|from The |
| BELOW PETERSBURG---CAPTURE OF THE FIFTEENTH
Col. Ansel D. Wass of the 19th Mass regiment, who has returned home on account of sickness, reports that in the unfortunate affair of Wednesday last the entire brigade, comprising the 15th and 19th Massachusetts and 42d and 82d New York regiments, was captured.
The term of the 15th regiment expires on the 12th of July, and its members who have passed through as many perils as any other regiment in the service, were counting upon an early release. The fate of the war is against them, and they are again consigned to the tender mercies of a rebel prison, to await the better time which is surely coming.
The Richmond Enquirer of Thursday says these prisoners arrived in that city the night previous, and pays them the following compliment” “The privates of this batch are foreigners, and the most ordinary, illiterate, dirty, cutthroat looking creature we have ever seen.” The same authority claims to have captured in this attack two thousand prisoners, including fifty seven commissioned officers, together with four pieces of artillery and eight stands of colors.
An army dispatch to the New York Times, dated Friday, gives the following particulars of the affair:
“The temporary misfortune of Wednesday afternoon has been fully repaired, so far as re-occupation of the ground is concerned, but we have not recovered the fifteen hundred prisoners, four pieces and colors lost, nor the five hundred killed and wounded.
The enemy, it appears, were massing upon our left, when, the sixth corps not getting into position in time, the enemy seized upon an opening and attacked the second corps upon its flank, taking it at a great disadvantage, and for a time, rolling it up like a piece of paper, and were only repulsed by superhuman efforts.
This movement was exactly what Gen. Grant attempted to execute at Cold Harbor, and not force his way across the Chickahominy, for a passage of that river was practicable at any moment by a flank movement, as was subsequently effected. Had the second corps there succeeded in securing the coveted position on the left of the enemy, the rebel army, with the Chickahominy in its rear, would have been rolled up like a scroll, when a simultaneous attack attack upon the front by the whole force would have annihilated the whole army of Gen. Lee, and wiped out in an hour this accursed rebellion.
But the fates willed it otherwise, and we have been compelled to stand up against a similar attempt upon our own lines.
The Petersburg and Weldon railroad has been under our guns for several days. Yesterday the infantry tore up about five hundred yards of the track, when they were compelled to retire. The cavalry has destroyed another important portion of this road further south at Reams Station. Deserters and prisoners from the enemy allege that the rebel army is falling back toward Weldon N. C. Should this be true, it is possible that these attacks upon our left are to cover that movement.