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1864 May 28: The Very Latest News from the Three Major Union Army Campaigns

May 29, 2014

From The Polk County Press of May 28, 1864.

The Very Latest.

WASHINGTON, May 23.

To Maj. Gen. Dix [John A. Dix], M. Y. :

Dispatches from Maj. General Canby [Edward Canby], dated mouth of Red River, midnight, May 15, state that Admiral Porter [David D. Porter] had reached Alexandria.—The remainder of the gunboats will arrive to-night.

Gen. Banks [Nathaniel P. Banks] will probably reach Semmesport [sic] on the Atchafalaya tomorrow.

A dispatch from Admiral Porter, dated on board the flagship Black Hawk, mouth of Red River, May 16th, states that the portion of the squadron above the falls at Alexandria have been relleved from their perilous situation, owing to the indefatigable exertions of Lieut. Col. Bailey, acting engineer of the 19th army corps, who proposed and built a tree dam of six hundred feet across the lower falls, which enabled all the vessels to pass in safety, the back water of the Mississippi reaching to Alexandria, and allowed them to pass over the shoals and obstacles planted by the enemy to a point of safety.

Col. Bailey will be immediately nominated for promotion for distinguished and meritorious services as an officer.

An offical report from Cairo dated May 22, states that army gunboats were all safe at the mouth of Red River and Semmesport [sic].

Major General Sherman [William T. Sherman], by dispatch dated 8:30 P.M. last night, reports that he would be ready by this morning to resume his operations.—Returned veterans and regiments he says has more than replaced all losses and detachments.

We have no official reports since my last telegraph from Generals Grant [Ulysses S. Grant] or Butler [Benjamin F. Butler].  Official reports of this department show that within eight days after the great battle at Spottsylvania Court House, many thousand veteran troops have been forwarded to Grant.  The whole army has been amply supplied with full rations of subsistence.  Upwards of 3,000 sick and wounded have been transferred from the field and placed under surgical care.

Over 8,000 prisoners have been transferred from the field to the prison departments and a large amount of artillery and other implements of active campaign brought away.

Several thousand fresh cavalry horses have been forwarded to the army, and the grand army of the Potomac is now fully as strong in numbers and better equipped and furnished than when the campaign opened.  Several thousand reinforcements have also been forwarded to other armies in the field and ample supplies to all during the same time.

Over 30,000 volunteers have been mustered into the service, clothed, armed, equipped and transported to their respective positions.

This statement is due to the Chief of the army staff and bureau and the respective corps to whom the credit belongs.

(Signed)  E. M. STANTON
.     .     .     .  .Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, }
WASHINGTON, May 24, 1864. }

To Maj. Gen. Dix:

A dispatch from Grant dated 11 o’clock last night states that the Army moved from its position to North Anna, following closely Lee’s army [Robert E. Lee].  The 5th and 6th corps succeeded in effecting a crossing and getting position without much opposition.

Shortly after, however, they were hotly attacked and handsomely repulsed the assault without much loss to us.  We captured some prisoners— everything looks favorable.

Another dispatch giving details of the movements of our corps, and speaking of the rebel assault on Warren’s position, says “he was attacked with great vehemence.  I have never heard more rapid firing, either of artillery or infantry.  It resulted in a destructive repulse to the enemy.

In the position attacked by Hancock, the rebels were entrenched and in considerable force between the creek and the river he had crossed, and made a pertinacious resistance to his onset; but before dark he had forced them from their works, and driven them across the stream.[“]

It is said in these engagements the slaughter of the enemy was great—our losses were inconsiderable.  Rebels charged against our artillery and suffered, especially from cannister.¹—A dispatch from Grant, dated at 5 o’clock this morning, has been received.  It states that the enemy had fallen back from North Anna river, and we are in pursuit.  Negroes who have come into our lines say Lee is falling back on Richmond.

Dispatches from headquarters say Warren [Gouverneur K. Warren], Burnside [Ambrose E. Burnside] and Hancock [Winfield S. Hancock] are pushing forward after the retreating army.  Warren captured a good number of prisoners last evening but has not had time to count them or ascertain his loss.

Hancock is storming rifle pits this side of the river.  Last evening he also took between 100 and 200 prisoners and drove many rebels into the river where they drowned.

Gen. Warren also captured some official papers, among which was an official  order, calling out boys 15 years of age, to garrison Richmond.  Ambulance men and musicians are also ordered into the ranks.

Sheridan this morning was at Dankirk and will be at Milford to-night.  No dispatches have been received to-day from Sherman, and none are expected for several days.

Dispatches from Butler have been received to-day relating briefly respective to the forces of Admiral Lee in telegraph dated the 22d, to Secretary of the Navy [Gideon Welles], states that on last and Saturday night the enemy attacked his army and had been handsomely repulsed.

Dispatch from Canby dated 18th, mouth of Red River, states Banks troops had arrived at Semmesport [sic] yesterday, and will reach Morganzia [sic] to-day.  Army in better condition than was expected and prepared to resume offensive operations.

(Signed)  E. M. STANTON.

1.  Usually spelled with one “n,” two “n”s is an acceptable variation and seems to be the way it was spelled during the Civil War.

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