From The Army Of The Potomac.

Official Bulletin from Secretary Stanton

A Flank Movement to the Rear of Lee -- Supposed Retreat of the Enemy Toward Lynchburg -- General Sheridan Forms a Junction with Gen. Butler.


May 21, 1999

Washington, May 15, 8.50 A.M. -- An official dispatch from the battle-field at Spotsylvania Court-House yesterday morning at 6:30 states that during the preceding night (Friday) a movement was made by the 5th and 6trh Corps to our kleft, and an attack was to have been made at daylight, but no sound of battle had been heard from that quarter.

The manoeuvre, it is said, if successful, would place our forces in Lee's rear and compel him to retreat toward Lynchburg. No cannon or any sound of battle was heard yesterday at Belle Plain or Fredericksburg, which affords ground for inference that Lee had retreated during Friday night, and before the advance of the 5th and 6th corps.

Nothing later than 6:30 A.M. of yesterday has been received from the army by this Department. All the wounded that reached Belle Plain yesterday evening have arrived here. The surgical reports from the headquarters of the army state that the condition of the supplies is satisfactory and the wounded are doing well.

The medical director at Belle Plain reports everything at that point as satisfactory. The surgical arrangements have never been so complete as now.

Gen. Sheridan's command had reached the left bank of Turkey Island (on the James river) at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, and have formed their junction with the forces of Gen. Butler.

-- Ed. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.


Operations of General Sheridan -- Destruction of Over a Million Dollars' Worth of Property -- Capture of Works Around Richmond -- Reported Death of General Jeb Stuart, &c.

Washington, May 14th, 10.40 A.M. -- Major General Dix. -- An official dispatch of Gen. Sheridan, dated at Bottom Bridge, via Fortress Monroe 13th, states that on the 9th inst. he marched around the enemy's right flank, and, on the vening of that day reached the North Anna river without serious opposition. During the night he destroyed the enemy's depot at Beaver Dam; three large trains of cars, numbering one hundred; two fine locomotives; one hundred thousand lbs. of bacon, and other stores, amounting in all to one million and a half of rebel rations; also the telegraph and railroad track for about ten miles, embracing several culverts; recaptured three hundred and seventy-eight of our men, including two colonels, one major and several other officers. On the morning of the 10th he renewed operations, crossing the south Anna at Grand Squirrel Bridge, and went into camp about daylight. On the 11th he captured Ashland Station, destroyed there one locomotive and a train of cars, enginehouse, two or three government buildings, containing large amounts of stores; also destroyed six miles of railroad, embracing six culverts, two trestle bridges and the telegraph wire.

About 7 A.M. of the 11thhe resumed the march on Richmond. He found the rebel Gen. Stuart with his cavalry concentrated at Yellow Tavern; immediately attacked him, and, after an obstinate contest, gained possession of the Brock turnpike, capturing two pieces of artillery and driving his forces back towards Ashland, and across the north fork of the Chickahominy, a distance of four miles. At the same time a party charged down the Brook road and captured the first line of the enemy's works around Richmond. During the night he marched the whole of his command between the first and second line of the enemy's works on the bluffs of the line of the Virginia Central railroad and the Mechanicsville turnpike.

After demonstrating against the works, and finding them very strong, he gave up the intention of assaulting and determined to recross the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge. It had been partially destroyed by the enemy, but was repaired in about three hours under a heavy artillery fire from a rebel battery. General Merritt made the crossig, attacked the enemy, and drove hiom off hansomely., the pursuit continuing as far as Gaines's Mills. The enemy, observing the recrossing of theChickahominy, came out from his second line of works. A brigade of infantry and a large number of dismoun ted cavalry arriving at this juncture, attacked the divisions of Generals Gregg and Wilson, but after a severe contest were repulsed and driven behind their works. Gregg's and Wilson's divisions, after collecting the wounded, recrossed the Chickahominy. On the afternoon the the 12th the corps encamped at Walnut Grove and Gains's Mills. At 9 A.M. of the 13th (yesterday) march was resumed, and encamped at Bottom Bridge.

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