped his advance.
The ground moved over was very swampy, and in many instances the men had to wade almost up to their middles.
At this juncture General McClellan
moved his left wing around to the rear of the Confederates
; where he mounted six mortars, icy 80 pound siege guns and two 100 pound guns — the latter mounted on trucks, drawn by twenty, horses each.
He says that untold amount of chafers were horsed all day Friday for throwing hot shell.
Confederate prisoners captured, and deserters coming in, that the Confederates
force engaged who 80,000 strong, and that in and around Richmond
there was a force of from 250,000 to 300,000.
The prisoners and wounded are obdurate, insert and ...
action. Colonel Platt
's regiment, it is said, did not suffer so severely as was reported by the first dispatches.
This gentleman also reports that while he was in Baltimore
a dispatch passed over the wires to the War Department, which, from his knowledge of the machinery and working of the telegraph, he believed to be ‘"McClellan
has commenced bombarding Richmond
, and the city was burning"’
These officers left White-House
at 11 A. M., on Saturday, at which time there was a cessation of hostilities, and reached Baltimore en route
to New York, at 5 A. M. on Sunday morning. They estimate that the Confederates
lost six men to McClellan
These officers were released from the army on surgeons' certificates for illness.
is reported as being in the best possible humor, and perfectly confident of success in his efforts to reduce the Confederate
A correspondent of the New Pork Post,
writing from West Point
, June 27th, gives the following important information:
Capt. T. S. Phelps
, of the gunboat Corwin
, intercepted a mail on the Mattaponi
, on the 23d, which stated that Beauregard
had arrived at Richmond
with the main portion of his army; that- 30,000 men had been sent to Jackson
, and that Jackson
with these reinforcements, and the men he already had, would at once attack our right flank, about Mechanicsville
, and get around into our rear, while Gen. Lee
, with the main Confederate army, would at the same time make a desperate attack in front.
These protects are stated substantially in the letter intercepted.
[From the N. Y. Express, June 30, third edition.]
The news now is of a huge stampede from the White House
, by order — it would seem — in consequence of Gen. McClellan
's right wing giving way.
The ‘"White House
"’ being our great depot of provisions, etc., and the railroad there connecting our camps with the depot being broken up, it follows that General McClellan
has but two alternatives left:
To force his way to James river — in order, by connecting with the gunboats, to get something to eat.
Rapid retreat further down the river, and if James river cannot be reached, retreat to York river and Hampton Roads.
The News from the army.
[From the same paper, fourth edition.]
Some more light is thrown upon the army news in our special Washington
dispatches (Fourth Edition.) The telegraph line connecting our depot with Gen. McClellan
's army was broken Saturday, and hence, since that, we have nothing, and can have nothing from him directly.
What happened afterwards, Saturday afternoon and Sunday, is among the things yet unknown here.
The White House
seems to have been abandoned in good order, with little loss on our part.
The very anxious men and minds, who had been so eager to have this little ‘"White House
"’ turned into a hospital, will see that great matter is ended by the house being burnt up. Two thousand five hundred dollars will build another as good a house, and $700 re-supply all the furniture.
What were General McClellan
's intentions, after Sunday noon, are now to be guessed.
The railroad, track, locomotive, are all now in Confederate hands — and General McClellan
must either retreat, in order to live, upon James river
, to get a fresh and better hold, by means of the gunboats, upon Richmond
— or else to Yorktown
and Hampton Roads
There are gunboats on both rivers, both Pamunkey
and James rivers
, which will protect his river flank.
The army now, it is clear from this dispatch, is to be supplied from James river
, upon which, doubtless, General McClellan
is marching, whether in retreat, or in the line of Fort Darling
, seven miles below Richmond
, remains to be seen.