Civil War reports From the Madison Daily Courier
Saturday, May 24, 2014 5:00 AM
May 5, 1864
The ladies would inform the merchants of this city that there are thirty young ladies who have volunteered their services to take the places of those young men who volunteered, or desire to do so, in the service of their country.... The ladies will give their patronage to and use their influence for all those merchants who employ lady clerks, and recommend the merchants who have clerks that are not patriotic or loyal enough to go, to dispense with the services of such for 100 days at least.
May 10, 1864
Old Wilderness Tavern
May 6; 9 p.m.
Our correspondent with the army, sends the following: The most terrific battle yet fought, closed to-day. Lee's entire army has made repeated and numerous assaults upon the right and left wings commanded by Hancock and Sedgewick, with temporary successes, but had been driven back with great slaughter.
An attack was made about 4 o'clock this evening, simultaneously upon our whole line, which was gallantly repulsed. Towards dark the enemy concentrated upon our extreme right, and fell suddenly upon Gen. Sedgewick, crushing in a portion of his line.
Sedgewick succeeded in reforming his line and securing it against further disaster, and the enemy withdrew from his front under cover of darkness. Our losses have been heavy....The almost impenetrable woods, with which the battle ground is covered, saved the rebels from a crushing defeat, as it enabled them to conceal their movements almost perfectly until the very moment of execution.
Note: The Battle of the Wilderness, fought May 5-7, 1864, was the first battle of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Virginia campaign against Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Both armies suffered heavy casualties. The battle was tactically inconclusive, as Grant disengaged and continued his offensive. The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House soon followed, May 8 through May 21, 1864, as Grant tried various schemes to break the Confederate line. In the end, the battle was tactically inconclusive, but with almost 32,000 casualties on both sides, it was one of the costliest battles of the war.
May 17, 1864
A dispatch received by General Halleck at Washington yesterday, from General Sherman, says he had a fight on the 15th at Resaca [Georgia] in which our forces were victorious. We lost probably 3,000, in killed, wounded and missing. A later dispatch published in today's Courier conveys the gratifying intelligence that after two days hard fighting, Gen. Johnston has evacuated Resaca, and the gallant Army of the West is in vigorous pursuit of the retreating foe. Everything appears to be progressing favorably.
Note: The goal of Sherman's campaign in Georgia was to capture Atlanta and was part of Grant's grand strategy to attack the Confederacy on several fronts at the same time.
May 18, 1864
The news we have been receiving lately has caused great excitement. Immense throngs have daily gathered in front of our office, eagerly and anxiously waiting and watching for the latest from the front. The items on our bulletin and in the extras are greedily devoured by thousands every day, and still the multitude want more. This feeling pervades almost all classes of the community. We hope to be able to satisfy our friends ere long with something gloriously decisive. Keep cool.
May 28, 1864
Describing Hancock's gallant charge, a correspondent says: "The angle of the works at which Hancock entered, and for the possession of which the savage fight of the day was made, is a perfect Golgotha. In this angle of death the dead and wounded rebels lie, this morning, literally in piles - men in the agonies of death groaning beneath the dead bodies of their comrades. On an area of a few acres in rear of their position lie not less than a thousand rebel corpses....The one exclamation of every man who looks on the spectacle is "God forbid that I should ever gaze upon such a sight again."
Research conducted by the Jefferson County Civil War Round Table