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[730] and the 9th corps was rallied to drive the foe out — Hartranft's division making the counter-assault — the Rebels were too few to hold their perilous position; while the 5th ground over which they had reached it was so swept by our guns from either side, that 2,000 preferred to surrender rather than follow their fleeing comrades through that terrible fire. Aside from this, the loss of either army was some 2,500.

Nor was this the extent of the enemy's mishap. Gen. Meade, convinced that their lines generally must have been depleted to strengthen this assault, ordered an advance along the front of the 6th and 2d corps, holding our works before Petersburg to the left of Fort Steedman; and this was made with such spirit that the thinned line of the enemy recoiled before it, and their strongly intrenched picket-line was wrested from them and permanently held by their antagonists. Thus, instead of shaking himself free from Grant's gripe, Lee had only tightened it by this bold stroke; rendering his withdrawal to North Carolina even more difficult and hazardous than before.

Grant had already1 prepared, if not issued, his order for a general, determined advance by his left on the 29th. To the obvious reasons which had formerly impelled a movement to flank the enemy's right was now added the necessity of intercepting and precluding Lee's withdrawal to North Carolina. Hence, the strategy of a nearly simultaneous attack on both flanks of the Rebel position was now abandoned: three divisions of the Army of the James, now commanded by Ord, being withdrawn2 from the banks of the James, where it had so long menaced Richmond, and brought over to the left of our lines facing Petersburg; when the (Warren's) and 2d (Humphreys's) corps moved quietly out3 southwestward till they had crossed Hatcher's run; when, facing northward, they advanced, feeling for the enemys right. Sheridan was on our extreme left, at the head of nearly 10,000 cavalry, acting under orders directly from Gen. Grant. The 9th (Parke's) and one of Ord's divisions were left to hold our extended lines under the command of Gen. Parke: all dismounted troopers being ordered to report to Gen. Benham, who guarded our immense accumulation of supplies at City Point.

Humphreys crossed Hatcher's run at the Vaughan road; while Warren, moving farther to the left, crossed four miles below, where the stream, since its junction with Gravelly run, has become Rowanty creek; thence moving up by the Quaker road to strike the Boydton plank-road. Sheridan moved nearly south to Dinwiddie C. H.; where, at 5 P. M., he halted for the night.

Warren's corps alone encountered any serious resistance this day. Approaching the Confederate lines, Griffin's division, leading, was sharply assailed; but held its ground and repulsed the enemy, taking 100 prisoners. Our loss here was 370 killed and wounded. Warren rested for the night in front of the Rebel intrenchments covering the White Oak road. Humphreys — moving in an extended line, over a densely wooded and difficult country, repelling skirmishers only — had not struck the

1 Dated March 24.

2 March 27.

3 March 29.

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