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Chapter 12: operations against Richmond.

While Meade and Lee were struggling in the vicinity of the Rapid Anna, General Butler, then in command of the Army of the James, was co-operating with the Army of the Potomac in accordance with a plan which he had proposed to the General-in-Chief, and which that officer had approved. That plan contemplated a vigorous movement against Richmond on the south side of the James River, the first objective being City Point, at the mouth of the Appomattox River. Grant issued
April 2, 1864.
orders accordingly, and directed General Butler to move simultaneously with Meade.

Butler was well prepared for the execution of his part of the plan, when, at the beginning of May, he received orders to advance. His effective force was about forty thousand men, and was composed chiefly of the Eighteenth Army Corps, commanded by General W. F. Smith, and the Tenth Army Corps, which had lately been ordered from South Carolina, led by General Gillmore, who arrived at Fortress Monroe on the 3d of May.

Butler's first care was to mislead the Confederates concerning his intentions. For that purpose he first sent

May 1.
Henry's brigade of New York troops to West Point, at the head of York River, to begin the construction of wharves,

Confederate defenses between Hampton and Williamsburg.

while cavalry made a demonstration in the direction of Richmond. He also sent the bulk of his army in that direction as far as the old lines of McClellan1 at Yorktown and Gloucester Point; and so successful was the [318] stratagem, that the Confederates were satisfied that Butler was about to move on Richmond in the pathway trodden by McClellan two years before,2 and they made preparations accordingly. They were quickly undeceived, but not until it was too late to prevent the mischief wrought by the deception. On the night of the 4th,
May, 1864.
transports, sent up from Hampton Roads, conveyed Butler's army around to the James River, and by dawn the next morning, artillery and infantry, to the number of thirty-five thousand men, accompanied by a squadron of war vessels, under Admiral Lee, were rapidly ascending that stream for the purpose of seizing City Point.3 At the same time General A. V. Kautz, with three thousand cavalry, moved out from Suffolk, forced a passage over the Blackwater River, and, pushing rapidly westward, struck the Weldon railway at Stony Creek, some distance south of Petersburg, and burned the bridge there; while Colonel Robert M. West, with about eighteen hundred cavalry (mostly colored men), advanced from Williamsburg up the north bank of the James River, keeping parallel with the great flotilla of war vessels and transports on its bosom. This expedition, and the advance of the Army of the Potomac from the north, were grand movements preliminary to another dreadful struggle for the possession of Richmond in the vicinity of the Chickahominy River — a region made forever memorable by the seven days battles there, in the summer of 1862.

The expedition moved so unexpectedly and rapidly up the river, that the Confederates could make no effective dispositions for opposing it. Portions of Wilde's brigade of negro troops were landed at Wilson's wharf, on the north side of the river, and at Fort Powhatan, on the south side, thus securing and holding, for the protection of its navigation, important points at bends in the stream. On the afternoon of the same day, Hink's division landed at City Point, and took possession without any opposition. That night General Graham captured the Confederate signal-station near, and the war vessels moved up to a position above the mouth of the Appomattox. At the same time a heavy force landed upon an irregular triangle of land at the mouth of the Appomattox, lying between it and the James River, called Bermuda Hundred, and proceeded to cast up a line of intrenchments across the western side of the camp from river to river, while gun-boats in both streams completely covered each flank of the position. Thus, in the space of twenty-four hours, Butler gained a commanding and important foothold within fifteen miles of Richmond, in a straight line, and only about eight from Petersburg.4 The movement was a complete surprise to the Confederates, [319]

Operations in South eastern Virginia.

[320] and produced great consternation at Richmond. In the mean time the armed vessels had been busy in keeping the river open, and they now engaged in the perilous work of fishing up torpedoes, with which, in places, its channel had been sown. Notwithstanding the great precautions observed, one of the smaller gun-boats, named Commodore Jones, was totally destroyed by the explosion of one of these mines under it,5 by which twenty of its officers and crew were killed, and forty-eight were wounded. In the mean time Colonel West, with his cavalry, had made his way across the Chickahominy to the shore of the James at Harrison's Landing, and been taken thence, on transports, to Bermuda Hundred.

A quick and vigorous movement upon Petersburg and Richmond at that time might have resulted in the capture of both cities, for very few Confederate troops appear to have then been in either place. That fact was unknown by the Nationals, and a wise caution, rightfully exercised, caused a delay fatal to the speedy achievement of such victories, for strength was quickly imparted to both posts. When the movement of Butler and the arrival of Gillmore with troops from Charleston harbor was first known to the Confederates at Richmond, Beauregard was ordered to hasten from Charleston to the latter place, with all possible dispatch, with the troops under his command there, others drawn from Georgia and Florida, and such as he might gather in his passage through North Carolina. He instantly obeyed, and when General Kautz struck the Weldon road, as we have seen, he found these re-enforcements for Lee passing over it. A large portion of them were left south of that cutting,6 but as Kautz could not hold the road nor advance toward Petersburg, he returned to City Point,

May 8, 1864.
leaving the Confederates to make their way without further molestation. Before Petersburg was seriously threatened by Butler, Beauregard's troops were there in strong force.

It was expected that General Butler's movements, after he should gain a position on the south side of the James River, and intrench it, should be governed much by those of the Army of the Potomac, with which he was acting as an auxiliary. It was believed that the latter would march quickly from the Rapid Anna to the lines before Richmond, defeating Lee, or driving him within the intrenchments at the Confederate capital. So soon as Butler should hear the sounds of battle on the north side of the James, in front of the beleaguered city, he was to move against it on the south side, and in perfect co-operation, and even junction, the two armies were thus to work together. But the unexpected detention of the Army of the Potomac at The Wilderness, and at Spottsylvania Court-House, compelled Butler to stand much on the defensive; and in the absence of orders to march on either Richmond or Petersburg immediately after seizing City Point and Bermuda Hundred, he was forced to be governed by circumstances, and assume grave responsibilities. He therefore resolved to do what he might

The Union Generals.

[321] to keep re-enforcements from reaching Lee from the south; and his first effort for that purpose was to destroy the railway between Richmond and Petersburg, lying at an average of about three miles from his line of intrenchments. So early as the 6th,
May, 1864.
he sent out General Heckman to reconnoiter that road, and on the 7th five brigades, under General Brooks, advanced upon the Port Walthall branch of the railway, not far from the junction,7 and began its destruction. They soon found a strong Confederate force, under D. H. Hill, on their front, for, on the previous night, nearly all of Beauregard's troops had reached Petersburg. Heavy skirmishing ensued, and the Nationals, after gaining some advantages, were. compelled to withdraw, with a loss of about two hundred and fifty men.

Another advance upon the railway was made early on the morning of the 9th, by a force composed of the divisions of Generals Terry, Ames, and Turner, of the Tenth Corps, and of Weitzel and Wistar, of the Eighteenth. General Gillmore commanded the right of the column, and General Smith the left. They struck the railway at different points, and destroyed it without molestation, and then, with Weitzel in the advance, they moved on Petersburg. They were confronted by a heavy Confederate force at Swift Creek, within three miles of that city, where a sharp action ensued. The Confederates were driven across the stream; and that evening Butler sent a dispatch to the Secretary of War, saying, “Lieutenant-General Grant will not be troubled with any further re-enforcements to Lee from Beauregard's forces.” And, encouraged by the success that day, Butler determined to improve the advantages gained by driving the Confederates across the Appomattox into Petersburg, and, if possible, capture that place. But that evening news came from Washington that Lee, vanquished by Meade, was in full retreat on Richmond. If so, he might quickly and heavily fall, with crushing force, on the Army of the James, so Butler recalled his troops from. Swift Creek, strengthened his lines, and prepared for active co-operation in an attack on Richmond. The story was not true.

On the 12th, Butler pushed a heavy column northward, the right, under General Smith, moving up the turnpike in the direction of Fort Darling, on Drewry's Bluff,8 and the left, under General Gillmore (who left General Ames to watch the Confederates at Petersburg), following the line of the railway further westward. The Confederates fell back to, and across Proctor's Creek, and took position upon a fortified line (outworks of Fort Darling) behind it on the following morning.

May 13.
Gillmore turned the right of that line and held it. The other column had pressed a well up toward the Confederate left, and Generals Butler and Smith made their quarters at the fine mansion of Dr. Friend, less than nine miles from Richmond.9 Orders were given for a general attack the next morning
May 13.
but the National line was then so thin that the movement was thought too hazardous, and it was postponed until the morning of the 16th. The Confederates, meanwhile, had prepared for a similar [322] movement at the same time. Beauregard was in command of them in per. son. The evening of the 15th was still and clear, but after midnight, a heavy fog arose from the bosom of the James River, and enveloped both armies. Under cover of this and the darkness, before the dawn, Beauregard advanced and aroused the slumbering Nationals by a sudden and heavy fire of musketry and artillery. The assailed were illy prepared for the unexpected attack, and presented on their right a weak point, which Beauregard had discovered the evening before,

Dr. Friend's House.

and now quickly took advantage of. Between that right and the river was a space of open country, for a mile, picketed by only about one hundred and fifty negro cavalry. To turn that flank was Beauregard's first care. At the same time a division under General Whiting was to move from the Richmond road, strike Gillmore heavily, and cut off the Union line of retreat. The plan, if fully carried out, would, it seemed, insure the capture or dispersion of Butler's army.

General Heckman's brigade, of Weitzel's division, held Smith's right. After a gallant fight it was overwhelmed by the sudden and heavy blow, and the general was captured. The Confederates gained the rear of that flank, and were pressing on to seize the road leading to Bermuda Hundred, when the One Hundred and Twelfth New York, of Ames's division, of Gillmore's corps, which had been sent to Smith, came up. Being at that instant joined by the Ninth Maine, the two regiments checked the assailants by such stubborn resistance, that the astonished Confederates, ignorant of the numbers on their front (for the fog was yet dense), first halted and then withdrew. Meanwhile the front of Smith's column and the right of Gillmore's (the former held by the divisions of Brooks and Weitzel) were fiercely attacked, but a repetition of the performance in front of Fort Sanders, at Knoxville,10 made their repulse an easy task. General Smith had caused the stretching of telegraph wire from stump to stump, a short distance above the ground, ill front of his line, which tripped the assailants when they charged, in the dense fog, and they were shot or bayoneted before they could rise. They recoiled; and Whiting, failing to obey Beauregard's orders to seize the Union way of retreat on the left, the plans of the Confederate general entirely miscarried. Seeing this, Beauregard renewed his effort to turn Smith's right, and so far succeeded, with a heavier force, as to cause that commander to fall back and form a new line, extending from the Half-Way House,11 on the turnpike, nine miles from Richmond, almost to the river. Gillmore was compelled by this movement to fall back, and Beauregard pressed the whole National line closely and heavily, with increasing numbers. Perceiving the danger to his communications, Butler withdrew his whole force within his lines at Bermuda Hundred, when his antagonist [323] proceeded to cast up a line of intrenchments in front of and parallel to those of the Army of the James, at that place.

In the operations of the 16th, the Nationals lost about four thousand men, and the Confederates a little over three thousand. Butler was now in an almost impregnable position, with the rivers on each flank at his command, and was about to strike a determined blow for the capture of Petersburg, when he received orders to send nearly two-thirds of his effective men to the north side of the James, to assist the army contending with Lee in the vicinity of the Chickahominy. Butler complied

The half-way House.12

with the requisition which deprived him of all power to make further offensive movements, saying “the necessities of the Army of the Potomac have bottled me up at Bermuda Hundred.” 13

While Butler's main army was making movements toward Richmond, Kautz was out upon another raid on the railways leading to that city from the South and Southwest. He left Bermuda Hundred on the 12th of May, with two brigades,14 and passing near Fort Darling, swept on the are of a circle by Chesterfield Court-House and struck the Richmond and Danville railway, at Coalfield Station, eleven miles west of the Confederate capital. He struck it again at Powhatan; menaced the railway bridge over the Appomattox, which was strongly guarded; swept around eastward, and struck the road again at Chula Station; and then, with a part of his command he crossed to the Southside railway at White and Black Station, while the remainder went on to the junction of the Danville and Southside roads. All now turned eastward, moving down far toward the North Carolina line, crossing the Weldon road and destroying it at Jarratt's Station, south of the scene of their devastations a few days before, and passing by Prince George's Court-House, returned to City Point on the 17th. Kautz had seriously damaged the railways that lay in his track, skirmished sharply at many places, and took to City Point one hundred and fifty prisoners, of whom thirteen were officers.

When Beauregard had perfected his batteries in front of Butler's lines at Bermuda Hundred, he opened their fire upon the Nationals,

May 19, 1864.
and pressed their picket line heavily. This was repeated the next morning, and under cover of these guns the Confederates assailed the advance of the divisions of Generals Ames and Terry. The pickets of the former were driven from their rifle-pits, and the line of the latter was [324] forced back; but the rifle-pits were soon recovered by a brigade under Colonel Howell, after heavy fighting and much loss on both sides. The attack was renewed on the following day, with no better success, when Beauregard ceased all attempts to dislodge Butler. Two or three days later, Fitzhugh Lee, with a considerable body of Confederate cavalry,
May 24, 1864.
attacked the post at Wilson's Wharf, then held by two regiments of negro troops, under General Wilde. After being three times repulsed, Lee withdrew.15

Operations of greater magnitude and importance nearer Richmond, now


absorbed attention. Let us consider them.

We left the Army of the Potomac at Spottsylvania Court-House, about to resume its march toward Richmond.17 It was then disencumbered of its twenty thousand sick and wounded men, who were taken to the hospitals at Washington and elsewhere, and-of about eight thousand prisoners who had been sent to the rear. At the same time twenty-five thousand veteran recruits, with ample supplies, were on their way to join the army, and full thirty thousand volunteers, recruited for one hundred days service, had been mustered in. It was under these favorable auspices that the Army of the Potomac began another flank and forward movement on the night of the 20th and 21st of May.

It was begun by Hancock's corps, which, at midnight, moved eastward to Mattaponax Church, and then turned southward, with Torbert's cavalry in advance. Lee, anticipating the movement, was very vigilant, and Longstreet's corps was put in motion southward immediately after Hancock's started. Warren followed the latter on the morning of the 2 1st, when Ewell marched in the track of Longstreet. Then began another exciting race of the two great carnies, the immediate goal being the North Anna River. The Confederates had the more direct [325] and better way, for the Nationals, in order to flank the former, were compelled to make a more circuitous march over indifferent roads.

The departure of the corps of Hancock and Warren (Second and Fifth), left those of Wright and Burnside (Sixth and Ninth) at Spottsylvania Court-House, where they were confronted by A. P. Hill's. Burnside's left on the afternoon of the 21st, after a sortie, as a covering movement, by General Ledlie's brigade of Crittenden's division, and Wright's was preparing to follow, when it was attacked by Hill's. The assailants were easily repulsed, and that night the works at Spottsylvania Court-House were abandoned by both parties, and the entire army of each was moving as rapidly as possible toward the North Anna. Torbert had captured Guiney's Station, on the Richmond and Fredericksburg railway, on the night of the 20th and 21st, without very serious opposition, and opened the way for the army, which reached the North Anna on the morning of the 23d, at three fords, known respectively as Island, Jericho, and Chesterfield, or Taylor's Bridge — the latter near where the Richmond and Fredericksburg railway crosses that river.

Lee, marching by the shorter route, had outstripped his antagonist in the race, and was found strongly posted and intrenched on the opposite side of the North Anna, in close communication with the Virginia Central railway, over which Breckinridge, who had beaten Sigel in the Shenandoah Valley,18 was hastening with re-enforcements. There Lee had evidently determined to make a stand. Grant took immediate measures to dislodge him. His left, under Hancock, was at the Chesterfield bridge, a mile above the railway crossing. Warren was at Jericho Ford, four miles above, where no formidable opposition appeared, for Lee was engaged in holding the more important passage in front of Hancock. So Warren prepared to cross and take the Confederates in reverse. Bartlett's brigade waded the stream, armpit deep, and formed a battle-line to cover the construction of a pontoon bridge. This was quickly done, and early that afternoon the whole of Warren's corps passed over to the south side of the river, and formed a line of battle. Cutler's division was on the right, Griffin's in the center, and Crawford's on the left. They took position at a piece of woods, where, at five o'clock, the divisions of Heth and Wilcox, of Hill's corps, fell upon Griffin's division. They were repulsed, when three Confederate brigades, under General Brown, struck Cutler's division a sudden blow, which threw it into confusion and uncovered Griffin's right. The Confederates pushed quickly forward to attack it, but the danger was avoided by a refusal of that flank. Bartlett was hurried to its support, and in that movement a volley of musketry, given at close quarters by the Eighty-third Pennsylvania,19 Lieutenant-Colonel McCoy, on the flank and rear of the Confederates, threw them into utter disorder, and caused. their rout, with a loss of their leader and almost a thousand men made prisoners. In this encounter Warren lost three hundred and fifty men. He then proceeded to establish a line and intrench it, without further resistance. [326]

Hancock, in the mean time, had been preparing to force, a passage of the stream at Chesterfield bridge, where he was confronted by McLaws's division of Longstreet's corps. These troops were mostly on the south side of the river, but held a tete-du-pont, or bridge-head battery of redan form, on a tongue of land on the north side. This, after a brief cannonade by three sections of field-pieces, planted by Colonel Tidball, the chief of artillery, was stormed and carried at six o'clock in the evening by the brigades of Pierce and Eagan, of Birney's division. They lost one hundred and fifty men, and captured thirty of the garrison. That night the Confederates tried in vain to: burn the bridge; and before morning they abandoned their advanced works on the south side of the stream, and withdrew to a stronger position a little in the rear. Hancock passed over the bridge in the morning

May 24, 1864.
which his troops had preserved, without feeling the enemy, and at the same time Wright's corps crossed the river at Jericho Ford, and joined Warren's.

The Army of the Potomac was now in peril. Its two powerful wings were on one side of a stream, difficult at all times to cross, and liable to a sudden increase of volume, by rains, while the weaker center was on the other side. Its antagonist was disposed in a blunt wedge-form, with its chief strength at the point, for the purpose of severing the National force. Lee had thrown back the two wings of his

Position on the North Anna.

army, the left resting on Little River; and the right, covering Sexton's junction of the two railways running into Richmond, rested on the marshes of Hanover. The powerful center, at the point of the wedge, was near the river, and menaced Grant's center. And so it was, that when Burnside's, (Ninth) corps, of that center, attempted to cross between the two wings of the Army of the Potomac, his advance division (Crittenden's) was quickly met, and repulsed with heavy loss. And when Warren, on the right, attempted to connect with Burnside, by sending Crawford's division in that direction,, an overwhelming force fell upon him with almost fatal weight.

Grant paused, and for more than two days he studied the position of his adversary, and came to the conclusion that Lee could be dislodged only by a flanking movement, which he proceeded to make. He secretly recrossed the river on the night of the 26th,

and going well east-ward, so as to avoid a blow on his flank, resumed his march toward Richmond, his objective being the passage of the Pamunkey, one of the affluents of the York, formed by the junction of the North and South [327] Anna rivers, which would force Lee to abandon the line of those streams, and give to the Army of the Potomac an admirable water base of supplies, at White House.20

Sheridan, who, as we have seen,21 had just returned

May 25, 1864.
to the army after his great raid toward Richmond and across the head of the Peninsula, now led the flanking column with two divisions of cavalry, immediately followed by Wright's corps, leading Warren's and Burnside's. Hancock's remained on the North Anna until morning,
May 27.
to cover the rear, at which time the head of the column, after y a march of more than twenty miles, was approaching the Pamunkey at Hanovertown, about fifteen miles from Richmond. Wright's corps crossed that stream at once, and early on Saturday, the 28th,
the whole army was south of the Pamunkey, and in communication with its new base at White House.

Grant's movement summoned Lee to another compulsory abandonment of a strong position, and he again fell back toward Richmond. Having, as usual, the shorter and better way, he was already in a good position to confront the Army of the Potomac before it had reached the Pamunkey. He had taken a stand to cover both railways and the chief highways leading into Richmond, and to dispute the passage of the Chickahominy.

The only direct pathway to the Confederate capital, for the Army of the Potomac, was across the Chickahominy. Before its passage could be effected, Lee must be dislodged, and to that task Grant and Meade now addressed themselves. Reconnoissances to ascertain the strength and exact position of the Confederate army, were put in motion. Sheridan was sent out southward on the afternoon of the 28th, with the brigades of Davis, Gregg, and Custer. At Hawes's store, not far from the Tolopatomoy Creek, they encountered and vanquished cavalry under Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee. Both parties were dismounted and fought desperately. The Confederates lost nearly eight hundred men, and the Nationals about one half that number. This success inspirited the army, and it was followed by a reconnoissance in force,

May 29.
in which Wright moved on Hanover Court-House; Hancock marched from Hawes's store in the same direction; Warren pushed out toward Bethesda Church, and Burnside held a position to assist either Hancock or Warren. The right and rear were covered by Wilson's cavalry. This movement quickly developed Lee's position, which was in front of the Chickahominy, and covering the railway from well up toward Hanover Court-House, southward to Shady Grove and the Mechanicsville pike, with pickets toward Bethesda Church.

Wright reached Hanover Court-House without much opposition, but the march of both Hancock and Warren was arrested

May 30.
by strong forces in advance of Lee's line. The former was checked at Tolopatomoy Creek, after a sharp encounter, by intrenched troops; and the latter encountered Rodes's division of Ewell's corps, with cavalry, reconnoitering near Bethesda Church. These struck the flank of Colonel [328] Hardin's brigade, of the Pennsylvania Reserves, and compelled it to fall back to the Shady Grove road, when General Crawford brought up the remainder of the Reserves, and Kitching's brigade, and effectively repulsed an impetuous assault by Rodes, who attempted to turn Warren's left. This repulse enabled the Nationals to establish the left of their line on the Mechanicsville pike, not much more than seven miles from Richmond. To relieve General Warren, when first assailed by Rodes, Meade had ordered an attack along the whole line. Only Hancock received the order in time to act before dark. He moved forward, drove the Confederate pickets, and captured and held their rifle-pits. Meanwhile, Wright had formed on the left of Hancock and Burnside on his right; while Lee strengthened his own right, now menaced by Warren.

Grant was now satisfied that he would be compelled to force the passage of the Chickahominy River, and he was equally satisfied that it would be folly to make a direct attack upon Lee's front. So he planned a flank movement, and prepared to cross the Chickahominy on Lee's right, not far from Cool Arbor,22 where roads leading to Richmond, White House, and other points diverged. That important point was seized by Sheridan on the afternoon of the 31st, after a sharp contest with Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry and Clingman's infantry; and toward it Wright's corps, moving from the right of the army, in its rear, marched that night, unobserved by the enemy, and reached it the next day.

June, 1, 1864.
At the same time, and toward the same place, a large body of troops under General W. F. Smith, which had been called from the Army of the James at Bermuda Hundred, were moving, and arrived at Cool Arbor just after Wright's corps reached that place, and took position on the right of the latter. General Smith had left Bermuda Hundred on the 29th, with four divisions of the Tenth and Eighteenth Corps, sixteen thousand in number, which had been taken in transports around to White House. The two armies were now upon the old battle-field of Lee and McClellan two years before. The Confederate line, which had just been re-enforced by troops under Breckinridge, extended, with its cavalry on its flanks, a short distance from Hanover Court-House, down nearly to Bottom's Bridge. A. P. Hill's corps occupied its right, Longstreet's its center, and Ewell's its left.

On the morning of the first of June, an attempt was made by Hoke's division to retake Cool Arbor. Sheridan had been ordered to hold it at all hazards, and he did so. His men dismounted, and fought desperately with their carbines. The assailants were repulsed, but were quickly re-enforced by McLaws's division. Wright's corps arrived in time to meet this new danger; and when, at three o'clock in the afternoon, General Smith came up, after a march of twenty-five miles,23 he was met by an order to form on the right of. the Sixth Corps,24 then in front of Cool Arbor, on the road leading to Gaines's Mill, and co-operate in an immediate attack upon the Confederates. [329] These were now in heavy force and in. battle order, in that vicinity, for when Lee discovered the withdrawal of the Sixth Corps from Grant's right, he suspected its destination, and had sent the whole of Longstreet's corps to strengthen his own right, which was then partially concealed by thick woods.

Between the two armies was a broad, open, gently undulating field, and a thin line of woods, beyond which, and in front of the thicker forest, the Confederates had lines of rifle trenches. Over this open field the Nationals advanced

June 1, 1864.
at four o'clock, with great spirit, the veterans of Smith seemingly unmindful of their fatigue, and in the face of a murderous fire, quickly captured nearly the whole of the first line of rifle trenches and about six hundred men. They pushed on and assailed the second and much stronger line, but the Confederates gallantly held it until night fell and the struggle ceased. In these desperate encounters, the Nationals lost full two thousand men, but they held the ground they had gained, and bivouacked upon it that night, partly in the shelter of the thin wood, where some of the troops constructed rude bullet-proofs, that they might repose in safety. But they found little opportunity even for rest, for during the night the Confederates made desperate efforts to retake the lost rifle trenches, and greatly annoyed the troops by an enfilading fire. The assailants were repulsed; and the result of the day's work on

A bullet-proof in the woods.

the part of the Nationals was the firm occupation of Cool Arbor, which commanded the road to White House, and was the chosen place from which to force a passage of the Chickahominy.

That night Grant ordered important but dangerous movements. Hancock was directed to move from the right, and take position on the left of the Sixth Corps, at Cool Arbor. Warren was ordered to extend his line to the left, from Bethesda Church, so as to connect with Smith; and Burnside was withdrawn entirely from the front to the right and rear of Warren. These movements were nearly all accomplished, but not without some trouble and loss. The Confederates observed that of Burnside, which took place on the afternoon of the 2d, and following up his covering skirmishers, captured some of them. Then striking Warren's flank they took four hundred of his men prisoners. But so satisfactory were all arrangements that night,

June 2.
that Grant and Meade, then at Cool Arbor, determined to attempt to force the passage of the Chickahominy the next day, and compel Lee to seek shelter within the fortifications around Richmond. Grant was now holding almost the position of Lee in the battle of Gaines's Mill,25 two years before, and Lee had the place of McClellan on that occasion. [330]

At dawn on the morning of the 3d, the National army was in battle order, Hancock's corps on the Dispatch Station road on the left, the Sixth next, Smith's command adjoining these, and Warren and Burnside on the right, extending to the Tolopatomoy Creek. Wilson's cavalry were on the right flank, and Sheridan's were holding the lower crossings of the Chickahominy, and covering the roads to White House. Orders had been given for a general assault along the whole lines, at half-past 4.

June 3, 1864.
A few minutes later the signal for advance was given, and then opened one of the most sanguinary battles of the war. The Confederates were equally ready, equally brave, and equally determined to gain a victory.

Swiftly the Nationals advanced to the attack. On the right it was made by the divisions of Barlow and Gibbon, of Hancock's corps, that of Birney supporting. Barlow drove the Confederates from a strong position in a sunken road, in front of their works, captured several hundred prisoners, a battle-flag, and three guns, and turning the latter upon his foes, sent them back in confusion.

Battle of Cool Arbor.

But, before Barlow's second line reached the front, the Confederates rallied in stronger force, and retook the position from which they had been pushed. Barlow was driven back about fifty yards, when he so speedily covered his front, that he could not be dislodged. Gibbon, who charged at the same time, at the right of Barlow, was checked by a marsh of the Chickahominy, which partly separated and weakened his command. A part of them gained the Confederate works. Colonel McKeen planted the National flag on their intrenchments; but a moment afterward he fell, mortally wounded. Gibbon's troops did not hold any part of the Confederate works; yet some of them intrenched themselves so close to them, that they could not well be reached, nor could they get away, excepting under the cover of fog or thick darkness. In these assaults Hancock lost about three thousand men.

Smith's command and the Sixth Corps were heavily engaged at the same time; and on the extreme right, Wilson's cavalry had a sharp fight with Hampton's, without any decisive results. But Warren's corps was too extended to allow him to do more than to hold his line intact, while Burnside brought two divisions of the Ninth to bear upon the left of Lee's line. These were hotly engaged, and would doubtless have vanquished their adversaries on that part of the field, had not the assault quickly ceased along the front. The battle had been “quick, sharp, and decisive.” The Nationals had been repulsed, at nearly every point, with great slaughter. It was estimated that within twenty minutes after the struggle began, ten [331] thousand Union men lay dead or wounded on the field, while the Confederates, sheltered by their works, had not lost more than one thousand.

A consciousness now pervaded the mind of every soldier that further attempts to force the Confederate lines would be useless; and upon this impression they acted with marvelous unanimity, when, some hours later, General Meade sent orders to each corps commander to again attack, without regard to the doings of other corps. The whole army, as if controlled by a single will, refused to stir! And so, at one o'clock in the afternoon, the battle of Cool Arbor was ended in a dreadful loss of life to the Nationals, but of nothing else, for they held their position firmly, with all their munitions of war.26

Grant now resolved to transfer his army to the south side of the James River, and by this grand flank movement, to cut off the chief sources of supplies of men

View on Cool Arbor battle-ground.27

and provisions for Lee's army from the south and southwest, and compel its surrender. His prime object, as we have observed, had been the destruction of that army, by capture or dispersion. He had hoped to accomplish that [332] object north of Richmond, but had failed to do so. He was disappointed, but not disheartened, by his failure and his enormous losses, which were to Lee's as three to one;28 and he proceeded to carry out, as far as possible, the remainder of his original design.29 He had seriously crippled his adversary, who lacked means for recuperation, and he now determined to starve him into submission. Having considered all the contingencies incident to the bold movement of throwing his army to the south side of the James, he feared no mischief from it, but anticipated much benefit.

On the day after the battle, Grant caused slight intrenchments to be thrown up in front of his line, and that night the Confederates made a furious assault on; that front, but were quickly repulsed at every point. On the following day an assault was made on the National left (Smyth's brigade, of Hancock's corps), with the same result. Meanwhile the army, preparatory to its march to the James, was gradually moved toward the left by the withdrawal of corps in that direction; and on the night of the 6th,

June 1864.
a sharp but unsuccessful assault was made upon the right, then held by Burnside. On the following morning there was a brief armistice, for the purpose of gathering up the dead between the two lines, which had lain there four days; and before night Grant's line was extended to the Chickahominy, and Sheridan was dispatched, with two divisions of cavalry, to more effectually destroy the railways in Lee's rear, and render Washington more secure.30 He struck and broke the Richmond and Fredericksburg road at Chesterfield Station, and then, pushing across the upper branches of the North Anna, smote the Virginia Central railway at Trevilian's Station, where he expected the co-operation of General Hunter. That leader, as we have seen,31 was at Staunton, and Sheridan was left to deal, alone, with the gathering Confederates on the railway. At Trevilian's he encountered and routed some horsemen under Hampton, and then destroyed the road almost to Louisa Court-House, where he was attacked by a much larger force. After a contest, he was compelled to retrace his steps to Trevilian's, where he fought a sanguinary battle, and then withdrew. He swept around, by Spottsylvania Court-House and Guiney's Station, to White House, and rejoined Grant's army, having lost during his raid over seven hundred men, and captured nearly four [333] hundred. He inflicted a loss of men upon the Confederates quite equal to his own. Among their killed was the active General Rosser.

Grant continued moving slowly to the left, and keeping up the appearance of an intention to cross the Chickahominy and march on Richmond, until the evening of the 12th,

June, 1864.
when every thing was in readiness for the army to move to the James. White House was abandoned as a base of supplies; the rails and ties of the York River railway leading from it to Richmond were taken up and sent in barges to City Point, and the command of General Smith was re-embarked at the head of the York, and sent back by water to Bermuda Hundred. Then the Army of the Potomac moved. Warren's corps, preceded by Wilson's cavalry,. forced the passage of the Chickahominy at Long Bridge with very little trouble, and made demonstrations in the direction of Richmond, to mask the real movements of the army. Hancock followed Warren across the stream, and marched directly to Wilcox's Wharf, on the James, below Harrison's Landing, between Charles City Court-House and Westover,32 where he was ferried across. Wright and Burnside crossed the Chickahominy at Jones's. bridge, lower down; while the trains, for greater safety, took a route still further east, and crossed at Coles's Ferry.

Lee discovered the withdrawal of his antagonist from his front on the morning of the 13th; but finding Warren across the Chickahominy, and on the road leading through White Oak Swamp to Richmond, he concluded that Grant was about to march by that route upon the Confederate capital. With this impression, he retired to the fortifications of that city, while Grant's army was making a rapid journey in another direction. Warren quickly followed the Nationals, and on the night of the 14th,

a pontoon bridge, more than two thousand feet in length, was thrown across the James River, at Douthard's,33 a little below Wilcox's, over which the entire remainder of the army had passed before noon of the 16th, with very little molestation by the enemy, and was moving sin the direction of Petersburg. Grand meanwhile, had gone up to City Point, and there, upon the beautiful

Grant's Headquarters, City Point.34

elevated grounds of Dr. Eppes, near the junction of the Appomatox and the James, he established his Headquarters. [334]

When Grant determined to throw Meade's army to the south side of the James, he hastened to Butler's Headquarters for the purpose of arranging a plan of co-operation from Bermuda Hundred, against Petersburg,35 the possession of which would be of vast importance as a point d'appui, or fixed place for the forming of troops for chief operations against Richmond. Butler's line of works, erected under the direction of General Weitzel, were then perfected, and were not surpassed, in completeness

Line of defense at Bermuda hundred.36

for defensive operations by any made during the war. His position was almost impregnable; yet, while Smith was absent with a greater portion of the Army of the James, he was too weak to attempt formidable offensive movements. It was for this reason that Smith was so quickly sent back to Bermuda hundred, as we have observed.37 [335]

in the mean. Time, Butler endeavored to do what he might in furtherance of Grant's plans, and on the 10th of June he sent three thousand five hundred infantry, under Gillmore, and fifteen hundred cavalry, under Kautz, against Petersburg. At the same time two gun-boats were sent up the Appomattox, to co-operate with a battery in bombarding an earthwork a little below Petersburg, called Fort Clinton. These combinations were well arranged. The troops crossed the Appomattox at Point of Rocks, four miles above City Point. Gillmore marched up the turnpike, while Kautz made a little circuit, so as to strike the City from the south. The former found no resistance until he was within two or three miles of Petersburg. He had easily driven in the Confederate skirmish line; but at the outer works of the defenses of Petersburg, already thrown up, he first halted, and then fell back to his camp, with the impression that his force was inadequate for the task assigned him. Kautz, meanwhile, had performed his part of the drama. While a greater portion of the defenders of Petersburg were watching Gillmore, he dashed into the City at about the time when the latter fell back, when the Confederates, relieved of danger from the column, fell upon Kautz in force, and drove him from the town and its defenses.

five days later, the attempt to capture Petersburg was renewed. When the Army of the Potomac began its passage of the James, Grant went to Bermuda hundred, and finding the van of Lee's Army, under A. P. Hill, already on the south side of the River, near Fort Darling, and ready to act in co-operation with Beauregard, he directed Butler to send General Smith and his command immediately across the Appomattox, and in conjunction with Gillmore and Kautz, make another attempt upon Petersburg. He was so well satisfied that such attempt, if vigorously made, would be successful, that he looked for the possession of that City by the Army of the Potomac, within the space of three days, as a certainty.

Smith arrived at Bermuda hundred on the night of the 14th. His troops, having rested on the transports, were fresh; and early the next morning,

June 15, 1864.
they crossed the Appomattox on a pontoon bridge, and before noon were in front of the defenses of Petersburg, northeastward of the City. The troops had marched in three columns. Kautz had kept well to the left, and threatened the defenses of the Petersburg and Norfolk railway. Brooks led the center, and Martindale the right. On the way General Hinks, with his negro brigade, had carried advanced rifle-pits and captured two. Guns; and the whole column was inspirited with the expectation of a quick and easy victory. But this exultation was diminished when a reconnoissance revealed the fact that there was a strong line of works on their front, the guns of which swept the ditches and ravines, which cut a broad valley in various directions, over which the Nationals must pass to the assault.

General Smith paused. He did not then know how few and inferior were the soldiers behind the works he was facing, and it was nearly sunset before his cautious preparations for assault were completed. Then a part of his troops, under Martindale, Brooks, and Hinks, forming a heavy skirmish line, pressed forward, and at seven o'clock in the evening drove the Confederates from their formidable line of rifle-pits. Pushing on, they soon captured a powerful salient, four redoubts, and a connecting line of intrenchments along [336] distance of two and a half miles. With these they took fifteen guns, and made three hundred men prisoners. Meanwhile, two divisions of Hancock's Corps had come up and joined Smith's command,38 when the united forces were ordered to rest upon their arms within the works just captured. Smith thought it more prudent to hold what he had obtained, than to risk all by attempting to gain more.39 so, during the calm hours that succeeded, the nearly full moon shining brightly until past midnight, the assailants reposed, while nearly the whole of Lee's Army was crossing the James to the south front of Richmond, and troops were streaming down toward Petersburg and into the lines around it. There, in a few hours, these worked wonders, and on the following morning

June 16, 1864.
there was a startling apparition of a new line of works around the City, with a cloud of veterans deployed in battle order behind them. The prize so much coveted by Grant was lost. Twenty-four hours before, Petersburg might have been easily taken;40 now it defied its foes, and continued to do so during a most distressing siege of about ten months from that time. That delay of twelve hours--whether wise or unwise let the reader judge — was the turning-point in the campaign.

and now, at the middle of June, a large portion of the Army of Northern Virginia were in Petersburg, and within the lines in front of it, or were on their way and near by; and that evening

June 16.
the greater part of the Army of the Potomac, with the command of Smith on its right, resting on the Appomattox, confronted the Confederates. Grant had gone to the front at an early hour that day, and ascertaining the state of affairs, was returning to City Point, when he met General Meade on the road, and directed him to post his Army as quickly as possible, and at six o'clock that evening open fire on the Confederate lines. It was expected that Burnside would join Smith and Hancock by that time. He did so. The bombardment was opened at the appointed hour, and was kept up, with varying intensity, until six o'clock in the morning. The result of the fearful combat on that warm June night was a General advance of the National lines, but at a serious cost to the Corps of Hancock and Burnside. Birney, of the former, stormed and carried the ridge on its front. Burnside could make no impression during the night, and was kept at bay by a murderous fire; but at dawn General Potter's division made a desperate charge upon the works in front of the Ninth Corps, carried them, and captured four guns and four hundred prisoners. His division was at once relieved by General Ledlie's, [337] which advanced to within a mile and a half of the City, and held a position from which shells could be thrown into the town. This menacing projection of Burnside's line was furiously attacked that night, and the National troops were driven back with great loss. At other points they were repulsed. Their loss much exceeded that of the Confederates.

the danger threatening the Petersburg lines having drawn a large portion of the troops from Butler's front, that officer sent out General Terry on the same day,

June 16, 1864.
to force Beauregard's lines, and destroy and hold, if possible, the railway in that vicinity. Terry easily passed through those lines, and reached the road without much opposition, and was proceeding to destroy the track, when he was attacked by Pickett's division of Longstreet's Corps, then on its way from the Virginia capital to the beleaguered City.41 Smith's Corps (Eighteenth) having been relieved by the Sixth, was sent by Grant to aid Butler, in the event of an exigency such as had now occurred; but it arrived too late to assist Terry, and the latter, after a sharp engagement, was driven back to the defenses of Bermuda hundred, when the Confederate works in front of them were at once heavily garrisoned.

on the morning of the 17th, the Second and Ninth Corps renewed the attack upon the works before Petersburg, when the Hill upon which Fort Steadman was afterward built, was carried and held by the former Corps. Another attack was made by the Ninth in the afternoon, when the battle that ensued continued until night, with great slaughter, in which Barlow's division suffered most severely. Crawford was sent to Burnside's support. He became entangled in the ravines, and could do but little. He penetrated the Confederate lines, however, and brought away a number of prisoners. Several times during the day, desperate but unsuccessful attempts were made to recapture what the Nationals had seized, and that night a heavy force drove back the Ninth Corps.

impressed with the belief that much of Lee's Army yet remained near Richmond, and hoping to capture Petersburg before that Army should all be upon his front, Grant ordered a General assault along the entire chain of works before him, on the morning of the 18th.42 at dawn it was discovered that the Confederates had abandoned their broken and imperiled line at their front, and had taken a new and stronger position on an inner line, which had been constructed with the best engineering skill (and none was better) that Lee could command. This change compelled Grant to readjust his own lines for attack, which delayed an advance until afternoon. The attack which followed resulted in disaster to the Nationals, who were repulsed at every Point. Only Martindale's division gained any success. That carried the Confederate skirmish line on its front, and made a few prisoners. [338]

and now, after a loss of nearly ten thousand men, further attempts to take the Confederate lines by storm were abandoned for awhile. It was evident to the Lieutenant-General that the bulk of Lee's Army was behind them, and he prepared for a regular siege of them. He at once began intrenching, and to extend his left in the direction of the Petersburg and Weldon railway, which he desired to seize, and thus envelop Petersburg with his Army. The Corps of Hancock43 and Wright were moved

June 21, 1864.
stealthily to the left, for the purpose of turning the Confederate right; but when the former, moving in the advance, reached the Jerusalem plank road, between the Norfolk and Weldon railways, it was met by a Confederate force, and pushed back to a position where it connected with the Fifth Corps. On the following morning
June 22.
both Corps (Second and Sixth) advanced together, and were maneuvering to turn the works, when a division of the command of A. P. Hill, who had been keenly watching the movements of the Nationals, suddenly projected itself between Wright and Birney's commands, and in rapid succession struck the flanks of the divisions of Barlow, Mott, and Gibbon, rolling them up and driving them back with heavy loss. Wright's Corps was considerably shocked by a blow, at the same time, by another of Hill's divisions. Both Corps soon recovered and re-formed, and a fierce attack on the brigade of the ever-gallant General miles, of the Second, was repulsed. Meade came up at about that time, and just at sunset he ordered both Corps to advance and retake what they had lost. Hill, unsupported, suddenly withdrew, carrying with him Twenty-five hundred prisoners. Nearly all the lost ground was recovered.

on the following morning the Second and Sixth Corps again advanced, and reached the Weldon road without much opposition; but three regiments in the van had scarcely begun the destruction of the track, when they were suddenly attacked by a part of Hill's Corps, and were driven back upon the main line with the loss of many of their number made prisoners. The Weldon road had now been reached; but the result of the movements thus far was little more than an extension of the Union line to the left, at a cost of about four thousand men, chiefly made captives.

meanwhile, a cavalry expedition, eight thousand strong, under Generals Kautz and Wilson, had been sent out to operate upon the railways leading southward from Petersburg. The latter was in chief command. They destroyed the railway buildings at Reams's Station, ten miles south of Petersburg, and the track for a long distance, and then pushed on to the Southside railway at Ford's Station, fifteen miles from Petersburg, and destroyed it to Nottaway Station, over a space of Twenty-two miles. There they fought and defeated a brigade of Virginia and North Carolina cavalry, under Fitzhugh Lee. Kautz then pushed on to Burke's Station, at the junction of the Southside and Danville railways, tore up both roads, and, pushing southward along the latter, was joined by Wilson at Meherrin Station.

June 24
the united forces then destroyed the road to the Staunton River, when the rapid gathering of the armed and mounted men in that region caused them to turn back. They were compelled [339] to fight their way to Reams's Station, on the Weldon road, which they expected to find in the possession of the Nationals. On the contrary, the cavalry of Hampton, and infantry under Mahone and Finnegan were there in great strength. In attempting to force their lines, Wilson and Kautz were defeated with heavy loss, and with difficulty they made their way back to the Army before Petersburg, with the men and horses of their terribly shattered columns nearly exhausted.44 no other raid in the rear of the Confederates was undertaken for several months after the return of this one. It was too dangerous and expensive a service, under the circumstances, to be made profitable.

and now, after a sanguinary struggle for two months, both armies were willing to have a little repose, and there was a lull in the active operations of the campaign, excepting what pertained to intrenching. The Union Army thus investing Petersburg, at which Point Richmond, Twenty miles distant, was best defended, had lost, within eight or nine weeks, nearly seventy thousand men. Re-enforcements had kept up its numbers, but not the

Pontoon bridge at Deep Bottom.45

quality of its materials. Many veterans remained; but a vast portion of the Army was composed, if not of entirely raw troops, of those who had been little disciplined, and in a great degree lacked the buoyant spirit of the early [340] Army of the Potomac, when led by McClellan and Hooker. It was now in front of a formidable line of redans, redoubts, and infantry parapets, with the outer defenses of abatis, stakes, and chevaux-de-frise, constructed by skillfully-directed labor. This line was nearly forty miles in length, extending from the left bank of the Appomattox, around the western side of Petersburg, and so on to and across the James, to the northeastern side of Richmond. To menace that line, and to keep the defenders within it, required an equally extended and strong line, and this was speedily provided. Re-enforcements swelled the weakened ranks of the Nationals, and strong works were cast up along the front of the whole Confederate line, from the Weldon road to the region of the Chickahominy.

on the night of the 20th of June, Butler, by one of his prompt movements, had thrown the brigade of General Foster across the James River at Deep Bottom, where he formed an intrenched Camp; and this post, within ten miles of Richmond, was immediately connected with the Army at Bermuda hundred by a pontoon bridge, represented in the engraving on the preceding page. There Smith's (Eighteenth) corps was transferred to Bermuda hundred, and thenceforth served with the Army of the James a greater part of the time during the siege. The lodgment of Foster, and the laying of the pontoon bridge at Deep Bottom, provided a way for Grant to move heavy masses quickly to the north side of the James, if desired. This advantage was perceived by Lee, who met it by laying a similar bridge across the River at Drewry's Bluff, by which he could make countervailing movements. By the close of July, a greater portion of that wonderful network of fortifications in front of Petersburg, which commanded the admiration of visitors, was nearly completed, and the Lieutenant-General was in a position to choose his method of warfare, whether by a direct assault, the slower process of a regular siege, or by heavy operations on the flanks of the Confederates.

tail-pieces — Camp Stool.

1 For an account of the operations of McClellan between Fortress Monroe and Williamsburg, see Chapters. XIV. and XV., volume II. The route from Hampton; the fortifications at Big Bethel, and in the vicinity of Yorktown and Williamsburg, are indicated in the little map on this page.

2 See chapters XIV., XV., and XVI., volume II. The map on the opposite page, omitted by accident when that record was printed, will not only give the reader an idea of the entire region of stirring operations in Southeastern Virginia at that time, but may be usefully consulted when studying the great and decisive campaign we are now considering.

3 The transports were preceded by three army gun-boats, under the command of General Charles R. Graham, formerly of the navy. The remainder of the naval force consisted of four “monitors,” the iron-clad Atlanta, and ten gun-boats, commanded by Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee, whose flag-ship was the Malvern, formerly a blockade-runner.

4 “At sunset on the 4th, you were threatening the enemy's capital from West Point and White House, within thirty miles on its eastern side. Within twenty-four hours, at sunset on the 5th of May, by a march of 130 miles, you transported 35,000 men-their luggage, supplies, horses, wagons and artillery-within fifteen miles of the south side of Richmond, with such celerity and secresy, that the enemy were wholly unprepared for your coming, and allowed you, without opposition, to seize the strongest natural position on the continent. A victory all the more valuable because bloodless!” --General Butler's Address to the Soldiers qf the Army of the James, October 11, 1864.

5 These torpedoes were simply cases of tin, containing about seventy-five pounds of gunpowder, and were exploded by means of a string extending to the shore, which, when pulled, caused an apparatus like that of a gun to explode a percussion cap.

6 D. H. Hill, with 8,000 troops, had passed northward, and Beauregard, with 5,000, was south of Stony Creek Station. Besides the bridge and track, a large quantity of provisions and forage was destroyed at that place.

7 Port Walthall is on the left bank of the Appomattox River, between Petersburg and City Point, and at. the head of navigation for the large steamers on the James River. A branch of the Richmond and Petersburg railway extends to that point.

8 See page 402, volume II.

9 This was a fine brick mansion at the head of a shaded lane leading from the turnpike. The house and its surroundings were in a dilapidated state when the writer visited it at the close of May, 1866. See the next page.

10 See page 178.

11 See picture on the next page.

12 this was the appearance of the old tavern, on the stage route between Richmond and Petersburg, known as the half-way House, as it appeared when the writer sketched it in May, 1866.

13 See Report of Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, of the Armies of the United States--1864-65, July 22, 1865.

14 Composed of the Third New York, First District of Columbia, and Fifth and Eleventh Pennsylvania. The brigades were commanded respectively by Colonel Spear and Major Jacobs.

15 At about this time a forgery, in the form of a proclamation by the President, calculated to inspirit the Confederates, alarm and distract the loyal people, depress the public securities, and embarrass the Government at a most critical moment, appeared in two Opposition newspapers in the city of New York. The pretended proclamation was dated the 17th of May, at the moment when Grant's march toward Richmond was temporarily checked at Spottsylvania Court-House, and the news of the failure of the Red River expedition was creating much disappointment. It declared that the campaign of the Army of the Potomac was “virtually closed,” and, in view of the gloomy aspect of affairs, it recommended the setting apart of an early day throughout the United States as one for “fasting, humiliation, and prayer.” It also called for 400,000 more troops, and threatened an “immediate and peremptory draft” for that number if they were not forthcoming within thirty days. The Secretary of State immediately pronounced the paper a forgery, and the publication offices of the offending newspapers were taken possession of by the military. Their proprietors at once declared themselves the innocent victims of an adroit forgery, and offered rewards for the apprehension of the perpetrator. He was discovered to be one of the editors of an Opposition newspaper in Brooklyn, and declared that his purpose was simply to make a profitable speculation in stocks, and that no political designs had been considered.

16 this picture gives the appearance of a rifle-pit in summer, when the men in them have little canvas shelters from the sun. Rifle-pits are of two kinds, namely, a hole for the shelter of one man, or a short trench for the use of several men. They are shallow, with a parapet formed of the earth thrown out, in which is often a loop-hole or embrasure formed of bags of sand. These pits are used by pickets, and by infantry placed in advance of fortifications or fortified camps.

17 See page 311.

18 See page 314.

19 The Eighty-third Pennsylvania swept close by the Confederate flank in its advance to the support of Griffin, when McCoy suddenly wheeled his forward companies into line, and delivered the fatal volley. One of the men caught General Brown by the collar, and dragged him into Warren's lines.

20 The chief base of the army, while it was at Spottsylvania Court-House, was at Fredericksburg; while it was on the North Anna that base was Port Royal, on the Rappahannock.

21 See page 313.

22 See note 2, page 886, volume II.

23 He had been erroneously directed to march to New Castle, instead of New Cool Arbor, and he had, by that means, made the journey from White House, more than ten miles further than was necessary.

24 General Martindale commanded Smith's right; General W. H. Brooks his center, and General Devens, his left. General Rickets commanded the right of the Sixths Corps, General Russell the center, and General Neill the left.

25 See page 423, volume II.

26 The National loss in this engagement, and in the immediate vicinity of Cool Arbor, was reported at 18,158, of whom 1,705 were killed, 9,042 wounded, and 2,406 were missing. Among the killed were Acting Brigadier-Generals Peter A. Porter, Lewis O. Morris, and F. F. Weed, of the New York troops. Other prominent officers were severely wounded, among them General O. P. Tyler. The Confederates lost General Doles. Lawrence M. Keit, one of the most active of the South Carolina conspirators in Congress in 1861, had been killed the day, before.

27 this view is from the ground occupied by the troops from the Army of the James, under General W. F. Smith, at the ruins of a mansion destroyed at the time of the battle, about a quarter of a mile northeast of the; road from Gaines's Mill. See map on page 423, and narrative on pages 486 and 437, volume II. the woods seen in the distance were those in which the Confederates were partially concealed, and along the edge of which they had cast up a line of intrenchments. Their rifle trenches were in the open field, between the chimney and the woods. When the writer visited the spot, in May, 1866, the thin strip of woods mentioned in the text had disappeared.

28 The entire loss of men in this campaign, from the 4th of May to the 12th of June, when the troops proceeded to cross the James River, was about 60,000, while that of the Confederates was not more than 20,000. A tabular statement by Mr. Swinton, in his Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, page 491, tells the losses in the battles and attendant movements, as follows: Battles of the Wilderness, 29,410; of Spottsylvania Court-House, 10,831; of the North Anna, 1,607; and of Cool Arbor, 18,153. Total, 54,551. To this number must be added the losses in the Ninth Corps (Burnside's, which, until the Battle of Cool Arbor, was independent of Meade's command), estimated at 5,000, makes the grand total about 60,000. The loss in officers was about 8,000.

29 “My idea, from the start, had been to beat Lee's army north of Richmond, if possible. Then, after destroying his lines of communication north of the James River, to transfer the army to the south side, and besiege Lee in Richmond, or follow him south, if he should retreat. After the battle of The Wilderness, it was evident that the enemy deemed it of the first importance to run no risks with the army he then had. He acted purely on the defensive, behind breastworks, or feebly on the offensive immediately in front of them, and where in case of repulse, he could easily retire behind them. Without a greater sacrifice of life, then, than I was willing to make, all could not be accomplished that I had designed north of Richmond.” --Report of Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, of the Armies of the United States--1864-65, July 22, 1865.

30 Grant's determination to transfer his army to the south side of the James River-startled the authorities at Washington with fears that Lee might suddenly turn back and seize that city. Grant had no fears on that account. He knew that the country between Lee's shattered army and Washington was thoroughly exhausted by the troops that had just passed over it; and had Lee attempted such a movement, Grant could have sent troops from the James, by way of the Potomac, for the protection of the Capital, much sooner than Lee could have marched upon it.

31 See page 815.

32 See page 455, volume II.

33 This bridge was laid in the space of about fifteen hours, under the immediate supervision of General Benham. Its site was selected and the general directions for its construction were given by General Weitzel, chief engineer of Butler's Department of Virginia and North Carolina.

34 this was the appearance of Grant's Headquarters when the writer visited City Point, at the close of 1864. the building seen in the center was the General's quarters. It was very neatly built of small hewn logs, excepting the front, which was of planed pine timber, the bark left on the edges, and the whole well “chinked” with cement. It had two wings, making the whole quite spacious. A building at the left of it, was occupied by General Rawlins, Grants' chief of staff; and one on the right was the quarters of General Barnard, the engineer-in-chief. Grant's house was presented by the Lieutenant-General, at the close of the war, to George H. Stuart, President of the U. S. Christian Commission, who caused it to be taken to Philadelphia. By permission of the City authorities he re-erected it in Fairmount Par, where it yet (1868) remains.

35 Petersburg is situated on the south bank of the Appomattox River, about ten miles from its mouth at City Point. That river is navigable to Petersburg for vessels of one hundred tons burden; but larger ones ascend only to Port Walthall, six miles below it, near the high eminence on the north side, known as Point of Rocks. Through Petersburg passed the railway that connected Richmond with the Carolinas. Another, called the Southside road, extended westward to Lynchburg; another, running in a southeasterly direction, connected Petersburg and Norfolk, and a short one also connected Petersburg with. City Point.

36 this shows a portion of the line of works constructed by General Weitzel. First, there was a strong line of earthworks, consisting of redoubts and entrenchments, with embrasures made more efficient by bags of sand.


outside of this was a ditch, with abatis in front, and outside of all a row of pointed palisades of timber, inclining toward the approaches of assailants. The Confederate engineers also constructed admirable defensive works around Petersburg, in which they extensively employed a species. Of movable chevaux-de-frise, delineated in the annexed engraving. These were made of saplings, through which passed strong spikes of wood, sharpened at each end, and presenting four or six radiating arms. The sapling forming the center of each was connected by wires or chains with another and so continuous lines of chevaux-de-frise were formed to any required extent.

37 see page 333.

38 between five and six o'clock in the afternoon, Hancock, then pressing forward with his column from Windmill Point toward a designated spot in front of Petersburg, received orders from Grant to hasten to the assistance of Smith. The divisions of Birney and Gibbon were then in advance, and these were pushed forward to Smith's position. Hancock, who was blamed by some for being yet on his march so late in the day, pleaded the fact that he had been misled by an incorrect map, and stated that the order from General Grant, to assist Smith, was the first intimation he had received of an intended attack on Petersburg that day.

39 General Smith, in his Report of operations before Petersburg, says that he was aware of the crossing of the James by Lee's Army that night. He deemed it, he said, “wiser to hold what we had, than, by attempting to reach the bridges [that spanned the Appomattox at the City], to lose what we had gained, and have the troops meet with a disaster.” “heavy darkness was upon us,” he said, “and the troops were placed so as to occupy the commanding positions and wait for daylight.”

40 in his Report, written more than a year afterward, General Grant said, in speaking of these operations of General Smith: “between the lines thus captured and Petersburg, there were no other works, and there was no evidence that the enemy had re-enforced Petersburg with a single brigade from any source. The night was. Clear, the moon shining brightly, and favorable to further operations.”

41 in co-operation with Pickett's movement was a naval demonstration by the Confederates, who sent three iron-clad steamers down the James River from Drewry's Bluff, to Dutch Gap, hoping to divert the attention of Admiral Lee from the attack that might be made upon Butler if he should attempt to interfere with the passage of the troops to Petersburg; also with a hope of damaging the National squadron. But they effected nothing, and were easily driven back.

42 the National line was then formed as follows: the division of General Martindale, of the Eighteenth Corps, which had been left before Petersburg when Smith withdrew to the Peninsula, occupied the right, and the line was extended to the left by the Sixth, Second, Ninth, and Fifth Corps, in the order named.

43 Hancock was now disabled by the breaking out afresh of his wound received at Gettysburg, and General Birney was in temporary command of the Second Corps.

44 in the fight at Reams's Station, they lost their guns, a small train, and many men and horses. The Confederates claimed to have captured 1,000 effective men, besides the wounded, 13 guns, and 80 wagons. Wilson estimated his entire loss during the raid at between 750 and 1,000 men. Grant said, in his Report, that the damage done to the enemy “more than compensated for the losses we sustained.” the raiders destroyed about sixty miles of railway, with mills, factories, and blacksmith shops. At Reams's Station, about 1,000 negroes, most of them mounted on horses “borrowed for the occasion,” and following the Union cavalry, were captured by the Confederates. Many of these, Wilson reported, were slaughtered without mercy, and the remainder were remanded to slavery.

45 this shows the appearance of the pontoon bridge at Deep Bottom, with Butler's little dispatch-steamer Grey Hound, lying just above it.

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