our lines in front of Petersburg
, generally provoked by the now elated enemy, who assailed1 Gen. Stannard
's division of the 10th corps; first opening with artillery and then charging with infantry; only to be repulsed with a loss of 150 prisoners. A demonstration was made next day against Burnside
's front; but it was not resolute, and was easily repulsed.
Thence ensued some days of comparative quiet — our men having marched and fought almost incessantly for eight weeks, having lost meantime fully 70,000 of their number by desperate fighting — mainly against great advantages of position or shelter, which screened the enemy from losses at all proportionate to ours — and they were by no means in such heart for daily conflict as when they last crossed the Rapidan
True, their numbers had been nearly or quite kept up by reinforcements from various quarters; but many of these were such men as high bounties attract to military service, and who were not ‘bounty-jumpers’ only because they had, as yet, found no chance to jump.2
In fact, the Army of the Potomac in 1864, though still including many thousands of excellent and now veteran soldiers, was in good part formed of material very different from and inferior to that which McClellan
led to the Peninsula
And this army, when concentrated south of the James
, was by no means equal in morale and efficiency to that same army at the opening of the campaign.
, however, remained at its head — undismayed, unshaken, inflexible.
Having given his soldiers some much needed rest — the Summer being intensely hot and dry, and the earth parched and baked so that any movement raised a cloud of dust which nearly suffocated men and horses, and revealed its existence, its strength, and its destination, to the ever-watchful foe — another effort on our right was resolved on. A railroad along the rear of our position was, during the Summer, completed, facilitating not only the distribution of munitions and provisions from our chief landing and depot at City Point
, where the Lieutenant-General
had his headquarters, but serving to accelerate also the movement of troops.
's fortified post at Deep Bottom
, threatening an attack on Richmond
, while easily strengthened from Bermuda Hundreds, disquieted Lee
; and one or two attempts had been made upon it, but easily repulsed.
resolved to reciprocate the enemy's attentions; so, having quietly transferred the 2d corps from his extreme left to his extreme right, across the James
, at Deep Bottom
he directed Hancock
to turn the enemy's advance position, while Foster
should amuse him by a feint in front; and this order was so admirably obeyed that the Rebel
outpost was successfully flanked and carried by Miles
's division, capturing 4 guns.
The enemy fell back behind Bailey
's creek; still holding firmly his strong defensive work at Chapin
's bluff, opposite Fort Darling
Sheridan. with his cavalry, attempted to flank this work, and gained some high ground from which he