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NP: June 28, 1864 Philadelphia Inquirer: From Fort Monroe, June 24-26, 1864



Arrival of General Wallace—General Sheridan at Wilson’s Landing—The Vote at Norfolk—Deaths in Hospitals.

FORTRESS MONROE, June 26 [1864].—Mail steamer Louisiana, Captain PORTER, from Baltimore, arrived at 6 A. M. with the following distinguished passengers—[Eighth Corps commander] General [LEW] WALLACE and lady, Col. [JOHN] WOOL[L]EY, wife and daughter, Captain BALDWIN and wife, Captain SMITH and wife, Major ROSE and Major CANDYNFT.1

[Army of the Potomac Cavalry Corps commander] General [PHILIP H.] SHERIDAN, with his command, left the White House last Friday [June 24, 1864] and arrived yesterday [June 25, 1864] P. M. at Wilson’s Landing, on the James River, where he met with a strong force of Rebel infantry, and at last accounts a heavy skirmish was going on between the contending forces. General GRANT had sent reinforcements to General SHERIDAN.2

Mr. WILCOX, army correspondent of the New York Tribune, arrived at Chesapeake Hospital yesterday [June 25, 1864], sick with typhoid fever.3

The Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment left for home on thirty days’ furlough this morning [June 26, 1864].4

Deaths in Hampton Hospital—J. W. MATCHELL, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry; H. B. MARCY, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry; F. DEBRIGNE, Second Pennsylvania.

FORTRESS MONROE, June 25 [1864].—The voters of Norfolk decided yesterday [June 24, 1864], by 814 to 16, that they prefer military to civil government.5

Death in Hampton Hospital—Benj. Doherty, 2d Pa., died June 23 [1864].

Admitted in Chesapeake Hospital, June 25 [1864], mostly wounded, from Point of Rocks—Major Thomas Malchahy, 139th N. Y.; Captains C. H. Lawrence, Assistant Adjutant-General 1st B[rigade]., Eighteenth Army Corps; A. F. Fuller, 7th Pa. Art.; J. H. P. Smith, 39th N. Y.; Alfred Atkins, 98th do. [N. Y.]; Lieutenants G. W. Sheppard, 21st Conn.; H. Churchill, 13th N. H.; Jas. Geiser, 188th Pa.; C. G. Perkins, 19th Wis.; F. B. Johnson, 10th N. Y.; J. Dostin, 13th N. H.; A. J. Porter, 55th Pa.; J. S. Garrett, 118th N. Y.

At 7 o’clock yesterday morning [June 24, 1864] the enemy charged on the first division of the Eighteenth Army Corps, and were defeated with great loss, our batteries opening in good range on the charging parties. About four hundred deserted from the Rebel ranks and came into our lines during the action.6

June 25, 4 P. M.—The thermometer is ninety-six in the shade at Old Point.7

SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.

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  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: Lew Wallace of Shiloh fame had one more major role to play in the Civil War before he was sent west in the postwar years to deal with Billy the Kid as Governor of New Mexico. According to Wikipedia (sorry, I know, this is too tangential to Petersburg for me to dig deeper) Wallace had assumed command of Eighth Corps, headquartered in Baltimore, on March 12, 1864.  Presumably, Wallace was heading up the James River to City Point to see Grant and confer on strategy, possibly what to do about Early, then doing a serviceable Stonewall Jackson impression in the Valley.  Only a few weeks after this visit, Wallace was in command at the Battle of Monocacy, playing a vital role in delaying Early’s veterans for one day, a day desperately needed to get veteran troops to Washington, DC to defend it from capture. I really enjoy reading newspaper articles like this for the little things they contain if you read between the lines and dig deeper. John Woolley was Wallace’s provost marshal.  Without digging deeper, I suspect some or all the other men named were on Wallace’s staff and had accompanied their commander. If you know for sure, please Contact Us.
  2. SOPO Editors Note: Sheridan and tow of his cavalry divisions (the First and Second) had been moving south ever since the Battle of Trevilian Station on June 11-12, 1864.  Sheridan’s goal was the south bank of the James River and safety with Grant’s armies confronting Richmond.  As of this account, he had almost made it on June 25, when his forces were located just north of the James.  Sheridan and his men did manage to safely cross over the river, despite Wade Hampton’s Confederate cavalry harassing him every step of the way. The second portion of this paragraph, dealing with an infantry attack on Sheridan’s cavalry forces, was incorrect. After the Battle of St. Mary’s (aka Samaria) Church on June 24, there doesn’t seem to have been much in the way of fighting.  See Eric Wittenberg’s Glory Enough for All: Sheridan’s Second Raid and the Battle of Trevilian Station, pp. 289-291 for an account of June 25, 1864 just north of the James River. Grant DID send Sheridan infantry reinforcements from Benjamin Butler’s Army of the James in the form of two regiments, but they were not needed. For now, I’ve lumped all of the cavalry action between the two sides from after the Battle of St. Mary’s Church until Sheridan crosses the James river under the tag “Sheridan’s Cavalry Crosses the James River (June 25, 1864)” until and unless I can find evidence of any specific skirmish near the James River as Sheridan was about to cross.
  3. SOPO Editor’s Note: There were multiple Tribune correspondents following the Army of the Potomac during the Siege of Petersburg.  Samuel Wilkeson was the boss, with Charles A. Page and Henry Wing as subordinates.  There may have been others, but as far as I can tell, no man named Wilcox. I suspect Page might be the man referenced here.  He was sick in the hospital on June 25, 1864, suffering from “fatigue,” and wrote a dispatch from his hospital bed that day.  See pages 246-250 of Perry, James. A Bohemian Brigade: The Civil War Correspondents Mostly Rough, Sometimes Ready. 1st ed., New York, NY, Wiley, 2000.   See also Charles’ Pages own book Letters of a War Correspondent, page 142, where he states on June 25, 1864, “Your correspondent is sick with fatigue. The sun broiled his brains, and he was last night placed in hospital, where this has been written.” If you know who this is with certainty, please Contact Us. Lastly, here is a good stereo view of Chesapeake Hospital at Fort Monroe from the Library of Congress. The Hampton History Museum also has a nice print depicting this hospital.
  4. SOPO Editor’s Note: As far as I can tell, there is no postwar unit history of the 58th Pennsylvania.  That said, additional newspaper articles in upcoming editions of the Philadelphia Inquirer make it clear the veterans of the 58th Pennsylvania did indeed receive a 30-35 day furlough home during this time frame because a furlough owed earlier in the year was denied.  I’m unclear on how many men left on furlough, and how many remained during the late June to late July 1864 time frame.  If you know more, please Contact Us.
  5. SOPO Editor’s Note: This was essentially a sham election.  Norfolk was firmly in Union hands and governed with an iron fist during this time frame. The city was under martial law.
  6. SOPO Editor’s Note: This was the small Action at Hare’s Hill on June 24, 1864. Hagood’s Brigade of Hoke’s Division made what became an unsupported charge on Stannard’s Division of 18th Corps.  The fact Hagood was unsupported enraged Hoke, who felt Charles W. Field should have sent supports in quicker.  Lee sided with Field. This rift reared its ugly head on September 30 at Fort Harrison and October 7 at Darbytown Road, as well.  Robert E. Lee had wanted the attack launched because he felt the Union forces had weakened the lines east of Petersburg to advance against the Weldon Railroad to the south of Petersburg.  Due to the unsupported nature of the charge the attack had no chance to succeed.
  7. “Affairs at Fortress Monroe.” The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA), June 28, 1864, p. 1, col. 1-2
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