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[25] P. M. About 4 P. M. a combined and simultaneous attack was made, the infantry moving against Pickett's left and rear, whilst dismounted cavalry assailed him in front. The attack succeeded. The position was carried with the loss of valuable lives, many prisoners and all of the artillery. Our extreme right was crushed. The extent of the disaster was not generally known till late the next day.

All during the night of April 1st the enemy's batteries around Petersburg kept up an almost incessant cannonade, solid shot and shell whizzing through the air and bursting in every direction, at times equal in brilliancy to a vivid meteoric display.1

The infantry pickets were also wide awake and kept up much more than their usual firing. About day-light it was


1 This note is from the same lady:

April 2D, 1865, 12 o'clock M.
The greatest excitement prevails every where and with every body this morning. No one but the young people slept at all last night. The shelling was very severe from 11 P. M. till 6½ o'clock. About breakfast time they fired the warehouses and tobacco. Since. then they have been shelling very horribly. The shells are whistling around us every few minutes-one has just struck nearly opposite to us. I am so sorry the. enemy has gained any advantage. Every kind of rumor in circulation; people are flying in every direction; we all try and keep composed. The enemy came under the bank of the river and surprised and took a portion of two companies of the Thirteenth Virginia infantry--they were retaken with slight loss on our side this morning. General Gordon sent word about an hour ago that he can hold his lines. General Walker has sent one of his brigades to the support of General Grimes. They hold a salient of ours at or near the Wilcox house. I hear that General Harris has come over and been sent to retake it. We have just heard General Hill is quite seriously wounded. Mrs. H. is very much excited, much more than any of us. I trust Colonel Pegram has not been killed, as reported.

The ambulance committee have reached here from Richmond. E., M., and S. unite in kindest regards for you, and say you must take good care of yourself.

With kindest, &c., your sincere friend,

M. I. W. General Wilcox.
Please let us know if they will evacuate Petersburg to-night.


Written in reply to one from myself reporting that our lines had been broken, and telling of the disaster at Five Forks.

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