Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Steven Lonergen.
LATEST NEWS FROM THE NORTH
Northern dates of the 20th have been received. We make up the following summary from them : PETERSBURG NOT YET TAKEN—THE OUTER FORTIFICATIONS OF THE CITY CARRIED—OFFICIAL DETAILS OF THE GREAT FLANK MOVEMENT FROM THE CHICKAUOMINY TO THE JAMES RIVER.
The following is Stanton’s latest “official gazette :”
WASHINGTON, June 18—10 o’clock, P.M.—Major General Dix, New York:–The following despatch from General Grant, dated yesterday, at 11 o’clock, A.M., at City Point, has been received at this department :
The Ninth corps this morning carried two more redoubts forming a part of the defences of Petersburg, capturing four hundred and fifty prisoners and four guns.
Our successes are being followed up.
Our forces drew out from within fifty yards of the intrenchments at Cold Harbour [sic], made a flank movement of an average of about fifty miles’ march, crossing the Chickahominy and James river, the latter being two thousand feet wide and eight and one half feet deep at the point of crossing, and surprised the enemy’s rear at Petersburg.
This was done without the loss if a wagon or piece of artillery, and only about one hundred and fifty stragglers were picked up by the enemy.
In covering this move Warren’s corps and Wilson’s cavalry had frequent skirmishing with the enemy, each losing from fifty to sixty killed and wounded, but inflicting and equal if not greater loss upon the enemy.
The Eighteenth corps (Smith’s) were transferred from White House to Bermuda Hundred by water, moved out near to Petersburg on the night of their arrival, and surprised, or rather captured, the very strong works northeast of Petersburg before sufficient force could be got in them by the enemy to hold them.
He was joined the night following this capture by the Second corps, which in turn captured more of the enemy’s redoubts farther south, and this corps was followed by the Ninth, with the result above stated.
All the troops are now up except two divisions covering the wagon trains, and they will be up tonight.
The enemy, in their endeavours to reinforce Petersburg, abandoned their intrenchments in front of Bermuda Hundred. They no doubt expected troops from the north side of the James river to take their places before they were discovered. Butler took advantage of this, and moved a force at once upon the railroad and plank road between Richmond and Petersburg, which I hope to retain possession of.
Too much credit cannot be given the troops and their commanders for the energy and fortitude displayed the last five days. Day and night has been all the same, no delays being allowed on any account.
Later unofficial despatches show that at 8 o’clock this morning the enemy still occupied Petersburg.
Major Morton was killed in an assault yesterday.
Nothing has been received today from Sherman or Hunter.
Edwin M. Stanton
Secretary of War.1
- “Latest News from the North.” Richmond Examiner. June 24, 1864, p. 3 col. 2 ↩