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COLD HARBOR.


FORDING THE MATTAPONY.

In the opinion of a majority of its survivors, the battle of Cold Harbor never should have been fought. There was no military reason to justify it. It was the dreary, dismal, bloody, ineffective close of the Lieutenant General's first campaign with the Army of the Potomac, and corresponded in all its essential features with what had preceded it. The wide and winding path through the tangled Wilderness and the pines of Spotsylvania, which that army had cut from the Rapidan to the Chickahominy, had been strewn with the bodies of thousands of brave men, the majority of them wearing the Union blue. No great or substantial success had been achieved at any point. The fighting in the Wilderness had told heavily against us, as it must necessarily against an assaulting army in such a country. A gleam of victory had come when the selected column of the Sixth Corps, under Russell and Upton, carried the works near Spotsylvania on the 10th of May. (1) Failure elsewhere and conflicting orders had led to the abandonment of the works and the guns, and about one thousand prisoners remained as the sole fruits of the success. On the 12th, at the Bloody Angle, Hancock had inspired the army with new hope, taking there also four thousand prisoners by a brilliant dash, but the slaughter that followed in holding the works all day had saddened his success. Gloom and discouragement had taken hold of the army also, because of the death three days before of Sedgwick, an officer who would have been worth to that army many thousand men. Many other leaders had fallen whose names were familiar to the rank and file, but the Sixth Corps, although commanded by Sedgwick's most trusted lieutenant, General H. G. Wright, an able and gallant

(1) Upton was promoted the next day by telegraph to be brigadier-general - an honor he had more than once deserved.-M. T. McM.