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ter Point, both at the mouth of the York river, should have been selected for the rendezvous of these troops, naturally led to the supposition that the advance was intended to be made up the Peninsula by the route which proved so fearfully disastrous to McClellan. But this show of force was merely a stupendous ruse de guerre, and circumstances indicate that it succeeded admirably in deceiving the rebels. Their journals have constantly spoken of these troops as destined to follow the path of 1862, and that the assurance of their deception might be made doubly sure, a brigade of Union troops was despatched by General Butler even as late as yesterday to White House landing, where, at sunset, when we last heard from them, they were sedulously engaged in felling timber and constructing a wharf, as if preparing to facilitate the landing of a large army. To aid in this scheme of mystification, all the light-draft steamers were kept until the last moment at Fortress Monroe, whence, early ye
May 5th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 155
Doc. 77. operations in Virginia. General Butler's despatch. off City Point, Va., May 5, 1864. Lieutenant-General Grant, Commanding Armies of the United States, Washington, D. C.: We have seized Wilson's wharf landing. A brigade of Wild's colored troops are there. At Fort Powhatan landing two regiments of the same brigade have landed. At City Point Hinks' division, with the remaining troops and battery, have landed. The remainder of both the Eighteenth and Tenth Army Corps are g troops during the night — a hazardous service in the face of the enemy. Benj. F. Butler, Major-General Commanding. A. F. Puffer, Captain and A. D. C. A National account. steamer Grayhound, off Fort Powhatan, James river, Va., Thursday, May 5, 1864. The movement of the Union army in this direction, which, for weeks past, has been vaguely expected, commenced this morning. To Major-General Butler is exclusively due whatever credit shall result from the inception and execution of
May 13th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 155
r VI et armis to the Charles City rendezvous, and so reverse the kind of work their brethren have been assembled to perform on the strongholds of Richmond. The boat is just now leaving Powhatan, where a strong negro garrison has been landed, having little to do in the way of securing their position but mount the ordnance in the works which the rebels two years ago so laboriously constructed. General Butler's headquarters, Richmond and Petersburg pike, within three miles of Fort Darling, May 13, 1864. I write to-night, in the house latterly occupied by Dr. Cheatham, an account of yesterday's and to-day's operations, to the music of the rifles of our own and the rebel skirmishers, in the woods a mile distant. These rifle-balls sing soprano, and the bass of the guns of our batteries, and of the cannon in the rebel intrenchments, only ceased with the coming of night. The good news from Grant, read to the troops to-night, called forth cheers that must have awakened the echoes of Rich
May 14th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 155
The wounded were carried to the rear, and everything betokened that the fight had begun in good earnest. Presently the line of skirmishers fell back, and commenced running out of the woods. It was ascertained that the Rebs advanced in a very thickly-formed line, and apparently in great force. This was really to cover their weakness, for our men were rallied and went into the wood again, when the enemy retired. Headquarters General Butler, Half-Way House, Richmond and Petersburg pike, May 14, 1864. As anticipated, the success of General Gillmore on our left, compelled the evacuation of the first line of works held by the enemy, which they did upon the advance of General Smith this morning, after a brief resistance. This line of works is formidable, and pierced at commanding points for artillery. It extends from beyond the railroad across to the James. Riding out to the right, from the high land on the river we could see the rebel works at Chapin's Farm, on the north bank of t
May 17th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 155
y now occupy, in considerable force, the high ground on the left bank, around Jones' Neck, and the same difficulty will be found at Dutch Gap. This occupancy would interrupt the supply of coal for the monitors. The Admiral, however, promised all possible aid and support, and would at least protect the river line below where the fleet now lies (Four Mile Creek). A despatch has since been received that he has started to move up, and will come as far as possible. in camp, Tuesday Morning, May 17, 1864. The hardest fighting of the campaign on the south side of the James river occurred yesterday. In the early morning, under cover of a fog so dense as to limit vision to the distance of a few yards, the enemy fell upon the right of our line of battle with the force of an avalanche, completely crushing it backward, and turning our flank, as two days before we had turned theirs. Their advantage, however, was but temporary, for our veterans quickly recovered from the sudden shock, and dr
May 20th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 155
ifle-shells. One shot passed between him and Colonel Kensett, one of his aids. General Martindale's sword was struck by a shrapnel shot and indented greatly. While the fighting was going on toward Richmond, an attempt was made on the part of the enemy to attack in rear, by coming up from Petersburg. General Ames, of the Tenth corps, who commands in that direction, gallantly kept them at bay until the order was given to retire. Tenth Army corps, near City Point, Va., Friday Evening, May 20, 1864. There has been to-day a fierce and sanguinary battle on the spot which I mentioned in my last — the front of the Third division of this corps, under General Ames. Our line passes irregularly from the Appomattox on the left to the James on the right. The approachable spot was at a single point of the line, in a space of about eight hundred yards in width and the same in depth. The rebels had come up in front of the clearing, having followed us down from Fort Darling, and had pos
May 25th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 155
nued far into the night. Our batteries have just begun to fire again slowly, and the pit must be retaken to-day at whatever cost, for its loss will be the loss of our position on the Peninsula. in the woods back of Bermuda hundred, Virginia, May 25, 1864. Things are not working nor promising altogether well just now, in General Butler's command. For more than a week past the whole army here has been as good as shut up within its intrenchments back of Bermuda Hundred, and, instead of prosec I had been well assured of, that right here, in several instances, the rebel bloodhounds had been seen murdering our wounded men whom they found lying helpless before them. The attack on Fort Powhatan. Headquarters of General Butler, May 25, 1864. General Wilde is in command at Wilson's wharf, on the north side of the James. He has a garrison, all negroes, with artillery belonging to the colored battery raised by General Butler. Wilson's wharf implies more than the name suggests.
Adelbert Ames (search for this): chapter 155
erry's division being ordered to the support of General Weitzel. General Ames, of the Tenth corps, was at Walthal Junction with his brigade. bbon's forces occupied the line between General Smith's left and General Ames' right, and to add to the force General Marston's brigade was ort of the enemy to attack in rear, by coming up from Petersburg. General Ames, of the Tenth corps, who commands in that direction, gallantly kn my last — the front of the Third division of this corps, under General Ames. Our line passes irregularly from the Appomattox on the left red their men without orders, were brought this afternoon before General Ames, and by him sent to General Butler, who summarily dismissed one e practice was mainly excellent, under the personal direction of General Ames, most of the shell bursting over the pit. The rebel guns returne, Terry's and Turner's, held our left; his third division, under General Ames, being left in the rear of the main body, to act as a corps of o
route back to our intrenchments was by different roads, but everything was conducted in an orderly manner, and there was no molestation on the part of the enemy. Among our losses in the fight were four guns. Three of these pieces belonged to Ashby's battery. They were twenty-pounder Parrotts. This battery supported Heckman, and thirty of the horses were killed in the first impetuous attack of the rebels. Ashby was wounded slightly in the head, and not one of his officers escaped a woundAshby was wounded slightly in the head, and not one of his officers escaped a wound, though none were seriously hurt. Fifteen of the gunners were killed. By great efforts the artillerists brought off the limbers and caissons. Belge's First Rhode Island battery, famous all along the coast, for the first time lost a gun — a twelve-pounder brass field piece. Captain Belge is reported wounded in the leg, and a prisoner. The loss of the battery was heavy. Hawley's and Barton's brigades, of Terry's division, Tenth corps, did the hardest fighting on the left of our line.
ck of the rebels. Ashby was wounded slightly in the head, and not one of his officers escaped a wound, though none were seriously hurt. Fifteen of the gunners were killed. By great efforts the artillerists brought off the limbers and caissons. Belge's First Rhode Island battery, famous all along the coast, for the first time lost a gun — a twelve-pounder brass field piece. Captain Belge is reported wounded in the leg, and a prisoner. The loss of the battery was heavy. Hawley's and Barton's brigades, of Terry's division, Tenth corps, did the hardest fighting on the left of our line. Both organizations suffered severely. We took in all about two hundred rebels prisoners. Among them were several high officers, a colonel, a major, and a score or more of captains and lieutenants. Prisoners tell us that on Sunday night they were reinforced by three. brigades from Richmond, but whether from Lee's army or not we could not determine. Bragg and Jeff. Davis are positively asser
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