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for some time considerable confusion prevailed in this part of the field. The efforts of the officers were successful in restoring order, and the enemy's attempt was effectually checked. The Corps had advanced about a mile, had successfully charged the enemy's first line, had repulsed his attack, inflicting heavy loss upon him, and ended the day with entrenching immediately in front of his works. The losses had been very severe-over a thousand killed, wounded and missing in the third division alone. Again the day closed upon a bloody field, and the enemy was still unsubdued.*
Among our dead was Captain James Farrand, commanding the 2d Michigan infantry, a very brave and promising officer, whose name is mentioned in reports of the battle in terms of high and well merited praise. He was killed while serving the guns of Wright's battery, which the men of his regiment had saved from capture. The 36th Massachusetts lost a good and faithful officer in Captain S. Henry Bailey, of Company G. He was killed early in the morning, while gallantly cheering on his men. He was twenty-nine years of age, was born at Northborough, Mass., and was a man of great probity of character. Sickness had struck him down at Harper's Ferry and again at Vicksburg. But he continued in the army in the faithful discharge of duty till the last. He served at one time in East Tennessee on the staff of General Ferrero, and won, in all positions, the confidence of his superior officers. He has left the pleasant memory of a true manhood to his friends, and the record of an honorable service to his country.
* Colonel Hartranft, as well as Colonel Griffin, earned his promotion to the rank of Brigadier General, in this well contested battle.
TO THE JAMES RIVER.
HE battles around Spottsylvania Court House had been very fierce and sanguinary. Great losses had been suffered on both sides. The enemy had been considerably crippled, and was evidently reluctant to come out into the open field and fight in a fairly contested engagement. Acting henceforward on the defensive, he saved himself from suffering as much injury as he inflicted. Keeping close behind his intrenched lines, he had every advantage which the natural strength of his positions, increased by his labor, could afford. The army of General Grant was thus compelled to assault every fortified point, and, whether the point was carried or not, to suffer enormous losses. Scarcely less than thirty thousand men must have been killed, wounded and captured during the eight days of fighting. The number of stragglers and skulkers, who always take advantage of such opportunities, must have been nearly if not quite five thousand, thus reducing the effective strength of the army by a very considerable degree. The Ninth Corps had suffered its proportionate loss. No less than five thousand five hundred men had been disabled in the battles of the 6th and 12th and the skirmishings that had intervened. Of the staff, Lieutenant Benjamin had been severely wounded in the neck, but with characteristic bravery remained on the field until the critical moment had passed, directing his batteries.
General Grant was by no means discouraged by the losses to which he had been subjected, and the unexpected' obstinacy of the enemy in clinging to his intrenched positions. The de
pleted ranks were filled up by reënforcements, drawn from the defences of Washington and elsewhere. The position at Spottsylvania was too strong to be forced. But Spottsylvania was not the objective point of the campaign. The Lieutenant General determined upon a second movement by the left flank, with the hope of drawing General Lee into an engagement away from his intrenchments. Yet, previous to this, he wished to make another direct assault. For a week after the 12th, every day was occupied with more or less skirmishing and artillery firing along the lines, but no general action was in any case contemplated by either party, until the 18th, when a heavy attack was made upon the enemy's works. the enemy's works. General Lee, on the 13th, contracted his lines somewhat, by retiring about a mile towards the Court House, but still held tenaciously to the roads. On the 14th, the Ninth Corps was moved from the extreme left to the left centre, the fifth corps taking its place. On the 16th, the first and second divisions made a strong demonstration, for the purpose of feeling the enemy and reconnoitering the position, but beyond inducing the development of a large force, the movement accomplished no important result. The action of the 18th at one time threatened to be of considerable magnitude. At least one-half of the army was in the action, and some advantage was gained over the enemy by forcing him back a little from his most advanced positions and occupying points which commanded portions of his line.
The first and second divisions of the Ninth Corps were engaged in this attack, and, handsomely supported by the batteries of the third division, succeeded in gaining a position which rendered a part of the enemy's works untenable. Beyond that, however, nothing of value could be attained. The troops moved gallantly forward in three columns of attack, but on their arrival at the abattis that protected the enemy's front, found that an attempt to surmount the obstructions and charge the works would be hopeless. The other corps met with no The entire demonstration proved that no ad
vantage could be secured, and at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, the assault was abandoned and the troops were recalled.
These various operations confirmed the opinion of General Grant as to the necessity of moving to the North Anna, if he hoped to make any progress towards the completion of the campaign. Orders were accordingly issued to that effect, and on the 21st, the movement commenced. The fifth and second corps took the advance, and after they had sufficiently uncovered the roads, the Ninth moved down towards the Po river, followed closely by the sixth. General Grant had intended to move General Hancock's corps on the night of the 19th, sending him with as much cavalry as could be spared as far towards Richmond, on the line of the Fredericksburg railroad, as could be attained, "fighting the enemy in whatever force he might find them." While General Hancock was thus moving, the other three corps were to keep close up to the enemy's works and attack, if Hancock were followed. It was a bold plan, and would have forced the enemy into the open field if it had been successful. But General Lee himself interfered with the movement by sending General Ewell's corps, on the afternoon of the 19th, to attack our extreme right flank. The enemy marched. around to our rear, hoping to disarrange and break our lines. The point that was assailed was guarded by a division of heavy artillery, then for the first time under fire. These troops met the enemy and repulsed him in a very brilliant manner. As he attempted to recross the Ny, on his withdrawal, he was set upon and thrown into confusion, with a loss of four hundred prisoners and many killed and wounded. This movement was sufficient to disturb General Grant's plans for the time, and the project of sending General Hancock off by himself was abandoned. Not a single corps, but the entire army was to move, and finally got upon the road after various delays.
The directions for the Ninth Corps were to march down the north bank of the Po river to a point near Stannard's Mill, and cross there, unless opposed by the enemy. If the enemy was in force, the Corps was to proceed to Guinney's Bridge. The
provisional brigade had now become incorporated with the first division and was afterwards known and designated as the third brigade of that division. The entire Corps was promptly put in motion in the afternoon of the 21st. Colonel Curtin was sent in advance with his brigade from General Potter's division to seize and occupy the crossing. He met the enemy's pickets about a mile from Stannard's, rapidly drove them over the river, and prepared to cross. General Potter hastened forward with the remainder of his division, and found the enemy in considerable force on the opposite side of the river. He made his dispositions to carry the position, but as it was feared that it might bring on more of an engagement than was then contemplated, General Potter was restrained, and Colonel Curtin simply held the hither bank until the remainder of the Corps had passed. General Willcox had been detained to aid General Wright, who had been attacked just before sunset. He now came up soon after dark and the Corps marched through the night, halting at sunrise on the 22d near General Grant's Headquarters in the neighborhood of Guinney's Station. A rest of two hours refreshed the troops, and they were moved a few miles further by way of Downer's Bridge to New Bethel Church, and to Thornbury, in the neighborhood of which they remained through the rest of the day, holding the crossing of the Ta river and the roads beyond. At five o'clock on the morning of the 23d the march was resumed for Jericho Bridge, in order to cross the North Anna. General Hancock had already made Milford Station, and was directed to proceed to the North Anna and effect a crossing at New Bridge. The Ninth Corps was to act as a support to the second. The crossing was to be made at daylight on the 24th. Should General Hancock be able to force his passage without assistance, General Burnside was to march his corps to Ox ford and cross the river at that point if possible.
It is hardly within the province of this narrative to discuss the merits of General Grant's plan for the movement upon Richmond. His intention was to "beat General Lee if possi