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field guns opened and kept down the fire of the enemy's salients and batteries at all points.

The moment for assault was at hand. Precious minutes were lost in getting the assaulting columns through improperly prepared debouches on Burnside's front. Ledlie's division, headed by the Second Brigade, at last moved into the crater, and became a fixed, confused mass there. Ledlie did not accompany it. A resolute commander would have been on the crest in fifteen minutes, and before opposition could have been made. Meade expected that the whole Ninth Corps would advance quickly on the right and left of its leading division. The Confederates had time to recover from their surprise. They returned to their posts and began a musketry fire on Ledlie's men in the crater, and on Elliott, who was

was endeavoring to form on the crest beyond. Elliott fell, wounded, and Colonel McMaster took his place. All the while the musketry fire was waxing warmer on the men in the crater. But two or three hundred at a time could be gotten upon the crest beyond, and these melted away before they could be made effective. Thus nearly an hour passed, with no point gained and with sad loss of life. At length a Confederate battery of field guns (Wright's), some six hundred yards to the right of the mine, and in a protected spot, opened an enfilading fire, sweeping all the ground between the Federal entrenchments and the crater. This was soon seconded by another on the left, equally protected. All this was fast precluding the possibility of successful assault according to any prearranged plan. Yet in the midst of it, Potter's division, pressing forward by the flank, and Griffin's brigade, took the enemy's entrenchments for a considerable space, driving Elliott back on Ransom. A brigade of Wilcox's division fought its way to the left of the crater, and also gained a foothold in the entrenchments after hard fighting. Every forward movement was hampered by the unremoved obstructions on Burnside's

front, by the indecision occasioned by confused commands, by the dread uncertainties of the situation. The other corps commanders found no weakening of the enemy in their fronts and saw no opportunity for co-operative attack. Burnside could not get his attacking forces to move in concert, and some made fatal delays. The operating spaces were small, which only served to mix the commands and beget disconcert. There was no orderly, united, determined assault, but a series of daring dashes which, being unsupported, came to nought or ended in disaster.

At 6 o'clock, Lee heard of the explosion. He at once reinforced the points opposite the crater, and prepared to recapture the entrenchments taken by the Federals. Potter's position was first assailed, and he was driven back with the loss of all he had gained. A terrific fire was now centred on the confused masses in and about the crater, or upon the crest in front. The slaughter was fearful for a time. Satisfied that the time for success had passed, and that further attempt would only result in useless sacrifice, Meade, with the concurrence of Grant, withdrew the troops to their respective lines. The Federal losses during the day were 419 killed, 1679 wounded, and 1910 missing. The Confederate losses were 400 killed, 600 wounded, and 200 missing.

"Thus,” says General Grant, "terminated in disaster what promised to be the most successful assault of the campaign." The combination and direction of forces had been made with consummate ability. Lee was completely deceived and had been induced to part with half his strength to resist a feint on his capital. Grant had his entire force at command and under orders to take advantage of the surprise occasioned by the explosion. The explosion had rid the enemy's works of defenders for several hundred yards. The failure was due to inefficient preparation by a set of officers who had no confidence in the project. Said the report of the Court of Inquiry,

in substance, "The assault failed from mismanagement and misbehavior on the part of several of the chief actors.”

The Confederates were elated over the failure, and Lee availed himself of the deadlock which followed to make his demonstrations in the Valley and upon Washington, which we have already read about. Grant was bitterly disappointed, but lost no faith in ultimate success. The failure only matured in his mind that scheme by which, should the end not sooner come, he would boldly cut loose from his base at City Point, throw himself into the interior below and beyond Petersburg and, operating directly on the enemy's communications, compel him to abandon his strong fortifications, and give or receive battle on equal terms.

On July 20th, after Lee had detached Early for operations about Washington, and Grant had detached the Sixth Corps, the relative strength of the forces in and about Petersburg was as follows: Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, infantry, 39,295; cavalry, 8436. Army of the Potomac, infantry, 37,984; cavalry, 10,280. Army of James, at Bermuda Hundred, infantry, 24,009; cavalry, 1880. The two armies went on perfecting their works, and as their respective lines could be held by small forces, the larger portions were free for movement.

The reader must now recall what has been said of the Valley campaign, and of Early's retreat to Brown's Gap, pursued by Sheridan. Early was reinforced and returned to the Valley. Three divisions of infantry were sent to him, and one of cavalry. As a counter to this, Grant sent Hancock, in command of his own and part of the Tenth Corps, together with Gregg's cavalry, north of the James to demonstrate on Richmond. Secrecy was of moment. The Second was sent by boat to the lower pontoon at Deep Bottom, on the night of August 13th. The cavalry and artillery went by land. Marching up toward Richmond, the enemy was found in his strong position at Bailey's creek. Mott held the centre,

Birney the left, and Barlow was sent well to the right to attack and turn the Confederate left. He made several unsuccessful assaults on their entrenched lines, to hold which they weakened their right. Birney took advantage of this and made a dashing assault, capturing six guns and several hundred prisoners. It was the night of the 14th, and operations had to be suspended, though with orders to resume attack early in the morning. That night the enemy received reinforcements from south of the James. Hancock therefore made a new disposition of his forces, and sent Birney to find and turn the enemy's left. It existed nowhere short of Richmond. Yet on the 16th, he ordered Birney to attack at a weak point, which he did, capturing some prisoners and colors. But he was soon driven back. Hancock found every point too well guarded to hope for success from further trial. The Confederates concentrated on their extreme left against Gregg and Miles and drove them back across Deep creek. They had thus cleared their entire front. Hancock maintained his position till the night of the 20th, when he was withdrawn. The casualties during this demonstration were 321 killed, 1840 wounded and 625 missing.

The effect of these movements on Lee was to weaken his right covering the southern railroads. Warren was therefore drawn from the entrenchments at Petersburg and sent, on the morning of August 18th, well around the enemy's right to strike the Weldon railroad. He struck it by noon, planted his forces firmly across it and began a march in the direction of Petersburg. In a short time he found the enemy well posted and disposed to resist. Ayres' and Crawford's divisions were formed in line of battle, the former on the left, the latter on the right. The Confederates suddenly assailed Ayres' extreme left and threw it into confusion, but it was speedily rallied, and by free use of musketry and artillery the Confederate onset was checked; not, however, until the Federal losses

amounted to a thousand men in killed wounded and prisoners. The enemy's losses were even heavier, and his dead and wounded were left on the ground. On the morning of the 19th, Bragg, of Cutler's division, was sent to Crawford's right to see if he could not force a connection with the Ninth Corps in the regular entrenchments. The ground was irregular and woods thick. Progress was slow and almost impossible. Lee had gotten word of Warren's occupancy of the railroad, and had hurried down two divisions from the north of the James. In the afternoon one of these divisions (Mahone's) broke through Bragg's lines, faced to the right and swept down on Crawford's right flank, carrying his skirmishers and parts of his rear line of battle. The front lines had to fall back, with a part of Ayres' left. At this moment Heth made a furious attack on Ayres', but Warren brought up all the receded lines and

regained the ground temporarily lost. Mahone was driven inside of his entrenchments and Heth was repulsed, but not driven. The Federal losses were three hundred and eighty-two in killed and wounded and two thousand five hundred and eighteen missing, most of which were prisoners. The enemy lost very heavily in killed

and wounded, for the action, though GEN, FITZHUGH LEE.

brief, was close and determined. Warren now fell back a mile out of the dense woods and entrenched on the line of the railroad.

Lee now found that Hancock had been withdrawn from the north side of the James. He accordingly withdrew the forces sent thither and organized an attack on Warren, to be conducted by Hill's corps, Hoke's division and Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry. This was August 21st. It opened with thirty guns on Warren's right and front, followed by an assault, which

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