men, was obtained by calling in the scattered troops under Breckingridge from the western part of Virginia. The position at Berumda Hundred was as easy to defend as it was difficult to operate from against the enemy. I determined, therefore, to ring from against the enemy. I determined, therefore, to bring from it all available forces, leaving enough only to secure what had been gained, and accordingly, on the 22nd, I directed that they be sent forward, under command of Major General W. F. Smith, to join the Army of the Potomac. On the 24th of May the Ninth Army Corps, commanded by Major General A. E. Burnside, was assigned to the army of the Potomac, and from this time forward constituted a portion of Major-General Meade's command.
Finding the enemy's position on the North Anna stronger than either of his previous ones, I withdrew on the night of the 26th to the north bank of the North Anna, and moved via Hanovertown to turn the enemy's position by his right. Generals Torbert and Merritt's divisions of cavalry, under Sheridan, and the Sixth Corps led the advance; crossed the Pamunkey River at Hanovertown after considerable fighting, and on the 28th the two divisions of cavalry had a severe but successful engagement with the enemy at Haw's Shop. On the 29th and 30th we advanced, with heavy skirmishing, to the Hanover Courts-House and Cold Harbor road, and developed the enemy's position north of the Chickahominy. Late on the evening of the last day the enemy came out and attacked our left, but east repulsed with very considerable loss. An attack was immediately ordered by General Meade along his whole line, which resulted in driving the enemy from a part of his entrenched skirmish line. On the 31st General Wilson's division of cavalry destroyed the railroad bridges over the South Anna River, after defeating the enemy's cavalry. General Sheridan, on the same day, reached Cold Harbor, and held it until relieved by the Sixth Corps and General Smith's command, which had just arrived, via White House, from General Butler's army.
On the 1st day of June an attack made at 5 p. m. by the Sixth Corps and the troops under General Smith, the other corps being held in readiness to advance on the receipt of orders. This resulted in our carrying and holding the enemy's first line of works in front to the right of the Sixth Corps and in front of General Smith. During the attack the enemy made repeated assaults on each of the corps not engaged in the main attack, but were repulsed with heavy loss in every instance. That night he made several assaults to regain what he had lost in the day, but failed. The 2nd was spent in getting troops into position for an attack on the 3rd. On the 3rd of June we again assaulted the enemy's works in the hope of driving him from his position. In this attempt our loss was heavy, while that of the enemy, I have reason to believe, was comparatively light. It was the only general attack made from the Rapidan to the James which did not inflict upon the enemy losses to compensate for our own losses. I would not be understood as saying that all previous attacks resulted in victories to our arms, or accomplished as much as I had hoped from the, but they inflicted upon the enemy severe losses, which tended in the end to the complete overthrow of the rebellion.
From the proximity of the enemy to his defenses around richmond it was impossible by any flank movement to interpose between him and the city. I was still in a condition to either move by his left flank and invest Richmond from the north side, or continue my move by his right flank to the south side of the James. While the former might have been better as a covering for Washington yet a full survey of all the