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Skirmish Near Cold Harbor

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Oold Harboe, Va., May 24, 1862. The most important skinnish that has oecurred between our troops and the rebels in front oí Richmond, took place tliis morning. Enffaged on our side was the Fourth Michigan regiment, Col. who fought for two hours wilh desperate und heroio courage an entire rebel brigade. We lost one man killed, two mortally vvounded, and iour seriously wounded, and did not lose a prieoner. The rebels lost one hundred killed and vvounded, and thirty-seven prisoners. The foilowing is a detailed account of the affair : Intelligence having reaohod headquarters that quite a forcé was near New Bridge, the Fourth Michigan regiment, Ooi. Woodbury, was sent to feel them, and, if neee.ssury, interrupt their quiet. The regiment left camp at 7 A. M., their Colonel at their hoad, and all in splendid spirits at the prospect of a rencontre with the rebels. A ■eoondary object oí the expecütion was to obtain information in regard lo the ronda and fords in the vicinity. Lieut. 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 oí the Fifth cavalry, Lieut. Coster; a company of the Eighteenth iniantry, Captain Forsyth, and a company of the Second infantry, Captain McMülen. New Bridge is four miles from the camp. They went down the raaio road about two miles, ;o what is ealled thü Oíd Mili, and Ihence turned to the right through a pieos cf woods, keeping it till they came to an open field, commauding a view of the Ohickahominy river. A portion of eompany A, 4th Michigan Regiment, Captain Rose, was here eent forward as ekirmishers, and the ■emnant oi' the company kept as reserves. The regiment filed out of the woods by flank, and formed in lino oí aattle very nearly parallel with the river, the lelt extending aornss the road. Here the rebels were eeen lying bebind a fence across the river. The right wing of Colonel Woodbury's regiment was ordered to cross the river, which at this point is atout thirty feet wide. In the men plunged, acuoutred as they were, but eontrived to keep ;heir 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 wnist deep in water. But this was not the worst. The enemy, who had lain concealed behind a fence close to the opposite knok of the river, kept up an incessant tiro upoD therh. Fortunately the enemy'e shots passed harmlessly over tbeir heads ; but the shooting did not dismay the men in the least. Lieutenant Bowen attempted to cross the stream with Iiis horse, but the latter was shot under bira before he ho had advanced a third of the way across. - This prevented field officers and oavalry frorn attompting 10 ord the stream. All the compames but two passed the river. One of these remained behind to act as skirrnishers in the wood on the right, and the other to keep an eye en the bridge and to the left beyond, to prevent bying fianked on either side jy the enemy. As Boon as our men crossed the river the work of firing commenced. Cap:ain liose's company diacharged the irst volley on our side. All the remaining coropanies had their muskets ;o their sboulders in doublé quick time. The firing was brisk and continuous on both sides. The rebels had two piece? of artillery from which tho} hiirled shells at our men, but the ihelts, like their volleys of musketry, pasud over the heads of our men. ïheir cannon were planted on a hill boyond, while the inlantry still kept poVition behind the fence, which, in addition to having an embankment at the base, in the style of oíd Virginia fences, had a deep and wide ditch in front. The shooting continued for nearly two hours. Our men drovo the rebels behind the fence and their encarcpment 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. It was not deemed prudent to pursue the retreatmg enemy. It waa evident that they bad mistaken cur forco, or else acted in retiring more intensely cowardly than we have ever thought them to be. They had (our regimeuts enjfaged, Fourth and Fifih Louisiana regimenté, n Virginia and an Alutwuna regiment, bes-idus their artillerv, v.hile on our side there were aotually only eight companies of the Fourth Michigan regiment who did the (jghüng.- Under Uib circuinstanoes, of courtse. it was not deemed prudeut to follow the loe. Tbe battlo ended, then came the uare of the killed and wounded. The rebel loss u estimated ia killed and wounded at about one hundred. In the ditch were found twenty-eight deed bodies. Among the killed wero two lieutenants. Ouo was shot witli two balls through the head, and the otlier was completely riddled with bullet. Of the thirty-seven prisoners we took, fiftoen were wouuded Our men brought thern oa their shoulders across tl) stream, whence they were taken to a dweiling house near by, and every possible care given them by our surgeons. They all expressed astonisliment at tho cure sliuwn thom, and stated that they had been told that ii they ever feil i n to our hands they would be killud ; and such a íate they ezpeoted would be theirs. Our men partook oí' the dinner the Louisiana Tigers had preparad f'or themselves. Thoy captured their company boots, and brought away rillt;s, muskets, swords, sashes, &u. I niight recount any nuinbur of oarrow escapes had I time. Gen. McClellan, having received intelligence of the tkirmish, vaa toward the river and met the regiment on its return. He grasped Col. Woodbury warmly by the hand and said,. " General, I am happy to congratúlate you again on your success. i have had occasion to do so before, and do so again with pleasure." He alSo shook hands with Gapt, Rose of the First Company, and said, : I thank you, Captain ; your men have done well," To some of the men lie said, " How do yon feel, boys V" They exolaimed. " General, we feel bully I" " Do you tbink anythin can stop you from going to lïnchrnond ?" he asked and an enthusiastic " No V' rang from the wholo line. All the oiïicers of the regiment beliaved remarkably well. Gen. McCiellan telegraphed immediately to General Porterthat the Fourth Michigan had erud thomselves with glory.


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Michigan Argus