The Charleston Mercury, June 4, 1864

June 4, 1864 The Charleston Mercury


Late and reliable information has reached Petersburg from the enemy's lines. It is of the most encouraging character. Outside of Grant's official circle, and safely removed from the tyranny of Lincoln and Seward, the Northern people do not hesitate to admit terrible losses in Grant's army. None estimate it at less than 75,000, and many say that it will reach 90,000. This is from all causes-killed, wounded, prisoners, stragglers and deserters.

The desertion and straggling is without precedent. A letter was received in this city Saturday, from a member of Mosby's command, well and favorably known in Petersburg. This writer states that he and his comrades, with their daring chief, have been in the rear of Grant since he moved from Culpepper Court House. He states that from the Rapidan and the Rappahannock to the Potomac, the country literally swarms with stragglers. These men do not hesitate to say, that they are from the Army of the Potomac, and under no circumstances will they be carried back alive. Each man is armed, and says he will sell his life dearly as possible, before he will be taken.

Gold went up in New York on the 24th to 186, being an advance of 4 per cent, over previous day's rates. This does not look as though the observant New Yorkers were of the opinion that Grant had accomplished anything whatever in a military way, but to sacrifice one of the best armies on the planet.

The Northern people say that Grant has lost four times as many men as any general who ever commanded the Army of the Potomac. It has been ascertained, by actual count, that he lost more men on the 12th, in the terrible contest of Spottsylvania Court House, than Napoleon Bonaparte lost on the memorable field of Waterloo. The people say that the worst feature of the present melancholy condition of affairs is that the places of the recently slain and maimed cannot be supplied. Every garrison and outpost has been swept clean to replenish Grant's decimated ranks; and it is asserted as an absolute fact, that there were not men enough at Fortress Monroe last Friday to garrison the place.

It is also represented that Grant's present army is greatly demoralized. The three years' men are very much discontented, at the bad faith in which the Lincoln Government has acted towards them, and the new-comers, or veteran reinforcements, as Stanton telegraphs to Dix, cannot be made to face General Lee's gallant grey backs. Four times during the past eight days did Grant attempt to bring on another such fight as he engaged in at Spottsylvania Court House, but each time, the men refused to be led to the slaughter. They are like Burnside's whipped at Fredericksburg. Once is all sufficient.