Positions on the North Anna. |
's division, who swept over the plain on the double-quick, disregarding the heavy fire of its defenders, swarmed over the parapet, and drove out the garrison, capturing 30, with a total loss of 150.
Repeated efforts by the enemy to burn the bridge during the ensuing night were baffled; and in the morning it was discovered that they had retreated; when Hancock
quietly crossed and established himself on the south side; as Wright
, following Warren
, had done at Jericho ford the night before.
The passage of the river thus seemed to be triumphantly and cheaply effected; but the appearance was delusive.
The river was barely fordable at different points, with high, rocky banks; and Lee
had chosen a strong position, with both flanks drawn back; his right covered by marshes; his left resting on Little river
; his front on the North Anna
narrow and strong; our army being situated much as his was at Gettysburg
, when Meade
was able to throw divisions and corps from right to left to breast a coming shock, or strike a return blow, in half the time that Lee
required to countervail the movement.
So, when Burnside
, approaching the river half way between our right and left wings, attempted to cross, his advance division (Crittenden
's) was promptly repelled with heavy loss; and when Warren
attempted to connect with Burnside
by pushing Crawford
's division down the south bank of the river, he in turn was assailed in overwhelming force, and was with difficulty extricated.
paused and pondered, and studied and planned; but Lee
's position was absolutely invulnerable, or only to be wrested from good soldiers with an enormous disparity of force, and by a frightful sacrifice of life.
After deliberate and careful reconnoissances, continued throughout two days, an assault was forborne, and our army, cautiously withdrawing