The History of the Ninth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, June, 1861-June, 1864

By Daniel George Macnamara | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI.
NORTH ANNA TO COLD HARBOR AND HOME.

MOVE BY THE LEFT FLANK—GENERAL LEE’S ARMY MOVES SOUTH—THE
NINTH AT JERICHO FORD—BATTLE AT NORTH ANNA—GENERAL
LEE’S STRONG POSITION—GENERAL MEADE’S ARMY WITHDRAWN—
A NEW BASE OF SUPPLIES—RECONNOISSANCE IN FORCE—GENERAL
LEE’S LINE OF BATTLE—UNION LINE OF BATTLE —ASSAULT AT COLD
HARBOR—ARRIVAL OF THE EIGHTEENTH CORPS—THE LAST ASSAULT
AT COLD HARBOR—OUR HEAVY LOSSES—LIST OF CASUALTIES IN
THE NINTH—BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF COLONEL HANLEY—DESCRIP-
TION OF THE- BATTLEGROUND—CHANGE OF BASE—IN BIVOUAC
NEAR BOTTOM’S BRIDGE—THE NINTH’S TIME EXPIRES—MUSTER OUT.

“And now with shouts the shocking armies clos’d,
To lances lances, shields to shields, oppos’d;
Host against host the shadowy legions drew,
The sounding darts, an iron tempest, flew;
Victors and vanquished join promiscuous cries,
Triumphing shouts and dying groans arise,
With streaming blood the slipp’ry field is dy’d,
And slaughter’d heroes swell the dreadful tide.”

AFTER the disaster to his aggressive movement on the 19th of May, General Lee appeared disposed to wait behind his intrenchments for General Meade to attack him. He lately experienced the fact that his present force was too weak or unwilling to meet its antagonist in the open field, and, while expecting reinforcements, he did not intend to let our army get between him and Richmond; for, in that event, he would be forced to fight the Union forces on ground of their own selection. On the 20th, Friday, he kept close to his intrenchments and warily watched for the next move of his opponent. On the night of the 20th General Hancock was ordered by General Meade to move south by the left flank. He marched to Guiney’s Station, on the Fredericksburg railroad, thence south to Bowling Green and Milford, reaching the latter place on the night of the 21st. A part of General Pickett’s division, on the march to join the Southern army, was attacked and routed at this point and a

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