May 20, 1864
---Battle of Spotsylvania, Day 12: On this date, Hancock’s II Corps finally goes into motion, heading south toward Hanover Court House, in a bid to draw Lee out to attack.
---Bermuda Hundred Campaign: Gen. Benjamin Butler’s attempted strike at Petersburg and Richmond is doomed to failure by lack of initiative. By this point, Butler has allowed Beauregard’s troops to bottle him up behind his own fortifications at Bermuda Hundred.
|Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, USA|
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, some years later, writes in his Memoirs:
I then asked him why Butler could not move out from his lines and push across the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad to the rear and on the south side of Richmond. He replied that it was impracticable, because the enemy had substantially the same line across the neck of land that General Butler had. He then took out his pencil and drew a sketch of the locality, remarking that the position was like a bottle and that Butler's line of intrenchments across the neck represented the cork; that the enemy had built an equally strong line immediately in front of him across the neck; and it was therefore as if Butler was in a bottle. He was perfectly safe against an attack; but, as Barnard expressed it, the enemy had corked the bottle and with a small force could hold the cork in its place.