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Battle of Cold Harbor
Harper's Weekly Article - June 4, 1864

General Grant's Campaign

          The movements of General Grant during last week were mainly strategic, though there was considerable fighting. On Wednesday, May I8, the Second Corps advanced against the enemy's right, driving him from two lines of his works and capturing several pieces of artillery. The cannonading was very heavy, but our forces held their ground, with an aggregate loss of one thousand. The Ninth Corps was also engaged on the enemy's left during the day, and succeeded in pushing back the enemy for some distance, but subsequently retired, having gained no considerable advantage.

          On Thursday, 19th, every thing was quiet until evening, when an effort was made by Ewell's Corps to turn our right for the purpose of capturing our supply trains. All day long trains, loaded with ordnance and commissary stores, had been passing the point attacked, but fortunately none were within reach at the moment. Tyler's Division, supported by Birney's, were precipitated on the rebel column as impetuously as the nature of the ground permitted, and after a sharp skirmish the latter were driven from the ground with serious loss. The First Maine Heavy Artillery regiment, eighteen hundred strong, and fighting as infantry, charged on the rebel line gallantly, and swept every thing before them after a sharp contest. About 500 prisoners fell into our hands, besides 1250 killed and wounded. Our loss was 150 killed and 750 wounded and missing. Tyler's troops, who chiefly engaged the enemy, were just from Washington, and had never been under fire, but behaved with the greatest gallantry. General Meade gave a prompt recognition of their brave conduct in the following order, issued on Friday:

          "The Major-General commanding desires to express his satisfaction with the good conduct of Tyler's Division, Kitching's Brigade of Heavy Artillery, in the affair of yesterday evening. The gallant manner in which these commands, the greater portion being for the first time under fire, met and checked a persistent corps of the enemy, led by one of its best generals, justifies the commendation in this special manner of troops who henceforward will be relied upon as were the tried veterans of the Second and Sixth Corps, at the same time engaged. By command of "MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE." On Friday evening General Grant commenced a movement for the purpose of compelling Lee to abandon his position at Spottsylvania. Details of this movement are very properly suppressed, but it is known that up to Monday, 23d, it had gone forward successfully. Longstreet's Corps started south at 1 o'clock Friday night, an hour and a half after Hancock moved. Ewell's Corps followed Longstreet.

          On Saturday General Hancock (Second Corps) reached Guinea's Station, and thence pushed forward to Bowling Green. At Guinea's Station they found some rebel cavalry with a battery of artillery, which they soon dispersed. Our cavalry pursued them, inflicting some loss, while that of our own was very light. At Milford, beyond Bowling Green, our advance met a considerable force of the enemy and drove them through the town. On Sunday night General Hancock had reached a point ten miles south of Bowling Green, on the line of the Mattapony. A bulletin of Secretary Stanton, issued on Tuesday night, says: "A dispatch from General Grant, dated at 11 o'clock Monday night, states that the army had moved from its position to the North Anna, following closely Lee's army. The Fifth and Sixth Corps marched by way of Harris's Store to Jericho Ford, and the Fifth Corps succeeded in effecting a crossing and getting position without much opposition. Shortly after, however, they were violently attacked, and handsomely repulsed the assault without much loss to us. We captured some prisoners."

          Another dispatch, giving in detail the movements of our corps, and speaking of the rebel assault on Warren's position, says : " He was attacked with great vehemence. I have never heard more rapid or massive firing either of artillery or musketry. The attack resulted in a destructive repulse of the enemy."

At the position attacked by Hancock the rebels were intrenched, and in considerable force between the creek he had crossed and the river, and made a pertinacious resistance to his onset; but before dark he had forced them from their works and driven them across the stream. It Is also said that in these engagements the slaughter of the enemy was very great. Our losses were inconsiderable. The rebels charged against our artillery, and suffered especially from canister.

          A dispatch from General Grant dated at 8 o'clock Tuesday morning, has also been received. It states that the enemy have fallen back from the North Anna, and we are in pursuit. Negroes who have come in say that Lee is falling back to Richmond.

          Other official dispatches from head-quarters say that Warren, Burnside, and Hancock are pushing forward after the retreating army. Warren captured a good number of prisoners on Monday evening, but has not had time to count them or ascertain his loss.

Hancock is storming the rifle-pits this side of the river. On Monday evening he also took between 100 and 200 prisoners, and drove many rebels into the river, where they were drowned.

          On the 23d, Secretary Stanton made the following official announcement in reference to the condition and movements of the Army of the Potomac : " Official reports of this Department show that within eight days after the great battle at Spotsylvania Court House, many thousand veteran troops have been forwarded to General Grant. The whole army has been amply supplied with full rations of subsistence. Upward of twenty thousand sick and wounded have been transported from the field of battle to the Washington hospitals, and placed under surgical care. Over eight thousand prisoners have been transported from the field to prison depots, and large amounts of artillery and other implements dais active campaign brought away. Several thousand fresh cavalry horses have been forwarded to the army, and the grand Army of the Potomac is now fully as strong in numbers, and better equipped, supplied, and furnished than when the campaign opened. Several thousand reinforcements have also been forwarded to other armies in the field, and ample supplies to all. During the same time over 30,000 volunteers for 100 days have been mustered into the service, clothed, armed, equipped, and transported to their respective positions.

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