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1864 May 28: The Latest News from Spotsylvania

May 29, 2014

Following is the summary of the week’s war news from the May 28, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.


The official dispatches indicate the complete success of Gen. Grant’s grand flank movement [Ulysses S. Grant].  With a map before him, the reader will have no difficulty in realizing the full importance of the advantages that have been gained.  On Friday last our army was in front of the almost impregnable entrenchments of the rebels at Spottsylvania Court House, some ten miles west of the Petersburg and Richmond railroad, and nearly fifty miles from the rebel capital.

Grant moved his army east, crossing the railroad, rounding the right flank of Lee’s army [Robert E. Lee], and compelled him to leave his works and fall back precipitately.  It appears that the march of the armies was on nearly parallel lines, and that they came in collision occasionally, to the disadvantage of the rebels in every instance until both arrived at the crossing of the the North Anna River, where a very heavy engagement took place, which resulted in the complete and disastrous defeat of the rebels.  Their slaughter was very great ;  our losses inconsiderable.—Our army crossed the North Anna at Jericho Ford, which is near Hanover Court House, and only about 25 miles from Richmond.  A dispatch from Grant says his army is still in pursuit beyond this point.  From the “situation,” as gathered from the dispatches, it appears that we hold the railroad from Fredericksburg to Hanover, which is directly north of Richmond, and that Lee’s army is a little west of north, which leads to surmise that Lee will sheer off still further west, or southwest, towards Lynchburg.  It seems hardly possible that he will retreat to Richmond, where he would be in imminent danger of losing, sooner or later, his whole army, and the rebel capital besides.  But we do not wish to be led into the mazes of strategy, and I will stop right there.

General Grant says everything looks exceedingly favorable to us ;  this is all that we care to know at present.  If Grant gets Richmond, as we have said before, by the Fourth of July, we shall be satisfied.

— An official bulletin from [Secretary of War Edwin M.] Stanton states that Admiral PORTER [David D. Porter] had succeeded in getting his boats over the Falls of the Red River ;  Gen. SHERMAN [William T. Sherman] was ready to resume his march towards Atlanta, having received reinforcements sufficient to cover all losses, in the late battles;—GRANT’S Army is said to be fully as strong in numbers, better equipped and furnished than when the campaign opened ;  several thousand men have been forwarded to other armies ;  and 30,000 volunteers for one hundred days have been equiped [sic] and transported to their respective positions.

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