ASSOCIATED PRESS ACCOUNTS
Further Accounts of the Fighting on Friday [June 17, 1864] – Successive Assaults Repulsed.
Headquarters Army of the Potomac, June 18, 8 P. M.—The fighting yesterday [June 17, 1864] was very severe along the greater part of the line, the most determined efforts being made to break the enemy’s line at several points.
But little ground was gained, however, except on the left, where the enemy was forced to fall back to an inner line on account of the advanced position gained by [James] SEDLEY’s [sic, Ledlie’s] [First] Division of General BURNSIDE’s [Ninth] Corps [1/IX/AotP], on Friday afternoon [June 17, 1864].
The enemy’s line is nearly in the form of a semi-circle, with the ends resting on the Appomat[t]ox River, Petersburg being about the centre. At some points of the line our guns are within a mile and a half of the city, and it can be destroyed at any time with ease.
The heaviest fighting occurred on the right centre, where each division of the Second Corps at different times charged the works in front [on June 16, 1864], but without success, the enemy being behind breastworks of the strongest character, with troops massed behind them, and our men having to cross open fields of two hundred or four hundred yards in extent, exposed to a cross-fire from the batteries, planted as to sweep the entire place. The last attack was made at 6 PM [on June 16, 1864] by the Third Division [3/II/AotP], under General [Gersham] MOTT, and the loss was probably heavier than in either of the others.
Further Accounts from the Army of the Potomac.
Washington, June 20.—General [Byron R.] PIERCE was wounded while gallantly leading his brigade [1/2/II/AotP] in a charge [on June 18, 1864].
General [John H.] MARTINDALE [commanding 2/XVIII/AotJ] in the night attacked the enemy, and succeeded in advancing his lines and taking a few prisoners [on June 18, 1864].
His loss is reported to be about 500. The Fifth Corps did not lose heavily in their advance in the morning, but lost a considerable number of men in the afternoon in their attack on the left [on June 18, 1864].
Our losses during the past two days [June 18 and 19, 1864] will reach at least eight thousand (probably an exaggeration) in killed and wounded. The loss of the enemy at some points was greater than our own, but being generally behind entrenchments, they were not so much exposed, and suffered less on the whole. All the prisoners taken so far are some twelve hundred, of whom two hundred came in yesterday [June 19, 1864].
They all represented themselves as being from BEAUREGARD’s Army [the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia].
It is not believed that such resistance could be made to our advance without Lee’s presence and the aid of his troops.
We have no reliable news from Gen [Benjamin F.] BUTLER.
Captain L H PIERCE, the last Assistant Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac, has been promoted to be Chief Quartermaster of the Ninth Army Corps, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Captain RANSOM, assistant to Captain CLINTON, at headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, has been assigned to duty in the Commissary Department headquarters.1
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- “Associated Press Accounts.” The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), June 21, 1864, p. 1, col. 3 ↩