Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
LATEST NEWS FROM THE NORTH.
Northern dates of the 14th instant have been received here. We make up the following summary of new from them.
[SOPO Editor’s Note: Portions of this lengthy article not pertaining to operations around Richmond and Petersburg were removed.]
NEWS FROM GENERAL GRANT—AN IMPORTANT MOVEMENT IN PROGRESS—OFFICIAL DESPATCH FROM SECRETARY STANTON.
We find the following dispatch from Secretary Stanton in the TRIBUNE, which gives the news in brief from all quarters. The important movement referred to has developed itself in front of Petersburg:
Washington, June 13-12, midnight.
TO MAJOR-GENERAL DIX:
We have despatches from the Army of the Potomac as late as eight o’clock this morning. The movement was at that hour in successful progress. No reports to-day from General Sherman.
The following dispatch from General Burbridge, commanding in Kentucky, has just reached here: “I attacked Morgan at Cynthiana at daylight yesterday morning. After an hour’s hard fighting, completely routed him, killing three hundred, wounding nearly as many, and capturing nearly four hundred, beside re-capturing nearly one hundred of General Hobson’s command and over one thousand horses.
Our loss in killed and wounded was about one hundred and fifty. Morgan’s scattered forces are flying in all directions; have thrown away arms; are out of ammunition, and are wholly demoralized.
Despatches from General Butler, at 9 o’clock this evening, indicate no change in his command.
No further intelligence has been received from General Hunter.
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
LOSSES AT COLD HARBOUR.
The truth about the Yankee losses in the battle of Cold Harbour is beginning to leak out. A correspondent of the TRIBUNE says that the loss of the Eighteenth corps was very severe. Many of the regiments who participated in the charges upon our batteries lost from one-third to one half of their number. Colonel Weed, of the Ninety-eighth, Colonel (illegible) of the One Hundred and Sixty ninth, and Colonel Drake, of the One Hundred and Twelfth New York regiments, were among the killed. The last was acting Brigadier.
UNUSUAL SIGHT IN CAMP.
The same correspondent says:
The most unusual thing to day has been the sight of a Philadelphia INQUIRER correspondent, with a strip of board attached to breast and back, bearing the words, “Libeler of the Press,”conducted on horseback through all or most of the camps, with a cavalry escort of two in front and two in rear.
THE LATE ATTEMPT TO SURPRISE PETERSBURG—ITS FAILURE AND THE CAUSE—GENERAL GILMORE BEHIND TIME—REBEL BATTERY AT WORK.
A correspondent of the TRIBUNE, writing from General Butler’s headquarters, June 10th, gives the following account of Kautz’s attempt to surprise and capture Petersburg. It was written under Butler’s supervision, and, of course excuses him from all blame in the failure of the expedition.
The development of the details of the recent movement on Petersburg proves that its failure was solely due to the course pursued by the general who commanded on that occasion. As usual, every preparation had been made by General Butler to insure success, and to make the movement as near a surprise as could be. The pontoon bridge had been covered with hay to deaden the sound of the passing cavalry, and the troops going from this side of the Appomattox were to be across the river by 12 o’clock as to obtain some little rest before starting at daylight. General Hinks, with his troop, was to meet General Gillmore at a point named on the City Point side. General Hinks was ready at the appointed time. General Gillmore was two hours and a half behind time. The brigade under his command, on reaching the opposite side, presented a sorry aspect, covered with mud and water. As the roads were dry, this was hard to account for, but upon inquiry the poor fellows said they had been marched through swamps and bogs in order to reach the pontoon bridge, to which several excellent roads lead from along the intrenchments. Field officers did not even know where they were going, having had no instructions. The expedition did not move at the appointed time, and, instead of making a rapid march, a surprise and a fight, crept on at a snail’s pace, feeling its way. Officers present aver that, with the exception of capturing the outer pickets, there was no attack made, and no attempt made to attack, but that, on the contrary, the troops were withdrawn on coming up to the intrenchments.—Both officers and men ask each other what they went out for; why they didn’t take Petersburg when it could have been done so easily; at least, why they didn’t TRY to take it. It is safe to assert that, with the exception of the General in command of the expedition, (and, perhaps, his military family or staff,)there was not a General, field or line officer in the column but was anxious to make the attempt upon the place. Prior to this moving of the expedition, the best and most trustworthy information gave the force at the place at six hundred Confederate infantry, and three or four companies of cavalry. Then there was the militia, composed of what! Boys between sixteen and eighteen years, old men between fifty and fifty-five years, able to muster say one thousand to twelve hundred men. This gave the total force at say two thousand men. The intrenchments were ten miles long, and this was ALL THE FORCE they had to guard and fight that line. General Butler agreed to make such demonstration along our line and upon “Fort Clifson,” as should prevent reinforcements from being sent. This was done, and no troops went to Petersburg AFTER daylight; nor before, for that matter. While General Hinks and Colonel Hawley (Seventh Connecticut,) who commanded the brigades respectively, were awaiting orders to attack these works, or at least to make such demonstration upon them as should give evidence of their strength or weakness, General Gillmore gave orders to retire to Baylor’s cross roads to effect a junction—they were only a mile apart—and to await news from General Kautz. Now, it was distinctly understood that General Gillmore was to attack, so as to divert attention from General Kautz’s attack. The cavalry rode over the rifle pits and intrenchments of the enemy, but General Gillmore (illegible) three thousand five hundred men, all eager for a fight, to LOOK at similar works, and then—fall back.
It is proper that the public, who latterly have been swift to censure General Butler, should understand the facts relative to this last movement. Let me add that these are only part, and that further evidence can be adduced should occasion require.
Yesterday afternoon the rebels brought a battery down into the woods, opposite our left, and commenced firing at the new signal tower. The first two shots fell short, the third, a 20-pound Parrott, went whizzing over the battery and landed in Fort Wisconsin. They were beautiful line shots. The guns from Captain Follett’s battery, in charge of Lieutenant Thompson, were at once opened upon them, and the rebels soon beat a retreat.
On the 18th gold opened at 195 ¾, but went up suddenly during the day, and closed firmly at 198.1
- “Latest News from the North.” Richmond Examiner. June 21, 1864, p. 3 col. 4-5 ↩