General Stoneman


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 7, 1862

You are viewing part of our online archive of Harper's Weekly newspapers which were published during the Civil War. This archive serves as an invaluable tool for the serious student of the Civil War, or professional researcher. These newspapers are an incredible source of first edition reports on the war.

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General Stoneman

General Stoneman

Louisiana Tigers

Louisiana Tigers

Run Away Slave

Runaway Slave


Corinth, Mississippi

Stoneman Biography

General Stoneman Biography

Jefferson Davis Coachman

Jefferson Davis's Coachman

William Jackson

William Jackson

Woman's Beauty

A Woman's Beauty

Army in the Southwest

Army in the Southwest


Civil War Hospital

Marching Army

Marching Army

Cumberland, Virginia


Secesh Cartoon










VOL. VI. -No. 284.]




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the Year 1862, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.


WE publish on this page a view of the scene of the skirmish on 24th, near Cold Harbor, where, in General McClellan's words, the 4th Michigan about finished the Louisiana Tigers. The following account of the affair we take from the Herald:

Intelligence having reached head-quarters that quite a force of the enemy was near New Bridge, the Fourth Michigan regiment, Colonel Woodbury, was sent to feel them, and, if necessary, interrupt their quiet. The regiment left camp at 7 A.M., their Colonel at their head, and all in splendid spirits at the prospect of a rencontre with the rebels. Lieutenant N. Bowen, of the Topographical Engineers, went with the expedition, as also a squadron of the Second regular cavalry, under command of Captain Gordon; a company of the Fifth cavalry, Lieutenant Coster; a company of the Eighteenth infantry, Captain Forsyth, and a company of the Second infantry, Captain McMillen. New Bridge is four miles from the camp. They went down the main road about two miles, to what is called the Old Mill, and thence turned to the right through a piece of woods, keeping it till they came to an open field, commanding a view of the Chickahominy River.

A portion of Company A, Fourth Michigan regiment, Captain Rose, was here sent forward as skirmishers, and the remnant of the company kept as reserves. The regiment filed out of the wood by flank, and formed in line of battle very nearly parallel with the river, the left extending across the main road. Here the rebels were seen lying behind a fence across the river. The right wing of Colonel Woodbury's regiment was ordered to cross the river, which at this point is about thirty feet wide. In the men plunged, all accoutred as they were, but contrived to keep their muskets in condition to use. In some places the stream, which had been swollen by the rain during the night and morning, was so deep that the men were obliged to swim, and none got over without wading waist-deep in water. But this was not the worst. The enemy, who had lain concealed behind a fence close to the opposite bank of the river, kept up an incessant fire upon them. Fortunately the enemy's shots passed harmlessly over their heads. Lieutenant Bowen attempted to cross the stream with his horse, but the latter was shot under him before he had advanced a third of the way across. This prevented field-officers and the cavalry from attempting to ford the stream. All the companies but two passed the river. One of these remained behind to act as skirmishers in the wood on the right, and the other to keep an eye on the bridge and to the left beyond to prevent being flanked on either side by the enemy.

As soon as our men crossed the river the work of firing commenced. Captain Roe's company discharged the first volley on our side. All the remaining companies had their muskets to their shoulders in double-quick time. The firing was brisk and continuous on both sides. The rebels had two pieces of artillery from which they hurled shells, but, like their volleys of musketry, they passed over the heads of our men. Their cannon were planted on a hill beyond, while the infantry still kept position behind the fence, which, in addition to having an embankment as the base, in the style of old Virginia fences, had a deep and wide ditch in front. The shooting continued for nearly two hours. Our men drove the rebels behind the fence


and their encampment at the left. They fled, leaving their dead and wounded behind them, taking refuge in encampments on the hill.

On our side the last shot was fired. They had four regiments engaged, Fourth and Fifth Louisiana regiments, a Virginia and an Alabama regiment, besides their artillery, while on our side there were actually only eight companies of the Fourth Michigan regiment who did the fighting.

The rebel loss is estimated in killed and wounded at about one hundred. In the ditch were found twenty-eight dead bodies. Among the killed were two lieutenants. One was shot with two balls through the head, and the body of the other was completely riddled with bullets. Of the thirty-seven prisoners we took fifteen were wounded. Our men brought them on their shoulders across the stream, whence they were taken to a dwelling-house near by, and every possible care given them by our surgeons. They all expressed astonishment at the care shown them, and stated that they had been told that if they ever fell into our hands they would be killed ; and such fate they expected would be theirs.

Our men partook of the dinner the Louisiana Tigers had prepared for themselves. They captured their company books, and brought away rifles, muskets, swords, sashes, etc.

General McClellan, having received intelligence of the skirmish, rode toward the river and met the regiment on its return. He grasped General Woodbury warmly by the hand and said, "General, I am happy to congratulate you again on your success. I have had occasion to do so before, and do so again with pleasure." He also shook hands with Captain Rose, of the First Company, and said, "I thank you, Captain, your men have done well."

To some of the men he said, "How do you feel, boys?" They exclaimed, " General, we feel bully !"

" Do you think any thing can stop you from going to Richmond?" he asked, and an enthusiastic "No!" rang from the whole line.

One secret of the success of our troops in skirmishes is thus given by a correspondent:

The movements of the Army of the Potomac during the last three days have resulted in the occupation of the entire line of the Chickahominy River, from the New Bridge to the Long Bridge. Those divisions of the army which were in the rear have gone on to the front, while those that have been marching in the front in the general onward movement (of which this division is one) have been encamped here, and have seen for three days the magnificent spectacle of an uninterrupted column of troops, of all arms —cavalry, artillery, and infantry—with all their baggage trains, marching steadily past them. The management of the entire army, from the day it left Yorktown, has been most admirable. The troops have made steady progress each day. They have not been hurried, nor overtasked, nor harassed by marches of unnecessary length. The capacity of the roads not being great enough to permit the whole of the immense army to advance at once, the march has been so arranged that the corps d'armee that is in the advance one day halts and encamps the next, or for two or three days, as the case may be, till all the others have passed. Thus all the troops are kept fresh and vigorous. The army has, besides, always presented a strong front to the enemy, as numberless skirmishes have proved; and our flanks have been placed beyond all possibility of surprise.


General Stoneman
Cold Harbor

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