Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
GENERAL LEE’S ARMY.
ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
June 14-5, P. M.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
My letter of yesterday announced the belief that the enemy held possession of Malvern Hill. This I will explain. The enemy began crossing the Chickahominy at White Oak Swamp and Long bridge early yesterday morning, and advanced at once in force of two divisions of infantry, one of cavalry, and a battery of artillery. Our cavalry force, which was quite small, made the best resistance possible under the circumstances, but were gradually pressed back to Riddle’s shop, which is at the point where the road leading from Richmond to Charles City Court House intersects with the road leading to Malvern Hill. Here a short stand was made, but our small cavalry force was again pressed back some two to three miles beyond Riddle’s shop, in the direction of Richmond city. When the enemy had advanced this far, our infantry came to the support of the cavalry about 2 P. M. Mahone and Wilcox at once commenced driving the enemy back, and by nightfall had not only recovered Riddle shop and the road leading to Malvern Hill, but had driven the enemy some mile or two beyond, in the direction of the Long Bridge and the Chickahominy.
The force which he engaged was a part of Warren’s fifth corps, and was said by the prisoners, of whom he captured some thirty or forty, to have been a picked command. They came, however, mainly to reconnoiter and to feel our lines, and with no purpose, I think, to make a lodgment at Malvern hill. For whilst they were engaging us on the Charles city road; the bulk of their force was said to be passing down the north side of the Chickahominy.
Last night the force of the enemy which was on this side of the Chickahominy began to leave our front, near Riddle shop, and this morning our scouts report them moving down the south side of the Chickahominy towards the James river. Their exact destination at this writing cannot be told, but they are doubtless going to the James river, thence across to the Southside.
Our loss in the fight of Monday will foot up about one hundred, the largest part of which falls upon Scales’ North Carolina brigade. We had no means of ascertaining that of the enemy. The enemy, in this little affair, used artillery. Ours had not gotten up, and so we had none in action.
I forbear any speculations as to Grant’s intentions, and will only observe that his new move can only be regarded as a clear back out of his pledge to fight it out on this line. If he fights at all, it will be on a line entirely new and in a country that he doubtless never designed operating in when the campaign opened.
- “General Lee’s Army.” Richmond Examiner. June 15, 1864, p. 2 col. 2 ↩