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[176] ravine which sheltered his troops somewhat from the cross-fire of the enemy. His men drove the enemy's skirmishers before them, and carried the rifle-pits with great gallantry; but the line had to be readjusted at close quarters, and the same cross-fire from which Wright had suffered made further advances extremely hazardous. Smith now reported that his troops were so cut up that there was no prospect of carrying the works in his front unless the enfilading fire on his flank could be silenced. Additional artillery was then sent forward to try to keep down the enemy's fire.

Burnside had captured the advance rifle-pits in front of Early's left, and had taken up a position close to the enemy's main line. Warren's line was long and thin, and his troops, from the position they occupied, could not do much in the way of assaulting. These demonstrations against the enemy's left were principally to keep him engaged, and prevent him from withdrawing troops to reinforce his right. Warren had cooperated with Burnside in driving Early from the Shady Grove road, upon which he had advanced and made an attack. Gordon had attacked Warren's center, but was handsomely repulsed. Wilson's division of cavalry, which had returned from destroying the Virginia Central Railroad, moved across the Totopotomoy to Haw's Shop, drove the enemy from that place, made a further advance, carried some rifle-pits and held them for an hour, but was unable to connect with Burnside's infantry, and withdrew to Haw's Shop.

The reports received by General Grant were at first favorable and encouraging, and he urged a continuance of the successes gained; but finding the strength of the position greater than any one could have supposed, he sent word at 7 A. M. to General Meade, saying: “The moment it becomes certain that an assault cannot succeed, ”

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