Cold Harbor Campaign - 1864
News Reports

Daily Dispatch: June 4, 1864 cold Harbor

The Daily Dispatch: June 4, 1864. 
The war News — heavy fighting all along the lines — the enemy every where repulsed with great slaughter.

Yesterday was a day of excitement in the city. At a very early hour of the morning our inhabitants were aroused from their slumbers by heavy and incessant reports of artillery, which seemed to extend from the right to the left of our line. As usual, many rumors were in circulation during the day, but everything subsided towards evening under a knowledge of the fact that the Confederate arms were everywhere victorian. Below we give a summary of recent operations on the lines.

From General Lee's army.

In the engagement of Thursday evening was complete. General Early, commanding Ewell's carps, attacked the enemy's right, driving them at all points, and capturing over 700 prisoners, including commissioned officers. An official from General Lee, received late the says we drone the enemy from Turkey Hill, thereby gaining an important position. As night closed in upon the , our men rested upon their arms in triumph, having suffered but small loss, and severe punishment upon the Yankees. Our position, which is naturally a strong one, with the right resting upon Chickahominy at Sparrow's house, was made stronger during the night, and every preparation made for a severe battle on the following day.

Whether it was the purpose of our commanders to renew the attack yesterday morning or not, we do not know, but if it was, the arrangement was anticipated by the enemy, who, soon after daylight, made attack in heavy force upon the first corps (Anderson's) on the light, and the conflict gradually spread along the line to the left, where it raged with great intensity. A witness of the fight says that amid the heavy roil of musketry and almost deafening sound of cannon, he could at times hear the trampolinist yells of our men, as they hurled back the enemy reliantly, inflicting heavy loss. It is a singular coincidence that the lines occupied yesterday were nearly the some as those of the memorable 2d of June, 1862. that of the enemy being near that held by Mc.Cletian when he made his final stand before being driven from the field of Cold .

A dispatch from the battle field, dated at o'clock, says: "All goes on well. We repulsed the enemy with ease, inflicting heavy loss in front of Anderson's, Holie's, and a portion of Hill's commands. The enemy was repulsed seven times by Anderson's .

At ten o'clock the enemy, driven back at all points, ceased firing, and remained comparatively quiet during the day. It is reported that we took 800 prisoners. A officer, who left the front at one o'clock, says that General Lee's staff estimated the enemy's loss as great as that in the battle of the Wilderness, if not greater, while ours was migrainous slight. This is confirmed by the statement of our army correspondent. An excited courier who come in yesterday reported that 25,000 dead Yankees lay in front of our works, and that one field of five acres was literally piled with dead bodies. This may be regarded as a rather extravagant assertion; but that their loss was very heavy admits of no doubt.

A wounded Yankee officer, who was brought down last evening, stated that they designed the attack of yesterday as a general one, hoping doubtless to take a step in advance towards Richmond, or to gain the road to unite with Butler, both of which design were happily thwarted.

Two sections of the Letcher battery were brought into action yesterday. They received their fire until the enemy got well up, when they opened with grape and canister, mowing great gaps through their ranks and driving them back in confusion. The battery lost not a man.

Much of the fighting on the centre was done by Poagne's battery, which sustained itself handsomely.

Among our wounded officers are Col. H. D. Capers, of Georgia, in the thigh, not dangerously; and Adjutant Frank Baker, of the same regiment, whose leg has been amputated. In the charge of Thursday evening, Brig. Gen. Lane, of Wilcox's division, was severely wounded in the hip and Brig. Gen. Rickland slightly.

We have received the following list of causalities in the 13th Virginia infantry in a skirmish with the enemy near Cold Harbor â†’ yesterday morning. Co. A.--Wounded: Corporal J. C. Bethel, severely, in leg. Co. C.--Wounded: Private William Bumpass, seriously, in side. Co. D.--Wounded: Private T. Jones, slightly, in foot. Co. H., (Young Guard.) --Killed: Serg't J. R. Allen. Wounded Capt. Campbell G. Lawson, thigh fractured, (since amputated;) Lawrence Allen lost two fingers.

The heavy firing that commenced about 6 o'clock last evening, and continued until 9, is believed to have proceeded from a renewal of the assault by the enemy upon our works, watch was anticipated by our commanders an officer who left the field at half-past 5 states that the firing was in front of Gaines's Mill.

[from our own correspondent.]
Army of Northern Virginia,
Battle-Field of ← Cold Harbor,
June 3d-4 P. M.

General Early, commanding Ewell's corps' attacked the enemy's right yesterday afternoon, and drove him with great slaughter out of his works, suffering but slight loss himself. Among his killed was the brave Gen. Doles, of Georgia.

At the same time, Breckinridge, on the right, supported by Wilcox, attacked the enemy on Turkey Hill, and drove them some distance, thus securing an important position.

Skirmishing and picket firing all night.

This morning at daylight the enemy assaulted Anderson's corps (Longstreet's) in the centre with great violence; also, Breckinridge's and Hoke's positions. He renewed the assault seven times against Fields and Kershaw, or Anderson's corps.--He was beaten back each time with a loss that has no parallel, except at Spotsylvania

Court-House. Indeed, the battle is but a repetition of that at Spotsylvania, with this important difference: Our own loss is almost incredibly small. Anderson's loss, including Hoke's, will not reach 500.

The enemy assaulted Early also, but only once, and was repulsed with great loss.

The enemy gained a salient in Breckinridge's front, and held it for a few minutes, but Finnegan's Floridians swept them back like a whirlwind. Our troops generally never fought better.

The enemy was repulsed at all points by 10 o'clock, since which time there has been heavy skirmishing only.

We had the ground on the enemy, to such an extent, indeed, that he could bring but little of his artillery to play. Our loss it, prisoners very slight, and we took but few.

I regret that my engagements are such that it will be impossible for me to continue my correspondence. This will be but little loss to you, however, as you already have a very faithful correspondent in the field. Besides, I hope the campaign of 1864, and the war itself, is fact drawing to a close.

[from our own correspondent.]
Army of Northern Virginia,
Near Gaines's Mill, June 3, 1864.

The immortal Second Corps of this army yesterday achieved a success which is second to none that has crowned the Confederate arms during this campaign. By a preconcerted arrangement a flank movement was undertaken yesterday evening upon the enemy's right wing, and most successfully executed. About three o'clock our troops moved forward, Gordon having the lead. Gen. G., by actual experiment, ascertained that a swamp was passable for his troops, and on it he moved and by it passed upon the enemy's flank.

The enemy had also supposed this marsh impassable, and hence had taken no precautions to guard against a flank movement in this direction. Our boys went forward with a will, driving the enemy back from a line of works erected for their skirmishers, and from two lines which were protecting their lines of battle. Not until our men had reached the enemy's second line of works did we fire a gun. Up to that time every thing had been carried by charging. At that point the enemy made a stand and fought us until night ended the conflict.

Heth's division, of A. P. Hill's corps, nobly sustained itself, in connection with Rodes's and Gordon's divisions, in this masterly affair.

Our losses, it is supposed, will foot up about three hundred. Rodes and Gordon captured five hundred of the enemy's men, and Heth a couple of hundred more. The enemy left over fifty of their wounded in our hands, to be cared for. Among our casualties I have to mention Brig. Gen. Doles killed, and Brig. Gen Kirkland slightly wounded.

The conduct of all the troops engaged in this affair was excellent; but that of the Stonewall brigade called forth the approbation of every one, forever silencing the slanders which, for a time, have darkened its noble and blood-bought claim upon the national allegation.

Among the prisoners captured were representatives of four regular regiments, including the commanding officers of two of them.

During the evening of yesterday Longstreet's line was heavily engaged in skirmishing, and just before dark the enemy assaulted Hoke, on our extreme right, but were gallantly repulsed. About night, whilst Gen. Wilcox was shelling the ground near McClellan's bridge, preparatory to occupying it, Brig. Gen. Lane was wounded severely in the thigh by a sharpshooter.--The enemy are unquestionably picking off our General officers.

To-day's operations.

As early as surprise this morning the enemy, having massed on our right, opened a vigorous attack, in turn assaulting most vigorously Kershaw's front of Longstreet's corps, who repulsed them most successfully, and Hoke's front, who likewise resisted every onset of the foe and inflicting terrible loss upon them. The fighting raged until eleven o'clock, when it ceased, except heavy skirmishing and cannonading, which were kept up incessantly all day. At one time during the morning Echols's brigade, of Breckinridge's division, gave way, but Gen. B. soon rallied his men, and at the same time Finnegan's gallant Floridians bounding forward with a yell, drove the enemy back, recapturing three pieces of artillery of Reld's battalion, which for the moment had been taken from us, and capturing, it is reported, one gun. In this affair Breckinridge is said to have lost two hundred of his men as prisoners, and the enemy took about thirty cannoneers with the guns which they temporarily captured.

It is also said that the enemy were most handsomely repulsed during the day in front of Rodes and Heth on our extreme right. The slaughter of the enemy has been quite heavy, some put it as high as ten thousand. Three our four hundred will cover our list of casualties. Among the wounded is Brig. Gen. Law, of Ga., slightly in eye.

The enemy did not fight to-day with the vim that they displayed on the 12th of May at Spotsylvania C. H.; and whilst a Colonel was taken prisoner on our works, and his color-bearer shot dead in planting them upon our works, the men themselves never got so near.

The situation at the close of the day was this: Grant had made violent efforts to turn and break our right, but had been most successfully repulsed and the Yankee army heavily punished; our men holding almost every inch of ground and the Yankees gaining nothing. Like Spotsylvania C. H., it is a most disastrous and bloody "check."--Butler is said to have united with Grant, and some of his troops are said to have been in the battle to day. X.

From Bottom's Bridge.

We learned last night, from an official source, that the enemy's column remained at Bottom's Bridge yesterday, and that there was occasional skirmishing during the day with no important result.

The Fredericksburg Railroad.

The report of the burning of the railroad bridge over the South Anna is confirmed. This act is not believed to have been performed by the party that visited Ashland, but by a separate detachment. What he came of the raiders is not known.

A dispatch from Gen. Lee fully confirms the account we gave yesterday of Rosser's repulse of the enemy at Ashland.

From the Southside.

We have some additional particulars of the affair in Chesterfield county on Thursday,

announced in the official dispatch of Gen. Beauregard, published yesterday. Our line of skirmisher advanced about 7 o'clock to feel the enemy and ascertain his force; and moving forward with great spirit and impetuosity, soon captured the enemy's rifle pits, from which the Yankees fled in confusion. Over a hundred prisoners, representing commands from Connecticut, Maine and Illinois, were captured, and quite a number killed. Among the prisoners are Major Oliver S. Sandford, Capt. John B. Dennis and Lieut. Henry S. Pierce, 7th Connecticut regiment, and Capt. Albert G. Mudgins, 11th Maine. Our loss was comparatively slight in killed, wounded and prisoners; though we regret to hear that Col. Oliver M. Danizler, of the 22d South Carolina regiment, was mortally wounded and left in the hands of the enemy. It is stated that he allowed his patriotic zeal to get the better of his discretion, and thus advanced too far with his command. The position having been gained, was subsequently voluntarily relinquished, as it was not our object to hold it.

A severe artillery engagement took place just after the charge, between a section of Pegram's battery and a battery of the enemy, at a distance of 500 yards. Our pieces were splendidly served, and the fire was spirited and effective.

The black scoundrels in the service of the United States continue their work of vandalism in Prince George county, on the south side of the Appomattox. On Wednesday night and Thursday morning they burnt the dwellings of Marinas Gilliam, Dr. Theo. Gilliam, and Frank Green. Surely, a day of retribution is in store for these wretches, whose sole object seems to be to plunder and destroy the property of unoffending citizens.

A dispatch from Gen. Beauregard states that matters remained quiet on the Southside yesterday.

From the Blackwater Region.

The Yankees, under Major Gates, made a raid into Nansemond county last week and arrested Col John R Copeland, Dr Philip Corbin, Richard Knight, and Robert E Riddick. The last-named was a member of the 3d Virginia regiment, at home on furlough.

Posted By: Joe Elia
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