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rapidly improving in discipline, stanchness and soldierly qualities. On the 20th of December occurred an affair, which was more creditable to the Federals than any that had yet taken place in the region of the Potomac, and constituted McClellan's first success since the engagement of Rich Mountain. On the day named Gen. J. E. B. Stuart with a large foraging force, consisting of about twenty-five hundred men, fell in with the enemy near Dranesville. The Federals were in superiour force; Gen. Ord's brigade, which was also marching to the same neighbourhood for forage, being thirty-five hundred strong, while two other brigades were in supporting distance. A rocket, shot up by the enemy, gave to the Confederates the first intimation of their presence. To give his wagon-train time to retreat in safety, Gen. Stuart prepared for battle. He was exposed to a very severe cannonade from the enemy; and finding his men contending at serious disadvantage with an enemy greatly outnumbering t
to agreement, and marched the next morning towards Pocahontas, which place was reached on the 1st October. The disposition of the enemy's forces at this time was as follows: Sherman, at Memphis, with about six thousand men; Hurlburt, afterwards Ord, at Bolivar, with about eight thousand; Grant (headquarters at Jack son), with about three thousand; Rosecrans at Corinth, with about fifteen thousand, together with the following outposts, viz.: Rienzi, twenty-five hundred; Burnsville, Jacinto, Dorn to fall back towards Ripley and Oxford, and thus again take position behind the lagoons and swamps of Mississippi. The movement was accomplished with but little molestation from the enemy, beyond an affair in crossing the Hatchie, in which Gen. Ord, who commanded the enemy's advance, was held in check and punished. The following was found to be our loss in the severest conflicts with the enemy, and on the march to and from Corinth, viz.: killed, 594; wounded, 2,162; prisoners and missing,
w, further operations were necessary to isolate Richmond, and destroy its railroad communications. Gen. Sigel was therefore directed to organize all his available force into two expeditions, to move from Beverly to Charleston, under command of Gens. Ord and Crook, against the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. Subsequently, Gen. Ord, having been relieved at his own request, Gen. Sigel was instructed at his own suggestion, to give up the expedition by Beverly, and to form two columns, one uGen. Ord, having been relieved at his own request, Gen. Sigel was instructed at his own suggestion, to give up the expedition by Beverly, and to form two columns, one under Gen. Crook, on the Kanawha, numbering about ten thousand men, and one on the Shenandoah, numbering about seven thousand men; the one on the Shenandoah to assemble between Cumberland and the Shenandoah, and the infantry and artillery moved to Cedar Creek with such cavalry as could be made available at the moment, to threaten the enemy in the Shenandoah Valley, and advance as far as possible; while Gen. Crook would take possession of Lewisburg with part of his force, and move down the Tennes
ng the new position with the old left of the army on the Jerusalem plank road. About the close of September, attention was again drawn to operations north of James River, and a movement on Gen. Butler's front resulted in a serious disaster to the Confederates, and, it must be confessed, accomplished one real success for this ill-stared General in the operations against Richmond. On the night of the 28th September, Butler crossed to the north side of the James, with the corps of Birney and Ord, and moved up the river with the design of attacking the very strong fortifications and entrenchments below Chapin's farm. known as Fort Harrison. A portion of Butler's force was moved on the Newmarket road, and while a severe engagement was occurring there, a column of the enemy made a flank movement on Fort Harrison, and practically succeeded in surprising this important work, which surrendered after a very feeble resistance on the part of the artillery, and while a force of Confederates
commenced pursuit. Its order, calculated on the clear assumption that Lee would move for the Danville road, was as follows: Sheridan to push for the Danville road, keeping near the Appomattox; Meade to follow with the Second and Sixth corps; and Ord to move for Burkesville along the Southside road, the Ninth corps stretching along the road behind him. It was certainly a well-planned pursuit; but it involved the possibility that Lee might fall on the enemy in detail; it was a question of the rerous predicament; he was on a strip of land not more than seven or eight miles broad between the James and Appomattox rivers; and the firing in front indicated that the outlet towards Lynchburg was closed by Sheridan, while Meade in the rear, and Ord south of the Court-house completed the environment and put Lee in a position from which it was impossible to extricate his army without a battle, which it was no longer capable of fighting. Early in the morning of the 19th, Gordon's corps was o