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Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
New York Times Articles - May 16, 1864

LATEST FROM THE ARMY; A Savage Fight on Saturday Evening.

The Rebels Repulsed and a Battery Captured.

Fresh Troops Arriving to Aid Grant.

Lee's Army on Quarter Rations, but Massed for More Fighting.


WASHINGTON, Sunday, May 15 -- Midnight, The latest intelligence rcceived here from the front, through unofficial sources, is up to yesterday, at 1 o'clock. On Saturday evening, just before dusk, the rebels made an attack on the position occupied by the Fifth Corps, principally with artillery, but were finally driven back with severe loss, the cannonading was furious for several hours. We lost a number of valuable officers and from two to three hundred men killed and wounded. After the repulse of the rebels one of the divisions of the Fifth Corps made a charge upon the enemy's position, and it is reported captured a rebel battery and a number of prisoners. On Saturday night LEE's forces were believed to be in line of battle about three miles beyond Spottsylvania Court-house, in a southwesterly direction. His sharpshooters were within half a mile south of town, which was neutral ground. Several important charges have been made. In the positions of our several corps, it would be improper to state what they are, suffice it to say that Gen. GRANT will bring to bear, in the next attack on the rebel position, superior forces on all sides. Fresh troops are arriving. A general assault was to have been made on the enemy's right wing on Saturday morning, but owing to the wretched condition of the roads, which had been rendered almost impassable by the storm, a portion of our army failed to get into position in time, and the attack had to be abandoned in consequence. My informant says that the impression prevailed at headquarters that there would be hard fighting yet this side of North Anna River. LEE has his forces massed, and will give us battle again as soon as we advance. His army, according to the statements of prisoners captured yesterday, is on quarter rations, and without hope of receiving any from Richmond or Lynchburgh. Since the fight on Thursday we have captured about two thousand more prisoners, making our total captures in the neighborhood of 12,000.


-- Reinforcements are on the march for GRANT, across the Potomac, Rappahannock and Po. Two things make it possible for GRANT to command these reinforcements at this moment: firstly, he controls all the soldiers in the United States, and can move them at his pleasure; secondly, the prompt response of the hundred days' men in the West enables him to draw to his side the veterans at outposts and garrisons, and fill their places with these militiamen. At this moment many legions of hardy and veteran fighters from the West are with him; and not a few of those who campaigned on the Mississippi with GRANT, and under him laid siege to Vicksburgh, will now campaign with him in old Virginia, and we hope will soon be able to lay siege to old Richmond. The rest of a day or two at the close of last week, which was enjoyed by the heroes of the Wilderness and of Spottsylvania, and this infusion of new men and new vitality, will very quickly enable the Lieutenant-General to push on his successes, and complete the work which he has so gloriously begun. Our army is still south of the Po, but whether LEE's retreat is to be continued in the direction of Richmond or Lynchburgh, is not as yet definitely settled.

Very Latest from General Grant.; LEE STILL RETREATING.

No Fighting on Friday or Saturday. Glorious Work of General Sheridan.

Railroads Destroyed, Supplies Captured and Burned and the Rebel Cavalry Defeated.

The Rebel Gen. J. E. B. Stuart Killed.

Fort Darling Attacked by Gen. Butler.


Highly Important from Gen. Sherman. A Great Battle Going on Near Dalton.


The Latest Army News--Advices from Gen. Grant to Sunday Morning--No more Flighting--News from Gen. Sherman to Saturday Evening--His Army Actively Engaged. (OFFICIAL.) Dispatches from Gen. Grant to Half-past Six Saturday Morning--Retreat of Lee. SHERIDAN'S GREAT CAVALRY RAID. The Retreat of Lee and Pursuit by Grant--The News from Sherman--Dalton Evacuated--Sigel's Position. Gen. Butler's Attack on Fort Darling--The Enemy's First Line Carried. The Arrival of Prisoners at Belle Plain.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, May 15, 1864 -- 10:15 P.M. To Major-Gen. Dix: Dispatches from General Grant have been received by this Department down to seven o'clock this morning. There had been no engagement for the last two days. Dispatches [???] en. SHERMAN, down to eight o'clock last night, state that his forces had been actively engaged during the day with advantage on our side, but no decided result. Nothing has been heard from Gen. BUTLER's operations since his telegram of last night, heretofore published. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War. [OFFICIAL.] WASHINGTON, May 15 -- 9 A.M. To Maj.-Gen. Dix: An official dispatch from the battle-field at Spottsylvania, yesterday morning at 6 1/2, states that during the preceding night (Friday) a movement was made by the Fifth and Sixth Corps to our left, and an attack was to have been made at daylight, but no sound of battle had been heard from that quarter. This manoeuvre, it is said, if successful, would place our forces in LEE's rear, and compel him to retreat toward Lynchburgh. No cannon, nor any sound of battle was heard yesterday at Belle Plain or Fredericksburgh, which affords ground for inference that LEE had retreated during Friday night, and before the advance of the Fifth and Sixth Corps. Nothing later than 6:30 A.M. of yesterday has been received from the army by this department. All wounded that had reached Belle Plain yesterday evening have arrived here. The surgical report from the headquarters of the army states that the condition of the supplies is satisfactory, and the wounded are doing well. The Medical Director at Belle Plain reports that everything at that point is satisfactory. The surgical arrangements have never been so complete as now. Gen. SHERIDAN's command had reached the left bank of Turkey Island at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, and have formed their junction with the forces of Gen. BUTLER. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


[OFFICIAL.] WASHINGTON, May 14, 1864 -- 11:40 P.M. Maj.-Gen. Dix: An official dispatch from Gen. SHERIDAN, dated at Bottom Bridge, via Fortress Monroe, May 13, states that on the 9th instant, he marched around the enemy's right flank, and on the evening of that day reached the North Anna River without opposition. During that night he destroyed the enemys depot at Beaver Dam, three large trains of cars, and one hundred cars, two fine locomotives, two hundred thousand pounds of bacon and other stores, amounting in all to one million and a half of rebel rations; also the telegraph and railroad track for about ten miles, embracing several culverts; recaptured three hundred and seventy-eight of our men, including two Colonels, one Major, and several other officers. On the morning of the 10th he resumed operations, crossing the South Anna at Grand Squirrel Bridge, and went into camp about daylight. On the 11th he captured Ashland Station, destroyed here one locomotive and a train of ears, an engine house, and two or three government buildings, containing a large amount of stores; also destroyed six miles of railroad, embracing six culverts, two trestle bridges, and the telegraph wire. About 7 A.M. of the 11th he returned the march on Richmond. He found the rebel Gen. STUART with his cavalry concentrated at Yellow Tavern, immediately attacked him, and after an obstinate contest gained possession of the Brockel turn-pike, capturing two pieces of artillery, and driving his forces back toward Ashland, and across the North fork of the Chickahominy. At the same time a party charged down the Brock road, and captured the first line of the enemy's works around Richmond. During the night he marched the whole of his command between the first and second line of the enemy's works on the bluffs overlooking the line of the Virginia Central Railroad and the Mechanicsville turnpike. After demonstrating around the works, and finding them very strong, he gave up the intention of assaulting, and determined to recross the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge. It had been partially destroyed by the enemy, but was repaired in about three hours under a heavy artillery fire from a rebel battery. Gen. MERRITT made the crossing, attacked the enemy, and drove him off handsomely, the pursuit continuing as far as Gaines' Mills. The enemy, observing the recrossing of the Chickahominy, came out from his second line of works. A brigade of infantry and a large number of dismounted cavalry attacked the divisions of Gens. GREGG and WILSON, but after a severe contest were repulsed and driven behind their works. GREGG's and WILSON's division after collecting the wounded recrossed the Chickahominy. On the afternoon of the 12th the corps encamped at Walnut Grove and Gaines' Mills. On the morning of the 13th (yesterday) the march was renewed and we encamped at Bottom's Bridge. The command is in fine spirits. The loss of horses will not exceed one hundred. All the wounded were brought off, except about thirty cases of mortal wounds, and those were well cared for in the farm-houses of the country. The wounded will not exceed two hundred and fifty, and the total losses not over three hundred and fifty. The Virginia Central Railroad bridges over the Chickahominy and other trestle bridges, one sixty feet in length, one thirty feet, one twenty feet, and the railroad for a long distance south of the Chickahominy were destroyed. Great praise is given the Division Commanders, Gens. GREGG, WILSON, and MERRITT, and Gens. CUSTER and DAVIS, Cols. GREGG, DIVINE, CHAPMAN, MCINTOSH and GIBBS, Brigade Commanders, and all the officers and men behaved splendidly. MAY 15 -- 12:30 A.M. In a dispatch this moment received from Admiral LEE, he reports to the Secretary of the Navy that the Richmond papers of yesterday mentioned the death of Gen. J.E.B. STUART, shot in battle. This, no doubt, happened in the battle with SHERIDAN. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War. (OFFICIAL.) WASHINGTON, Saturday, May 14. Major-Gen. Dix: Dispatches from Gen. GRANT, dated yesterday evening, at 6 o'clock, have reached this Department. The advance of HANCOCK, yesterday, the developed fact that the enemy had fallen back four miles. There was no engagement yesterday. We have no accounts of any general officers being killed in the battle of the preceding day. Col. CARROLL was severely wounded. A dispatch has just been received from Gen. SHERMAN, dated near Resaca, May 14. It states that by the flank movement on Resaca, JOHNSTON had been forced to evacuate Dalton, and our forces were in his rear and flank. The weather was fine, and the troops in fine order. All working well, and as fast as possible. No intelligence has been received from Gen. BUTLER. Guerrillas have broken the telegraph lines between Williamsburgh and Old Jamestown. This is believed to be the reason why no reports have been received from him. Dispatches from Gen. SIGEL report him to be at Woodstock. The rumor that he had broken the railroad between Lynchburgh and Charlottsville is not true. Our wounded are coming in from Belle Plain as fast as the transports can bring them. GRANT's army is well supplied. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War. (OFFICIAL.) WASHINGTON, May 14, 1864 -- 9:50 P.M. Major-Gen. Dix: The following telegrams have just reached this department from Gen. BUTLER. No other reports have been received since my dispatch of this afternoon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War. FIRST DISPATCH. HALF-WAY HOUSE, May 14, 1864 -- 8 A.M. To Hon. Edwin M Stanton: We are still before the base of the enemy's works at Drury's Bluff, Fort Darling. The enemy are here in force. Gen. GILLMORE, by a flank movement with a portion of his corps and a brigade of the Eighteenth Corps, assaulted and took the enemy's works on their right. It was gallantly done. Troops behaved finely. We held our lines during the night, and shall move this morning. BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General Commanding. SECOND DISPATCH. HEADQUARTERS, HALF-WAY HOUSE, May 14, 1864 --10 A.M. Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War: Gen. SMITH carried the enemy's first line on the right this morning, at 8 A.M. Loss, small. The enemy have retired into three square redoubts, upon which we are now bringing our artillery to bear with effect. BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj.-Gen. Commanding. (OFFICIAL.) WASHINGTON, May 13 -- 12 o'clock, Midnight. Maj.-Gen. Dix: A dispatch from the Commissary of Prisoners at Belle Plain, announces the arrival there of over 7,000 prisoners, including 400 officers, with Maj.-Gen. JOHNSON and Brig.-Gen. STUART. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

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