From the 17th to the 29th of June, during the first two days of which period there was assault after assault upon the Confederate
defences, we lay in a fort in the right section of the line of redoubts occupied by the troops that were investing the place in its front.
The first week's experience may have produced a grave doubt, in the minds of Federal military authorities, whether these defences could be carried by direct assault.
At all events, attempts were made at the end of that period to turn them by the south; then 8,000 cavalry, under Gen. Wilson
, were dispatched to the line of the Weldon
and Danville Railroad.
Raiding along that road, he was hotly engaged at Stony Creek
on the 28th.
It was on the night of this day that we were sent to the support of this cavalry force, and on the following day occurred the affair at Reams Station.
It is stated that no mention of this event was made in the military report, and it has received no specific name.
This must be due to the fact that the war had assumed such gigantic proportions that an engagement which in 1861 would be termed a battle, in 1864 was regarded as incidental by-play; nevertheless, this was an important link in the historical chain which was forged by destiny during the summer of 1864.
We were in reserve upon the left in this vicinity, on the eighty-eighth anniversary of our national independence, and during five consecutive days following.
It was now that the Sixth Corps was selected to intercept and chastise the Confederate army of the Shenandoah
, which advices said was menacing Washington
An all-night march to City Point
, a speedy embarkation on the 10th, and we were steaming down the James
No senseless tarry in Hampton road, nor lingering in the Chesapeake
Sometime in the small hours of the night of the 12th, we debarked at the Navy Yard
It was in the second week of July, 1864, that Gen. Hunter
's command, which had made an almost unparalleled march up the valley of Virginia
, and had fiercely assailed it, was obliged to retire before a superior Confederate force hastily sent by rail from Lee
's army; outnumbered and short of ammunition, it retreated over the Alleghanies
into West Virginia
, whence it regained the Potomac
by a circuitous route.
There was now no Federal force of any moment in the valley, and Early
, with 20,000 Confederate veterans, sped unobstructed