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Notes on the final campaign of April, 1865.

By General H. L. Benning.
After I rejoined the brigade in November, 1864, nothing of importance was done by it until the 2d of April, 1865. On that day, at about 11 A. M., I reached Petersburg with two regiments, the Second and Twentieth, by the train from Richmond. The other two-Seventeenth and Fifteenth-and the rest of Field's division were detained by an accident to the train, and did not arrive till late in the day. Colonel Fairfax received me, and conducted me and the two regiments through Petersburg to General Longstreet, who was beyond the creek at General Lee's headquarters on Cox's road; this I think is the name of the road. When near the headquarters, General Longstreet met us, and ordered me to advance on the left of the road and take position on the high ground about a half mile in front, and hold it as long as I could safely, making as much display of force as possible; and that when I fell back, if I should have to do so, to fall back from position to position slowly. The desperate state of things was visible to every eye. Not an infantry soldier of ours was to be seen. Fort Gregg was the nearest point on our line still held by us, and the attack on it had commenced. There was a battery, but the horses were so weak that they could not pull the guns into position until the enemy were prepared to drive it away from the position. The enemy's line was in the edge of the woods, some mile beyond General Lee's headquarters, with batteries near; nothing between.

We went to the position indicated, which was about six or eight hundred yards from the enemy's line in the woods, with open, level ground between. They soon opened fire on us from a number of guns. The fire was at first rather wild, but it soon improved; and as the batteries were too far off for our arms, we dropped back a short distance and took up a less exposed position. The batteries made a corresponding change, and when their fire again became good, we fell back a second time and took a safer position. They again found a position from which they commanded us; we again moved back and got a position which afforded considerable protection to most of our line. Here we remained for a good while under the artillery fire. We had ourselves never fired a gun. The fire towards Fort Gregg ceased. I ran up a long hill and found that the fort had fallen, and at. the same time that the enemy's

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James Longstreet (2)
Fitzhugh Lee (2)
C. W. Field (1)
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H. L. Benning (1)
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