Editor’s Note: This article was provided by John Hennessy and transcribed by Jackie Martin.
NEAR PETERSBURG, VA., June 22, 1864.
MESSRS. EDITORS:—Since my last communication the army of the Potomac has “moved” to a new and previously untried position. Your weekly summary has informed your readers how we left the intrenchments at Coal Harbor, marched across the Chickahominy, across the Peninsular, across the James, pushing on eighteen miles to Petersburg, between which and City Point the army has since been. The newspapers took Petersburg before we got here, but unfortunately for us Beauregard arrived first. The 5th corps crossed the James on transports; we then marched without delay to Petersburg, arriving at one o’clock at night, over the most dusty road we have ever traveled. In the ensuing fight we carried very formidable breast works, but the rebs were digging like woodchucks. Our batteries kept up an incessant fire, but only to renew their activity. The lines are within twenty-five rods of each other, and it is almost certain death to raise one’s head above the parapet.
Yesterday, on my return from City Point, where I had been with a train of wounded, I met Gen. Grant and Mr. Lincoln. This morning headquarters of the army has moved several miles to the left. The President rode with Grant and Meade and their respective staffs. Two corps started by the left flank last night, and a very large cavalry force is on the war path, to cut the Weldon, Lynchburg and Danville roads; on reaching the latter road they follow it with complete destruction as far South as they can go—they take ten days supply of hard bread.
The glorious 12th Regiment go home next Saturday. I bespeak for the few gallant survivors of Company I a brilliant reception by their Stoughton friends. Lieuts. Mason and Whitman are officers of which the town may be proud. The others are no less meritorious, and will, I doubt not, receive the grateful plaudits of their fellow-townsmen and townswomen. Yours,
- “Army Correspondence.” Stoughton (MA) Sentinel. July 2, 1864, p. ? col. ? ↩