strength of the enemy's force when the campaign opened, or the extent of his loss, is not known to this Department. Any inequality of numbers between Lee's army and the Army of the Potomac was fully compensated by the advantage of position. Resolute purpose and desperate valor were exhibited on both sides. In the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court- House, Jericho Ford, Haw's Shop, and Cold Harbor many brave soldiers and gallant officers perished. Among them were Brigadier-General Wadsworth, Brigadier-General Hays, and Major- General Sedgwick. Lieutenant-General Grant in his report observes:
The battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, and Cold Harbor, bloody and terrible as they were on our side, were even more damaging to the enemy and so crippled him as to make him wary ever after of taking the offensive. His losses in men were probably not so great, owing to the fact that we were, was in the Wilderness, almost invariably the attacking party, and when he did attack it was in the open field.
Although expectations of destroying Lee's army, and the speedy capture of Richmond and Petersburg, were disappointed, and the enemy had found refuge behind impregnable fortifications, the campaign was still prosecuted with determined purpose toward the same object. While the rebel army was sheltered in his intrenchments the national forces were busy at work outside, strengthening and advancing their position, breaking the communications of the enemy, cutting off and destroying his supplies, narrowing his limits, harassing him by raids, and occupying his attention to prevent detachments or re-enforcements being sent to operate elsewhere.
Active operations were also going on in the Valley of the Shenandoah. On the 1st of May an expedition, under Generals Crook and Averell, was sent out by General Sigel, which reached Wytheville and accomplished the destruction of much rebel property. General Sigel advanced on the 8th day of May with his force form Winchester to New Market, where, met by the enemy under General Breckinridge, he was defeated and fell back to Cedar Creek. General Hunter was then placed in command of the department. He marched with a strong force toward Staunton, and in a brilliant engagement at Piedmont defeated the enemy with severe loss. Advancing to Staunton, he was joined there by Crook and Averell and moved against Lynchburg. Re-enforcements from the enemy having arrived before him, General Hunter retired by way of the Kanawha. Meanwhile, in order to repair the losses of the Army of the Potomac, the chief part of the force designed to guard the Middle Department, and the Department of Washington was called forward to the front. Taking advantage of this state of affairs, in the absence of General Hunter's command, the enemy made a large detachment from their army at Richmond, which, under General Early, moved down the Shenandoah Valley, threatening Baltimore and Washington. Their advance was checked at Monocacy, where a severe engagement was fought by our troops under General Wallace, re-enforced by a part of the Sixth Corps, under General Ricketts. After this battle the enemy continued to advance until they reached the intrenchments around Washington. Here they were met by troops from the Army of the Potomac, consisting of the Sixth Corps, under General Wright, a part of the Eighth Corps, under General Gillmore, and a part of the Nineteenth Corps, just arrived from New Orleans, under General Emory. By these troops the enemy were driven back from Washington and retreated hastily to Virginia, pursued by our forces under General Wright.