various railroads by which supplies were brought to our army.
, acting separately, succeeded in tearing up and otherwise damaging many miles of very important roads, including the Weldon
, at Reams's Station, the Southside
and the Danville
The raiding columns then formed a junction at Meherrin Station, but, upon reaching the Roanoke bridge
, were checked in their further advance by a force of Confederates.
The return of Wilson
's column became, at that time, a difficult problem.
At the crossing of Stony Creek
, on the 28th, a severe engagement took place, forcing Wilson
to make a considerable detour to the left.
His effort was to reach Reams's Station, which he believed to be still in possession of the Federals
; but he was attacked by both cavalry and infantry, under General Hampton
, and now fell back, ‘with the loss of his trains and artillery and a considerable number of prisoners.’1 Wilson
barely succeeded in bringing his shattered forces within the Federal
These raids, though damaging and harassing to us, proved so unsatisfactory to the enemy that further efforts of the kind were finally abandoned.
During this period of relative inactivity Generals Lee
had so completed their lines of defence that assault upon them ‘had been pronounced impracticable by the [Federal] chiefs of artillery and engineers.’2
Beginning south of the Appomattox
, these lines encircled the city of Petersburg
, east and south, and extended, in a westerly direction, towards and beyond the left flank of the Federal
A similar system of defence extended north of the Appomattox
, guarding Petersburg
and the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad, against the Federal
forces under Butler
, at Bermuda Hundreds.
Notwithstanding the reports of the Chief of Artillery
and the Chief-Engineer
of the Federal
army, the Confederate
lines, running from the southwest of Petersburg
to the north-east of Richmond
, and extending over a length of fully thirty-five miles, were vulnerable at more than one point.
It must not be forgotten that the Appomattox
was fordable a little above the permanent bridge, and it is very doubtful whether we could have prevented a vigorous and well-directed