The Franklin repository. (Chambersburg, Pa.) 1863-1931, May 18, 1864, Image 1

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VIC-° re,•R yy,
Nine Dajs'of Terrible Slaughter !
The Rebels Defeated *on
Every Field !
' Lee Retreats South of the Po !
the Waterloo
of rtebelilom
St(eridan Severs Lee's Lines and Destroys His'
Stores and Munitions !
He Enters - ' the Richmond
Entrenchments !
Union Loss 25,000 !—Rebel Loss Over
40,000 !
The Opening Wight—Lee Attacks - in the
_ Wildernesm—Hilt Engages Hancock—
Hancock Holds his Ground.
Correspondence of the New York Tribune.
How perfect have been the combinations,
how compfetely on time they have been execu
ted, how well in hand the army.bas beeir every
hoar and is now, how masterly and successful
thus far has been the movement—all this is so
clearly apparent that I can but notice it here
even while a spirited battle is being fought
only half a mile from where I write.
Immediately after" writing up" this morning
rode•out to Griffin's lines, then reported to be
menaced by the enemy. His division was in
-Line_fif battle at right anlges with and on either
side of the Old Turnpika. The enemy had
evidently despatched a force from his lair. on
Mine Run, to worry and delay our march by
threatening in flank. Gen. Griffin hadsent the
!Air Massachusetts and 83d Pennsylvania, under
Col. Hayes, of the former, to feel w. 411 out on
the-turnpike. It was here lhatCharkl Wilson
Tell, the Rebel skirmish line opposing a vigilant
rent.. Finally, after, Some little firing, Gen.
Warren, who had come up in person, ordered
un advance down fhe road in force. Ayres'
brigade moved on upon the right of the road,
sod Partlett's upon the left„ with each flank
well, supported.
Field officers were obliged,to dismount, so
dense was the growth of dwarf pines: An
advance of less than half a mile-and a smart
fusiTalle Opened the action: The two brigades
carried the first, eminence, and Were pushing up
a-second, when, owing to failure oft the com
man& right mid left, to connect and form a
contiguous line, the Rebels flanked theta on
both .sides. Col. Hayes, 18th Massachusetts,
ridding himself in command of several regiments
trnil the enemy all around Min, formed a line
facing to the rear and fought in both directions.
At length he gave the order to fall hack, and
the moVentent was being executed when he
was.hit on the scalp and tell. The brigade bu
gler brought hint safelroff. Meanwhile fresh
troops were put in, andtlfe Rebels slowlydriven
aldng the whole front then fighting. In this
action our loss is probably 300 to 400. At this
hour the.encinY has ceased to make demonstra
tions, and we are waiting for join
on our left. Gen Grant is smoking a wooden
pipe, his face as peaceful as tisummer evening,
his general demeanor indescribably imperturba
ble. know, however, that there is great anx
iety that Hancock should fail into position, for
it is believed that the entire'Rebel force is mass
ing Upon us. _ BArri.n-ri ma. May 5-9 P. M.
- Heavy fighting Rifle(' three o'clock, mostly at
the extreme left, under Hancock. Gettv's Divi
sive, Sixth Corps, was at the right otOrange
Plank Road, fronting toward 31ine Run, where
c t ires Division, Second Corpi, joined him on
bis - lett. The other divisioni of Hancock's
Corps were pushing, up ; in the twinkling of an
ore the Rebels were on him in great force, with
the evident purpose of turning ourleft: The
ground was fearfully overgrown with scrub trees,
thick as one sees shoots from the same roots.
In a :few minutes urgent requests came back
for ieinforcements. The enemy was repeating
his tactics ,at_Chaneellorsville of falling with
tremendous force and superhuman vim upon
one Wino • This timelie was not repulsed,,but
The battle raged ilk three hours precisely
whereit began, along a line of not more than
half a mile. Fast as our men came up they
were sent in-;--atilluo ground. gained, none lost.
It was all musketry, roll surging upon roll—
not the leasteesSation. We were lighting 20,000
men, and suck:was the nature of the country
but two guns could be planted bearing upon the
enemy. Bane brigade of Birney's division
became warmly. engaged soon after the ball
opened. A little while and he asked for re
enforeements., Hancock sends back word :
" I Will send a brigade within twenty initiates.
Tell Gen. Alexander Hayes to hold his ground.
He can do it. I know him to be a powerful
Man." Within that time Gen; Hayes - Was
killed, and his body brought to"the rear. The was at close range. No room in that
jungle fur munceuvering, no possibility ofa bay
onet charge, no help from artillery, no help
from cavalry ; nothing but close, square, severe,
face-to-face volleys -of fatal ' musketry. The
wounded'strenin out, and fresh troops pour in.
Stretchers pass out with ghastly burden, and
go back reeking with blood for more. Word
isbrought thattbe ammunition is failing. Sixty
rounds tired in one steady stand-up-fight, and
that fight riot fought out. Boxes of cartridges
are plaCed ai - the returning stretchers, and
the straggle shall not cease for want of ball and
powder. Do the volleys grow nearer, or do our
fears make them seem so ? It must be so, foi
it second line is rapidly formed just were we
stand, and the bullets slip singing by us as they'
have net done before, while now and then ai
limb drops from the treetops. The, bullets are
flying high. Gen.Harteock rides along the new
line, is recognized by,tlie men, and cheered
with a will and a tiger. But we stay them.—
The 2d Corps is all' up, and it must be that
troops will (mine up from Warrewor Sedgwiek,
or else they .will divert the enemy's attention
by an attack upon another quarter. Yes we
hold them, and the fresh men going inwill drive
them. I ride back . to General - Headquarters,
and learn that an advance has been ordered an
hour ago along the , whole line. Gen. Meade is
in front with Warren, Gen. Grant is even now
listening, for 'Wadsworth's division or Warren's
Corps to open on Hill's flank, for it is Hill's
Corps that is battling with Hancock. The lat
ter reports that he shall be able to maintain his
ground. The severe fighting for the day is over,
and it is sunset.
I write now, at I 01'1 M. Since dark there has
been brisk firing at intervals at=different points
•don the line. .The enemy has been splendidly
foiled to-day in his intention of beating us be
we should be ready to fight. To-morrow
we shall - be altogether ready. Our line to
night extendS, perhaps, miles frorornorth
east tesouthwest,tberightbeing a little advanced
Gen e Burnside-has come up 25,000strongnnd
will probably he the reserve to-morrow. Our
Josh to-day may be estimated at 3,000 to 4,000.
The main battle, propably a decisive one, must
be to-morrow. To-day we have fought because
- the enemy chose, that we should To-morrow
because we chose that he shall.
The Terrible Battle of F rid a y—Every
Corps of Both Armies Engaged—Des
perate Assaults of Lee—Night Closes
on a Host Bloody and Indecisive Battle
Special Dispatchto the N. Y. Tribune. •
_ • Friday. May G-rl.l P. M.
Fourteen hours of severe fighting to-day, and
still nothing derisive., The position this morn
ing was that of last night. substantially: Gen.
Scdgwick, with two of his divisions, Rickett's
and Wright's,..bas_fonght upon the right; Gen.
Hancock, with tfitNbur divisions of his corps,
viz: Birney's, l ;Carr's, Barlow's and Gibbons's,
with Getty's Division of the Gth Corps, has .
fought upon the left; and Gen. Warren, with
his-full corps and Stevenson's divisiOn of the 9th
Co - fps (Hmnside's,) has 'fought in the center.
liimisidels ; - corps has constituted the reserve,
an - d- has Marched and countermarched incess
afitly,And gone in by brigades at the center and
on - thd left.
Sedgwiek was to advance at 5 A. M., but
b well, who eommands opposite him, attacked
-at 4.45. Sedgwick says Ewell's watch mustbe
-15 - Ininutes ahead of his. This action on our
right was spirited and well fought: At the ex
piration of an hour the. rebels were .handsomely'
borne back, the firing ceased, and each side
held the ground they had bivuouacked upon.
Our loss was severe, And the enemy's could not
have been less.
Gen. Sedgwick's staff were brilliant and übi
quitous throughout, while the old General was
the man of . .. Antietam and Fredericksburg re
peating himself. This action barely over,
suddenly we heard from the . extreme leftthat
peculiar monotonous swell and volume of sound
which tells of large numbers engaged—so many
that single shots and even volleys of long lines
are not distinct, but are merged in the mighty
noise of a great battle. Hancock`was'engaged.
Only 10 o'clock and Lee had tried each wing
and had met in each. case more than he could
overcome, and we asked ourselves what nest.
All his movements were silent and invisible,
and unknown until, he developed them iu the
event. We can deliver blows in the direction
whence blows are dealt us=not against an en-,
emy advancing in' bold sight, but - against one
who has mysteriously gathered and poised him
self for a degly spring.
But the suspense is not long. both combat
ants are too eager to compel the issue for either
to delay another and still another encounter.
Shots begin: - to ring .all along the six miles of
- At 11 o'clock the enemy press close upon
'Warren and Sedgwick, and train a number Of
guns exactly upon the latter's headquarters. A
man and three horses are killed within 2U feet_
of the General, and in the very center of his
grouied staff. Finding the enemy disposed to
re - new the engagement bf the early morning,
SedgWick accepts the challenge, and advances
his whole line. The men go in with more dash
and hold on more sturdily than in the morning.
Ewell is driven back to his second line where
his guns are in position, and there makes a
At this juncture, Warren, who connects with
Sedgwick's left, is extremely anxious to go in
with all his might, but the enemy'kposition in
his front seems too formidable.
I see a troop of horsemen riding rapidly_ ip to
the perilous edge of battle, and recognize War
ren and his white horse, as Sehu was recogniz
ed by the Prophet of old, for they came furl
onsly. With him are Gens. Griffin and Hunt,
and officers of Gen. Grant's and Meade's staffs.
Halting at the first line they dismount and
walk More than half a mile in front of the men,
who are flat upon their breasts, =and firing rap
idly. We hold the woods on one side of an
open space, perhaps one-fourth of a mile across,
and the rebels lay along the trend of the woods
upon the other side. Their intrenchments arc
plainly visible, and the. open modths of their ar- :
finery peer over.
No; it will not do to charge across. .It were
stark madness. The •sharpshooters may con
tinue to reply to this, but no man shall start
across the plain and live. Warren had perhaps
hoped that, his own judgment would be over
ruled by the otficersi with him, but all declare
that no advance can be made here. But more
to the left, where Wadsworth's and Robinson's
The Grand Advance on Richmond—SOene 'of the Great Battles of Th
Wilderness and Spottsylvania, with the Rebel Defences of Richmond.
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1. Reserv,i , under 13vnirsint. •
2. SEDGWICK'S Sixth- Corps.
3. WARREN'S Fifth Corps.
GETTY'S Division, Sixth Corps
divisions of Warren's corps lay up to Hancock,
the prospect is better, and there an assault is
It is noon, and Sedgwiek's second fight is
over, and be again rests on the line of 'his last
night's bivouac. - Wadsworth advances and
finds the enemy—A. P. Hill's corpsstrong and
prepared. 'The divisions -on his right and left
become engaged with him, 'and the work is
warm. Here, as elsewhere, the contest is in a
tangled jungle, and the soldiers push atiide the
bushes and find mortal enemies bursting through
the adjoining growth of bushes, and face to face
,NtihAcm. -
laialf or three-fourths of an hour of alttirna
tilig success and repulse, and Gen. 'Wadsworth
ordeni a charge to recover his command from
a slight wavering. He is chedred Imidly by his
men who loved the gray haired chieftain. One
horse is shot under him. He mounts u second
and spurs to the front, hat in hand, and we
should have on then, but his men saw `him
fall. He was shot through the head; killed in
stantly.- His dommand tell back to their orig
inal position with comparative order. -
But this battle does not pause for a hero slain.
Prom noon until 5 o'clock, -a number.uf sharp
assaults at .various points were made and
variably repulsed, whether made by is or by
the enemy. Each one -of these affairs were
material for a long letter, but I find it simply
impossible at this time to ascertain and write
out correctly the facts in detail.
'Prisoners dame in at the rate of 100 an hour.
The day was excessively hot, and the men Were
much exhausted. We had neither gained nor
lost ground, hilt continued this thing long enough,
and we hoped to finally wear'them out. At 5A
o'clock Hancock Was preparing fir a grand
movement of our entire left. He'did not make
it, for the enemy anticipated him, and he had'
to repel perhaps the must wicked assault thus
far encountered—brief in duration, hat terrific
in power and superhuman momentum.
The first few Minutes we were staggered.
Stragglers for the first time in all this fighting
streamed-to the rear iiblarge numbers, choking
the roads and, causing a panic by their stam
pede and incoherent tales of frightful disaster.
If was even reported at general headquarters
that the enemy had burst entirely through, and
supports were 'hurried up Grant and Meade
seated their backs against the same -tree, qui
etly listened to the officer who-brought the re,
port, and consulted a moment in low tones.
The4irders for 'sending reenforcements were
given, and for a little time not a'word was spo
ken in the group of .mote than twenty officers.
They but looked into each other's faces.
At length, Grant say's,-with laconic emphasis,
"1 don'tlmlievi: it." He was right. \ Long be
fore that Hancock had recovered from the first
shock. held his own awhile, and now was gain
ing ground. In forty minutes from this attack
the enemy was -completely beaten back with
tremendous slaughter, and the ld - ss ofsome hun
dreds of prisoners.
It was how nearly sunset. From one end of
the line to the other not a shot could be heard.
The day's Work seemed over. Our -to
night would be - that of last night. The augu
ries were good. In two _days fighting we had
lost heavily, but not more than the enemy. Our
assaults had been futile, but the" enemy's had
been equally sol and it - is by these massed as
saults that he has ever achieved his victories.
The inference was clear. that we had over
matched him fighting at his best and strongest.'
The, sun went down red.- The smoke of the
battle`of more tharLtwo hundred thousand men
destroying each other with villainous saltpeter'
through all the - long hours of a long day, filled
the dillies, and revted upon the hills of all this
Wilderness, hung in lurid haze all around the
horizon, and built a dense canopy overhead, be
neath which this grand army of Freedom was
preparing to rest against the morrow. Gens.-
Grant and Meade had retired to their tents.
Quiet reigned, but during the reign of quiet the
enemy was forging a thunderbolt.
Dailness and scnoke were mingling in grim
twilight, and fast deepening into thick gloom,
when we were startled out of repose back into
fierce ex - eitement. The forged thunderbolt was
sped, and by a master. A wild rebel yell away
to the right.
.We knew they Lad massed-a nd werewere charging. We waited for the volley_with
which we knew Sedgwiek would meet the on
set. We thought it but a night attack to ascer
tain irwe had changed position. We Were
mistaken—it was morn s . They meant to break
through, and they did. - `Ott Sedgwick's extreme
right lay the 2d . Brigade, 3d Division of his
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REEL vans
5. HAitooos'A Second- C
6. Union Cavalry-under Suanioioc.
7. LONGSTREET'S Rebel Corp?.'
8. Itgoliy.s' Division Of Elyznn's Corps
corpS, under Gen. Seymour, ;who had been as
signed to it but two days before. The brigade
is new to the 6th Corps, and is known as the
Milroy brigade; connecting on the left of Sey
mour by Shaler's and!then Neill's brigades, the
latter being a brigade: of Getty's division that
had not been sent to ;Hancock. These troops
were at work intrenehing when fallen upon.
The enerny came down like a torrent, rolling
and dashing in living ; waves, .and flooding up
against the whole 6th Corps. The main line
stood like a - rock, butmot so the extreme right:
That flank was instantly and utterly turned.
The rebel line was the longer, and surged around:
- Stymour's . brigade, tided over:it and through it,
heat against Shaler, and bore away his right
regiments. All this done in less than tenrrnin
ntes,,Tprinsps not five; Seymour's men, seeing
-their ifi, , iteL'N ruining back,- - and hearing the
shouts of the rebels, who charged with all their
chivalry, were smitten with panic, and, stand
lig on no order of going, went at'once, and in
an incredibly short time made their way - through
a mile and a half of Woods to the plank road
In the rear. They reported, in the frantic man
ner usual with stampeded men, the entire corps
broken. Grant, as' in Hancock's case, didn't
believe it. But when three of Sedgwiek'S- staff
rode into army headquarters separately and sta
ted how they had. ridden from Sedgwiek's to
keep Seymour's men to their work, had been
borne back by the panic, and had last semi
Sedgwick and Wright hard to the front work
ing like Trojan's to hold the wavering line, the
situation seemed more critical. No word came
in from SedgWick. It began to be feared that
he and Wright, disdniaing to fly, were prisoners.
-Artillery moved quietly to commanding posi
tions, to be prepared"- for the worst, and cool
heads felt that were the whole 6th Corps bro
ken, the army, as an army, would still be invin
cible. Warren's cocas - is instantly, birt in per
feet composUre, disposed to - meet the situation.
Grant and Meade and- Warren are in Grant's
tent, to and from which officers cpme and . go
with a certain earnest air that-bespeaks urgent
and import:int cares. - So during an hour.-'No
firing hai been heard;the last three-quarters of
an hour. - The rebeld must have
,ceased to ad
vance ;' but how-far liave they penetrated, and
what is the present situation ?
The 6th Corps' flag comes in. Where is the
6th Corps' chieftain 1 ;My watch says ten o'clock
at night. A dispatch received. John Sedgwiek
safe. Wright 'safe. I The 6th Pimps' holds a
strong line; only Seymour's and a part of Sha--
ices brigade have been 'broken. The enemy
can do-nothing more. The 6th Corps proper
has not lest its pristine glory: Compelledlo
witlidravt• f - unffir orders after the ddfection of
-its right, it is still invincible—is now 'and ever
shall be. I May not refrain frOm mentioning
for'gallantry, Sedgwick's,staff find Wright's:
Riding in the thickest with rare presence of
mind and rare judgment; they Won and deserv
ed John Sedgwick's emphatic ',commendation.
Gens.-'Seymour and Shaler were captured.
' • It,
should be stated that both are-awarded by their
division and corps commanders every-credit for
doing all men could to recover their troops from
panic. communicated 'to the latter's brigade,
not beginning there:.-
The Engaxement of Saturday—Lee Re
tires and Both Lines flhanOed—Grant
•) Advanees--An Awful Anthem of Shot
and Shell.
S pecial Dispatch to The N. Y. Tribune.
SATCRIMY, May 1, 1864
At precisely 4 o'clock this morning our bat
teries placed in position wring the-nighton
our right ushered in the daylight with an awful
anthem of shot and shell, reminding one of the,
sublime terrors of Gettysburg. !This cannons.-
ding was' continued for a half hour, and was
directed upon the - foe occupying our lost ground
of the night - previous, but no reply coahlbe pro
voked. The occasional shot of our pickets then
only ensued, aimed at some luckless straggler
in'Rebel gray.
Thus matters continued up to half past
the morning, when it was definitely ascertained
that the redoubtable' Rebel Gen. Lee had most
incontinently skedaddled.. Alter having been
thwarted over and over again his favorite,
tactics of massing and hurling his legions first
on one flank, then suddenly on the other, or
upon the center, he has goue reeling and stag
gering back to his intrenchments at Orange, or
isjit tall retreat to his beleaguered Capital. A
few hours must determine the result.
The great loyal heart of the people will heat
with pew pulsations of gratitude to the Most
wholives us the victory', while tears. f4ll
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I .9. A. P. lEfthes Rebel Corps. - r
' 10. E E les Corps• 1R Reserve, -embracing tba
A. A. A. Battlefield.
for the noble brave sepolehi,ed in sliallow graves,
diig by 'soldiers under orders to mareb.
4rho Rattle of, Sunday--Gen. Crawford
and the Reserves In a Terrible Strug
gle—Artie Rebels Defeated.
Correspondence of the N. Y. Herald.
And the work of war zstili goes on. This
corps has again been, heavily engaged to-day.
The' closest and severest contest of -the day has
only just ended. •Our column marched all night.
It was the last - to leave the entrenchments
where the battles, of the Wilderness were fought,
and, first in the fight there, was first also in the
fight here. • •
Advancing from Todd's tavern,. on the road
to Spottsylvania C. II„ four regiments of Gen.
Bartlett's - brigade, of Gen. Griffin's division—the
Ist MichiganMth New York,B3dPennsylvania,
and 18th, Massachusetts regiments—were sent
ahead as skirialishers. - As we-passed down the
road shells were hurled at us with great rapid
ity. Gen. Warren and' staff were advaneing
down the ' same road.. Gen. Warren had his
horse disabled by a piece of shell. 'Lieut. Col.
Locke. his Assistant Adjutant General, was hit
in the cheek by'a fragment of a shell, inflicting
a severe, hut not dangerous wound. The Gen
era:gni staff, however, marched on, regardless
of the dangerous missiles falling about them fu
riously and fast.
As we advanced the enemy fell back, making
only: slight resistance. Reaching what is call
ed Allsop's fitrin, we came into a .clearing of
about a hundred acres,' and trianaular in form.
MCI. rebel artillery had been stationed in this
clearing. To the rear of the clearing is Ny run,
a Antall stream, affording po obstacle to the ad
vance of troops. The woods are a mixture of
pine. cedar and oak, but not so. dense as the
scene of our late battles. The wooded. ground
rises beyond the run, and is ridgy. At the
opening into the clearing the ' road forks, both
leading to Spottsylvaniu. C. H. some three miles
distant from this point. -
The line of battle advanced thrbugh the clear
. - Having driven the enemy up to this point
two miles into the woods fronting us, our forces
pushed them; and now:began the serious open
ing of the day's work: Oht I roops ran on to
three lines of the enemy, the.last behind earth
works. Two corps of the enemy—Ewell's and
Longstreet's, as was afterward. ascertained—
were here awaiting us. The fight was terrible.
'The remaining divisions of the corps—Getieral
Craivford's and Gen. Wadsworth's, the latter
now commanded by Gen. Cutler—were hurried
forteard rapidly. The fight
.became general,
and lasted four hoursi,
Our troops behaved magnificently, keeping at
buy more than treble their number. It will be"
i understood t hat the remaining corps ofthe army,
which had taken the road by way of - Chancel
lorsville for this - point, were still behind-. It
wottld not do to he driven back, and our men
tbught with a desperation showing not only their
usual firm courage, but fullest appreciation of
the Position of affairs and the importance of
holding their ground_ - ,
I This opening fight - commenced' about eight
A.. 31- . .-.
In the afternoon there was a succession of
-other battles, the Fifth still being engaged.
IJust before night one brigade of the Sixth corps
went to the assistance_" of the corps, and, with
thisexception, the Fifth did all the day's Oght
ing." The closini struggle of the day was, if
anything, snore desperate than the one of the
morning. Thetercest effort- was made by the
enemy to drive us back and - get on our flanks;
but the coolness and courage of our men repell:
ed every effort. .
We have beat - en the enemy; but it been
a most costly victory. Our losses are set dowil
as Thirteen hundred—killed, missing and Wound
ed. To-night our division is commanded by a
Colonel. Brigades have lost their eoinmanders l
,1 and I know of ono regiment—the 4th Michigan
1 —that is commanded by.a first lieutenant,
cannot particularize the killed and Wounded
at the time of sending this dispatch; which I
loaki to dose abruptly, to avail myself of arias..
,sible prospect of getting it through.
Several regiments have suffered terribly. The
Ist Michigan, which went in with nearly tiro
hinidred men, came out at the end of the Closing
fight with only twenty-fire men left. The-32d
Massachusetts regiment, Col: PreSeott, captured
the (ith Alabama regimental ling.
At 54 P. hi. botly.Lieut. Gen. Grant and Goo,
Meade visited the scene of action, They poiln:
directly to the fttuit;. Not only did. the 1:m013_1
.not engaged cheer • them lustily, but the„
VOL 71;. WHO NO. 3,657.
battle, knoic'ing their pi.esene,e, relight with
more determined desperation:
• , ,
Monday's Engagement—gunk Again
E n gag ed—The Day closes with the
iterates Face to Face.
Special Dispatch to ThaN, Y.Tribune.
;Naar Spottsylvania Conn-House. Va.,
Tao ?day Morning, May 10, 1864. 11
A shy rg engagement, commencing at 61
o'clock and closing at about 7 g, in., took place
yesterday. • The principal corps engaged on our
side wasthat of Hancock, - who, under cover of
our artillery, crossed and eitablishedhis troops
in position on the south side Of the'River
This morning it is believed that Lee still re-.
mains in force, his lines being drawn up about
two milks north of Spottaylvania Court-Howe.
Our , line 'confronts him facing nearly south ,
Our lossin the battles of Sunday andyesterday
will prObably amount to at ; least twenty-five
Gens.i Grant and Meade were at the front
last night personally superintending Hancock's
attack. Brisk musketry firing continuing: or
ahoit ten minutes broke out on our left at 110.45
Ir s night.
The Great Battle of Tnesday—The Battle
.of the Po—lmmense Loa's oh Both Sides
—Every Charge of the Poe Repulsed— ,
Grant Again Vietorionk.
i HE POTOILke, 1' •
Wednesday, May 11, Ba. m. •
. At 1 - o'clock yesterday, the most desperate
of all the battles yet. fought was commenced.
It continued up to nearly 8 o'clock. In dogged
stubbeniessWaterloO and. Solferino pale be
fore`the terrffe - -onsfaught of Tuesday afternoon
on the bails of the Po. Two divisions of. Bur
nside's Corps held the right, the sth and 6th
Corps the centre, and the 2d-Corps the left..
Our line stretched six miles on the north-east
bank of the Po, the rebels occupying the south'.
west ba i nk and the village of Spottsylvania..
At 2 Cur artillery gained a, good range,, and
poured Shot and shell, grape tind canister into
their ranks, as they with frantic recklessness of
life, charged forward upon our infantry lines.
The enemy used but Mile atillery in reply.
Prisoners state that they were deficient in am
munition, and could not. ; .
The impression prevailed att headquarters du
ring the'fore part of the day that Ewell's Corps
had left for Richmond on Monday. All prison
ers taken were from Longstreet's and Hill's
Corps, but before yesterday's battle closed,Eiv
.ell returned. If he had left 11,i3 is probable, and
Lee's entire army and our whole force were
pitted for three hours at 'a :hand-to-hand strug
gle without a parallel in history.
Gen. Grant and Gen. Meade were in the sad
dle constantly, personally directing movements.
Itw; s arranged that the entire9th Corps should
Charge the enemy's right flank, but'pending the
severest onslaught made by I Lee just before
dark:it was discovered that he had advanced
around oar right flank and ' Was moving down
in dense columns for a_ last, and after-dark..
struggle to break through (ir lines and dash
upon our supply trains, then known to be pack
ed on the plank road to Freddricksburg. .
This changed Gen. Burnside's purpose, and
he securely held his ground and threatened the.
enemy'S extreme right, while .the 6th Corps
charged his right center, and (at 7 o'clock)
drove him from his first line :ff rifle pits, cap
turing five guns and betwels, two and three
thonsandprisoners. • 1 ~
.' The quick eyes of our chieftains,
caw the reberman'cinivre: Our men were faced
about, our trains all` moved to the rear; new
positions instantly secured for , our artillery, and
the eneiny'S expected coming Patiently - awaited
during all the long hours of Ist night. No de
monstrations were made, ho ever, and except
the occasional diorite of pick ts, all was quiet,
up to 8
o'Clock to-day, when left.
It was believed that the e emy had suffered '
so severely that ho could ne in his crippled
condition avail himself of the ecided advantage
he had gained. By others it was supposed he
bad attempted another flight,-but as his com
munication with Richmond is,believed to have
been severed by Sheridan, and his flanks and
rear constantly harassed by o r forces, he must
surrender or kill his "last re c ut" in battle'as
he Sees determined in frantic rage to do.,
In so'horrible a strife it must nut be supposed
that wu escape the severest Punishment. Our
losses in yesterday's fight, wore much greater
than in any of the battles of theprevious week.
It is true there is a smaller pdrcentage - of killed
in Proportion to the number iwounded than in
any previous battle, and a ;very. large number
are but slightly wounded. Loads, fields, and
woods are literally swarmingi with these suffer
ing herpes, who have defied wounds and death
that the nation might survive.
So incessant have, been the marching. and
fighting that many are
.being overcome with
fatigue, and several have been sun-struck; yet
never was seen so cheerful,i` so resolute; arid
even exultant a body of men on any of,the
world'e, great battle-fields.. All honor to this
sublime heroism, which so nobly welcomes death
and wounds. - . . .
Rebel priSoners assert that Lee ordered all
his wounded men, able to hot a musket to take
their places in the ranks again for yesterday's
, •
Our wounded are-being Poweyed with all .-
possible dispatch to Fredericksburg, and thence,.
via Belle Plain, to Wasbingten.
But for a tender regard of these dishbled he=
roes; abandoned to their fate and burning up in
the wobds left on fire- (as the rebels also leave
their ad unburied,) - our army. Would ere tbia
have been thundering before the'rebel capital;
but wet can afford to wait Men who have faUed
musketry and cannon for a Week, and foneit,
better each succeeding day, are invincible, and
they will soon win the complete triumph their
valor se richly merits. _
Time after time did'they hail back in disorder
the solid massed columns of the foe, and if per
chance-they staggered with the - shock, it was
onlyfor more superhuman energy to charge back
upon him. The' old guard. at Wateiloo pales,
before these men. - -
Our entire losses thus far, in killed, wounded,
missing, &c., must-reach near 40,000.
The enemy's loss in killed is much greater
than ours; his wounded about the same. H.
is supposed to hold some 2,000 of our prison*,
and we must have at least 5,000 of his men„
while our scouts report the
- roads literally
with his stragglers. Itis a inathematie4 - ttues,
tion requiring only a few more days, to deter,
mine the limit of his endurance.
We crossed the his
Po enNuesday, but
withdrew. W.echar&edacros,it again last night,
lifter the enemy had weakened, his right Oa Or:
der to'inass all his force on our, right. •
It was the Vermoit lkigadewbiclx charged
the enemy at the's* pits, and the 2,d Vermont
held them tillmidnighkwher, Gen,. Meade re
ealled then_
Thus, ft i s we. have nob lest a gun since the
- ‘econdi day at the Wilderness, nor a single wa
gow, sftwe-the campalgti o p ene d, •
4.ll l prisoiaere, unite asserting. that Lee is
litlraftikuildod at the present emidnet -oftour
army,., Iminediately,upou his getting orders,
rfiiat'deft,Davis to ,returrt to, Richmond and,
- I (Concladad- tiot z feurth Page.)