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and 25 to 30 des by some 60 wide
of Petersburg, inel
hoped to get into its rear; but night | failure. And now, at 4. A. M. the came on before he was ready; and, so fuse having been rëlighted the eximminent seemed the danger on this plosion took place; hoisting the fort flank, that Lee drew" five of his eight into the air, annihilating its garrison remaining divisions across the James of 300 men, and leaving in its stead to avert it, affording the opportunity a gigantic hollow or crater of loose which Grant was awaiting.
earth, 150 feet long by some 60 wide Burnside's corps held a position di- and 25 to 30 deep. Instantly, our rectly in front of Petersburg, inclu- guns opened all along the front; and ding a point where our lines, owing the astounded enemy may well have to the nature of the ground, had been supposed them the thunders of doom. pushed up to within 150 yards of the But it was indispensable to success enemy's, where a fort projected be- that a column of assault should rush yond their average front. Under this forward instantly and resolutely, so fort, a mine had been run from a con- as to clear the chasm and gain the venient ravine or hollow within our crest before the foe should recover lines, which was entirely screened from his surprise; and, on this vital from the enemy's observation; and point, failure had already been sethis mine would seem to have been cured. The 9th corps, as then concompleted not only without counter-stituted, was not that from which mining by the Rebels, but without any commanding general would have being even suspected by them ; selected a storming party; yet, bethough a report of its existence (pro- cause it was Burnside's mine, his bably founded on the story of some corps was, without discussion, allowdeserter or prisoner) was printed in ed to furnish the column of assault. one of the Richmond journals. His inspecting officer had reported
All being ready, the morning of that, of its four divisions, that comJuly 30th was fixed for springing the posed of Blacks was fittest for this mine; which was to be instantly fol- perilous service; but Grant, discredlowed, of course, by the opening of iting this, had directed that one of our guns all along the front, and by the three White divisions should be an assault at the chasm opened in the chosen. Thereupon, the leaders of enemy's defenses by the explosion. these divisions were allowed to cast It was calculated that, if a crest lots to see which of them should go barely 400 yards behind the doomed in or rather, which two of them fort could be gained and held, Peters- should stay out-and the lot fell on burg must fall, with heavy loss to its the 1st, Brig.-Gen. Ledlie-and no defenders.
man in the army believed this other The mine was to be fired at 31 than the worst choice of the three. A. M. ; when the match was duly ap- It need hardly be added that no preplied, but no explosion followed. paration had been made during the After a considerable pause, Lt. Jacob night preceding the explosion, by Douty and Sergt. Henry Rees, of the quietly removing (or opening paths 48th Pa., ventured into the gallery, through) the abatis, &c., which prodetecting and removing the cause of tected our front from sudden dashes
BURNSIDE'S MINE EXPLOSION-BARLOW'S ASSAULT. 591
ing with difte sheer desperunates was
of the enemy, for the instant advance of unresisted slaughter. The Black in force of our column of assault. charge, feeble as it was, had given
The explosion had occurred; the us a few prisoners; but now our Rebel fort had been hoisted 200 feet, men could no more retreat than adand had fallen in fragments; our vance; the enemy's guns sweeping guns had opened all along the front, the ground between the chasm and eliciting a far feebler and ineffective our front. A first Rebel assault on response; but several minutes pass-our unfortunates was repulsed in ed-precious, fatal minutes !-before sheer desperation; and thousands of Ledlie's division, clearing with diffi- course, took the risk of darting out culty the obstacles in its path-went of the death-trap and racing at top forward into the chasm, and there speed to our lines ; but our loss in stopped, though the enemy at that killed, wounded, and prisoners was point were still paralyzed and the 4,400; while that of the enemy, indeciding crest completely at our cluding 300 blown up in the fort, mercy. Then parts of Burnside's was barely 1,000. two remaining White divisions (Potter's and Wilcox's) followed; but, Undismayed by the disastrous reonce in the crater, Ledlie's men bar- sult of “this [needlessly] miserable red the way to a farther advance, affair," as he fitly characterizes it, and all huddled together, losing their Grant paused scarcely a fortnight formation and becoming mixed up; before he resumed the offensive; reGen. Potter finally extricating him- turning to successive operations on self, and charging toward the crest; both flanks. Once more, Hancock but with so slender a following that was impelled against the front of he was soon obliged to fall back. the Rebel left, facing Deep Bottom; Two hours were thus shamefully his depleted corps being strengthened squandered, while the Rebels, recov- by the 10th, now led by Birney, and ering their self-possession, were plant- by Gregg's division of cavalry. Again ing batteries on either side, and pushing out to the right, Hancock mustering their infantry in an adja-' attempted to flank the Rebel defenses cent ravine; and now—when more across Bailey's creek: Barlow, with men in the crater could only render two divisions, being sent around to the confusion more hopeless and mag- assault in flank and rear; while nify the disaster-Burnside threw in Mott's division menaced their eastern his Black division; which, passing front, and Birney's corps assailed beyond and rather to the right of the them next the river. Birney gained crater, charged toward the crest, but some advantage, taking 4 guns; but were met by a fire of artillery and Barlow's assault was delivered by a musketry which speedily hurled them single brigade, and came to nothing. back into the crater, where all order In fact, Hancock had been delayed was lost, all idea of aught beyond in landing his men, so that Lee, forepersonal safety abandoned, while the warned, had begun to rëenforce this enemy's shells and balls poured into flank; as he did more fully next day: it like hail, rendering it an arena so that, when our troops again ad
72 Aug. 12. . is
vanced to the assault 3_-Terry's divi- on his left flank-the enemy advansion having meantime been moved to cing by a road wholly unknown to the left of Barlow-though Terry at our officers--and 200 of the Maryfirst carried the Rebel intrenchment, land brigade captured. The brigade taking over 200 prisoners he was falling back under the wing of the soon driven out of it, and the enemy 15th N. Y. Heavy Artillery (now was seen to be in such force that a serving as infantry), that regiment further assault was deemed impracti- stood its ground, and, by rapid and cable.
deadly volleys, repelled the enemy. Meantime, Gen. Gregg's cavalry, Our movement was here arrested supported by Miles's infantry bri- our loss during the day having been gade, advanced on the Charles City 1,000_but Warren held his ground, road, driving the enemy before him fortified it; and the Weldon road with considerable loss on their part was lost to the enemy. -Gen. Chambliss being among their Yet, though Warren's position was killed. Still, the movement, on the good, it was unconnected with our whole, had no decided success; and lines, still on the Jerusalem plankan attempt to draw out the enemy, road; Brig.-Gen. Bragg, who had to leave his lines and attack ours, by been ordered to fill the gap, having the ruse of seeming to send off most neglected promptly to do so. Warof our men on steamboats, proved ren, perceiving the fault, rëiterated wholly abortive. A night attack by his order; but, before it could now the Rebels on the 18th was repulsed. be executed, Hill pushed a consideraHancock was soon 74 withdrawn in ble force into the vacant space, and, earnest: our total losses in the move- striking Crawford's division impetument having been about 5,000; that ously in flank and rear, rolled it of the enemy probably less, but still up; taking 2,500 prisoners, includheavy: Gen. Gherardie being killed. ing Brig.-Gen. Hays. But now, the
Lee was probably aware that this brigades of Wilcox and White, of demonstration on Richmond covered Burnside's corps, came up, and the an advance on the other end of his enemy made off in a hurry with his attenuated line; but he was obliged spoils; enabling Warren to recover to strengthen his lieutenant north of the lost ground and rëestablish his the James or risk the fall of Rich- lines. mond. No sooner had he done this, Warren was well aware that his however, than Warren struck out "s position astride the Weldon road was from our left at the long ,coveted not adapted to tranquillity, and govWeldon railroad, barely three miles erned himself accordingly. Hardly distant from our flank; reaching it three days had elapsed, when he was unresisted before noon. Leaving here suddenly saluted" by 30 Rebel guns; Griffin's division, he advanced, with and, after an hour's lively practice, Crawford's and Ayres's, a mile to- an assaulting column advanced on ward Petersburg, where he found the his front, while another attempted to enemy awaiting him. After a pause, reach and turn his left flank. But he moved on; and was soon struck Warren was prepared for this ma78 Aug. 16. 74 Aug. 20. 75 Aug. 18.
16 Aug. 21.
ut us | pos adaptea alf accorded, whe
HANCOCK'S FIGHT AT REAMS'S STATION.
593 neuver, and easily baffled it, flank- 1 8,000) men, and 5 guns. Hill's loss ing the flanking column and routing was also heavy, but considerably it, with a net loss of 302 on our part, smaller. and at least 1,200 to the enemy, of Warren's hold on the road had bewhose dead he buried 211, while he come too strong to be shaken, and took 500 prisoners. He had lost in there ensued a pause of over a month; this entire movement 4,455 men- during which the Rebels planned and most of them prisoners—while the executed a smart raid on our cattleenemy had lost scarcely half that yard at Coggin's Point on the James; number; but he had lost and we had running off 2,500 beeves at no cost gained the Weldon road.
| but that of fatigue. Hancock, returned from the north | The calm was broken at last by of the James, had moved rapidly to Grant, who ordered an advance by the Weldon road in the rear of War- Warren on the left, to cover one more ren. Striking” it at Reams's sta- determined by Butler on the right. tion, he had been busily tearing it Gen. Warren pushed westward *8 up for two or three days; when his with two divisions of his own corps cavalry gave warning that the enemy and two of the 9th, under Parke, in force were at hand. Their first with Gregg's cavalry in advance ; blow fell on Miles's division, on our reaching the Squirrel Level road, and right, and was promptly repulsed; carrying two or three small works but Hill ordered Heth, under a heavy at different points. There was fightfire of artillery, to try again, and at ing along our new front throughall events carry the position; which out this and the following day; we he ultimately did at the fourth charge, holding the newly gained ground capturing three batteries.
and intrenching on it; our losses in Hancock ordered Gibbon's division the movement having been 2,500; to retake it; but they failed to do so. those of the enemy probably less, inMiles, rallying a part of his scattered cluding Gen. Dunnovan, killed. The division, and fighting it admirably, ground thus taken was promptly recovered part of his lost ground and joined by proper works to Warren's one of his captured batteries. Gib- former position across the railroad. bon's division, assailed by a force of Gen. Butler, in his turn, crossing dismounted cavalry, was easily driv- the James, advanced with the 10th en from its breastworks; but the corps, now commanded by Birney, enemy, attempting to follow up his and the 18th, now under Ord, and success, was checked and repelled by struck" the enemy's outpost below a heavy flank fire from our dis- Chapin's farm, known as Fort Harrimounted cavalry, posted on the left. son, which he assaulted and took,
Though but four miles from War- with 15 guns, and a considerable ren's position, no rëenforcements, ow- portion of the enemy's intrenching to various blunders, reached Han- ments. He attempted to follow up cock till after he had been forced to his blow with the capture of Fort retreat, abandoning Reams's station, Gilmer, which was next in order; but after a total loss of 2,400 (out of was repulsed by Maj.-Gen. Field, 77 Aug. 21.
78 Oct. 1.
79 Sept. 29. VOL. II.--38
pelled by Chapin hich he and a