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[587] bore, of course, no comparison to ours.

It had now been established, at a cost of fully 10,000 men,1 that Petersburg could not be carried by direct assault, no matter in what force: and our troops were directed to intrench strongly in its front, while the 2d and 6th corps were moved2 to the left, with intent to find and turn the enemy's right; cutting or holding the Weldon railroad.

The 2d moved around to the Jerusalem plank road, where it was met by the enemy in force, and driven back a short distance; the 6th not being at hand. Next morning, the advance was resumed by both corps, but too tardily and disconnectedly — the country being, for the most part, thickly wooded and difficult. A. P. Hill was watching tile movement, and, at the proper moment, threw a division of his corps in between our two, striking rapidly in flank successively Barlow's, Mott's, and Gibbon's divisions, rolling them up and forcing them back, with a loss of 4 guns and many prisoners. At the same time, another of Hill's divisions struck the flank of the 6th corps likewise, inflicting on it also considerable loss. But Meade now arrived on the field — the Rebel advance having been checked — and, getting both corps well in hand, le ordered, at nightfall, an advance, which was made, and most of the lost ground recovered — Hill not being in force to resist him in the open field.

Our advance southward was resumed next morning,3 and the Weldon railroad reached; but hardly had operations upon it begun, when Hill again struck the flank of our three regiments in advance, and routed them, taking many prisoners, and driving the fugitives back on the main body; when lie again desisted, carrying off his captives. Our losses in this baffled effort were scarcely less than 4,000 men, mainly prisoners; with no resulting advantage, save a moderate extension of our left toward the Weldon railroad.

The mishap of this first attempt to clutch the Weldon railroad involved or drew after it another. Gen. Wilson, with his own and Kautz's divisions of cavalry, together 8,000 strong, had on that day been impelled still farther to our left, on a raid against the enemy's railroads. Moving southward for some distance, lie turned abruptly to his right, and struck the Weldon road at Reams's station, where he burned the depot and tore up a long stretch of track. Passing thence rapidly westward, he struck the Lynchburg road at a point 15 miles from Petersburg, and followed it westward to Nottoway station, destroying the track for 22 miles; here encountering and defeating a Rebel cavalry force under W. F. Lee. Hence, he dispatched Kautz to Burkesville, the junction of this with the Danville road, where both roads were torn up, as was the Danville so far S. W. as Meherrin station; where Kautz was rejoined4 by Wilson, and the work prosecuted so far as Roanoke bridge (over the Staunton); where they were confronted

1 Between June 10 and 20, Meade's losses were — killed, 1,198; wounded, 6,853; missing, 1,614: total, 9,665. And this does not probably include the losses of Sheridan's cavalry, who were fighting north of the James.

2 June 21.

3 June 23.

4 June 24.

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