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[553] at the expense of a gun captured. The march was then resumed, and about 9 A. M. the head of the column came to the zone of felled forest in front of the intrenchments. Beauregard, fortunately, had a good supply of guns and ammunition which he used freely in preventing the enemy from establishing his batteries or moving his troops within sight, and it was 1.30 P. M. when the column was deployed. Smith had still to make his reconnoissance, and this occupied him until 5 P. M. But it had been efficiently made, for he learned that our infantry was stretched out in a very thin line, and it led him to decide that his charge should be made, not with a column, but with clouds of skirmishers. Another hour was taken to form the troops, and at 6 P. M. all would have been ready, but it was now found that the chief of artillery had sent all the horses to water, and it required an hour to get them back. Tall oaks from little acorns grow! By such small and accidental happenings does fate decide battles! Petersburg was lost and won by that hour.

At 7 P. M., the guns returned and opened a severe fire, to which the Confederate guns did not reply, reserving their fire for the columns which they expected to see. These never appeared, but instead, the cloud of skirmishers overran the works and captured the guns still loaded with double canister and defended by only a skirmish line of infantry. Hink's colored division, which made the charge, lost 507 killed and wounded from the fire of the skirmishers. It captured four guns and 250 prisoners. Lines of battle followed, and by 9 P. M. occupied about one and a half miles of intrenchment, from Redan No. 7 to No. 11, inclusive (counting from the river below), getting possession of 16 guns. Hancock's corps had arrived on the ground during the action, and, when it was over, at Smith's request it relieved his troops. Smith had been informed of the approach of reenforcements to both sides, and he thought it wiser to hold what he had, than to venture more and risk disaster. Kautz's cavalry had been kept beyond the intrenchments all day by Dearing's cavalry and a few guns, which fired from the redans in the vicinity of No. 28. About 6 P. M., hearing no sounds of battle from Smith, Kautz withdrew, with a loss of 43 men, and went into bivouac.

After the fighting began, Beauregard had recognized that he

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