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From the Wed., May. 25, 1864 issue

We had a little excitement last evening, but today all is quiet as a summer morning. It was ascertained yesterday that the enemy was again referring from our left front, where he had been so handsomely repulsed the day before by Gordon, and was moving towards the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad. Gen. Lee, nor to allow his adversary to proceed alone, ordered Ewell to advance and strike him in the flank and rear, and thus compel him to return to his former position—Ewell marched cut of the trenches late in the afternoon, and encountered the enemy a little before sunset. A sharp, brief combat ensued, the enemy being thrown into considerable confusion and referring before our troops. It is believed that the attack would have resulted in important captures had all portions of the command behaved equally well, but Jones's brigade, of Johnson's division, which did not stand firmly at the Wilderness, and was the first to break in the great battle of the 12th, fled incontinently, and some report that the Stonewall brigade did not do as well as it might have done. The latter is composed of troops from the Valley of the Shenandoah and the former from counties in Southwestern Virginia. Pegram's brigade, of the same division, on the contrary, displayed much gallantry.

In consequence of the unsteadiness of a portion of the corps here alluded to Ewell did not press his advantages, nor bring off some forty five wagons which he captured. Indeed, finding that the enemy was receiving heavy reinforcements, and it being no part of his instructions to bring on a general engagement within the Federal entrenchments, he returned late at night to his former position, leaving his dead and a portion of his wounded behind. His losses were small, not exceeding one hundred in killed and wounded. Through some oversight the ambulances of the corps did not accompany it, or the wounded might have been removed. The real object of the demonstration, however, was fully accomplished; the movement in the right was checked, and Gen. Grant reduced to the condition of the man who receives unexpected news on a journey, and who stops to search his head, being in doubt which way to turn or what to do, whether to go on or return.

Since different accounts of the attack upon Johnson's division, of Ewell's corps, on the morning of the 12th have been given to the public, and since all of these accounts probably have more or less of error in them. I have applied to an intelligent officer who was present throughout the battle, and who was in a position to understand what was going on as fully as Gen. Ewell himself, for the facts so far as they fell under his own eye. The following is the substance of the statement of the officer to whom I made application:

On the morning of the 12th Johnson's division occupied the right of Ewell's corps. Haves's brigade being on his left; then J. M. Walkers, (Stonewall,) next Jones's. And then Stewart's. At the junction of Jones's and Stewart's brigades, the line of works made a bend at nearly a right angle, in which a battalion of artillery had been posted.—The artillery had been withdrawn the proceeding evening, and the line of Jones's brigade was extended to cover this gap. At 3 o'clock on the morning of the 12th, Johnson asked for artillery, saying the enemy was massing heavily in his front, and Page's battalion was started to him. Jones's brigade of six regiments had but three in line when the assault was made at 4 o'clock; one had been detached to cover the gap of half a mile between Stewart's brigade and Lane's brigade of Wilcox's division in the right, one had been deployed as skirmishers, another had just been sent out to relieve the latter. The enemy made their attack in mess with a rush upon the point where the artillery had been, and the three regiments of Jones's brigade gave way almost without firing a shot. The artillery which had been sent was just driving up to the works at a gallop as the enemy poured over, killing the horses and preventing the men from unlimbering their guns, and capturing the guns and Gen. Johnson, who was endeavoring to rally his command. As the enemy rushed in, the Stonewall brigade; on the left of the gap, and part of Stewart's, of the right of it, received them with a heavy fire, but the enemy closing down on Stewart on the flank, front, and rear, succeeded in taking the larger part of his command in the works. In attempting to swing around his brigade, so as to oppose the enemy in front Gen. Walker was severely wounded and carried from the field. The senior Colonel not being aware of this, there was no head to the brigade, and each regiment from right to left continued to fight at the works until its flank was turned, inflicting heavy loss on the foe, and losing much themselves. The enemy still pressing his advantages, Johnston's North Carolina brigade, of Gordon's command, was put in on the right of the Louisiana (late Stafford's) brigade, near the Stonewall brigade, and succeeded in checking the enemy for a time. The loss of Johnson's division was about 2,000 prisoners and eighteen pieces of artillery, besides the killed and wounded.

The enemy had now gained possession of a wood within our works, and advanced nearly a quarter of a mile from the works to McCoul's house. At this point Gordon threw in three regiments of his Georgia brigade near McCoul's house at a charge, who struck the enemy in front and on their left and drove those they met out of the works and over them. The Federals being thus checked, he formed the other three regiments of his brigade, and Pegram's Virginia brigade, and put them in on the right of the other three regiments, and pushed back the enemy in splendid style, regaining Stewart's and parts of Jones's line and the artillery.—This position they continued to hold during the day against repeated assaults, although their left was never supported by other troops. A little after Gordon had gone in, Ramseur's North Carolina brigade, of Rodes's division, made a magnificent charge upon the enemy's right as they poured through the works, driving them out with slaughter and retaking the line of the Louisiana and part of the Stonewall brigade, and here they stood all day.

Although these troops were doing splendidly, there was still a gap of some length between Ramseur's right and Pegram's left, where the enemy held our works, and through this they continued to press. To close this gap and regain our whole line and the artillery, there was desperate fighting. Battle's Alabama brigade, of Rodes's division, was thrown in on Ramseur's right his centre passing the McCoul house, and drove the enemy back some distance into the wood, gaining a foot hold in the wood which they resolutely held.

The enemy now occupied the outside of our works, on the crest where Jones's brigade broke, and our line was along the works of the Stonewall brigade, and there broke off towards the right through the woods, and nearly to Pegram's left—Again and again the enemy made desperate efforts to drive out the Confederates and press through the gap still existing, but they failed. Harris's Mississippi brigade was sent up at this time, and put in on Ramseur's right, over the same ground as Battle's, and it drove the enemy from another portion of the works; and the ground thus regained they held for the remainder of the day. Subsequently Perrin's and McGowan's South Carolina brigades were brought up and put in on the right of Harris, and still later the remnant of Johnson's division moved up to close the gap between Pegram's left and the right of the other troops to about one hundred yards in the angle of the works which the enemy continued to hold, and from which we did not succeed in busting them. Our artillery was so far regained as to enable Major Curshaw to take his artillery men to the pieces and work them during the rest of the day with marked effect upon the enemy; but the courses having all been killed, and the enemy's sharpshooters being near, the guns could not be withdrawn. During these operations we captured on this part of the lines about 1,000 prisoners, from every corps in the Federal army.—Our captures during the day were quite equal to those made by the enemy.

It is apparent from this brief narrative that, while we did not regain the whole of our lines, we should probably not have lost any part of them if the artillery had been in position when the assault was made.

No one has been appointed to succeed Gen. Stuart, the cavalry for the present, under an order from Gen. Lee, reporting to him by divisions.—Hampton is the ranking officer of that arm of the service in Virginia.

I fear my letters have reached you irregularly, owing to the recent interruption of our communications. I have written promptly, however, and have done all in my power to get them through in time. Sallost.