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[335] on the seventeenth and eighteenth, but only resulted in forcing the enemy to an interior line, from which he could not be dislodged. The advantages in position gained by us were very great. The army then proceeded to envelop Petersburg toward the Southside railroad, as far as possible without attacking fortifications.

On the sixth the enemy, to reinforce Petersburg, withdrew from a part of his intrenchment in front of Bermuda Hundred, expecting, no doubt, to get troops from north of the James to take the place of those withdrawn before we could discover it. General Butler, taking the advantage of this, at once moved a force on the railroad between Petersburg and Richmond. As soon as I was apprised of the advantage thus gained, to retain it I ordered two divisions of the Sixth corps, General Wright commanding, that were embarking at Wilcox's landing, under orders for City Point, to report to General Butler, at Bermuda Hundred, of which General Butler was notified, and the importance of holding a position in advance of his present line urged upon him.

About two o'clock in the afternoon General Butler was forced back to the line the enemy had withdrawn from in the morning. General Wright, with his two divisions, joined General Butler on the forenoon of the seventeenth, the latter still holding with a strong picket-line the enemy's works. But instead of putting these divisions into the enemy's works to hold them, he permitted them to halt and rest some distance in the rear of his own line. Between four and five o'clock in the afternoon the enemy attacked and drove in his pickets and reoccupied his old line.

On the night of the twentieth and morning of the twenty-first a lodgement was effected by General Butler, with one brigade of infantry, on the north bank of the James, at Deep Bottom, and connected the pontoon bridge with Bermuda Hundred.

On the nineteenth, General Sheridan, on his return from his expedition against the Virginia Central railroad, arrived at the White House just as the enemy's cavalry was about to attack it, and compelled it to retire. The result of this expedition was that General Sheridan met the enemy's cavalry near Trevillian Station, on the morning of the eleventh of June, whom he attacked, and after an obstinate contest drove from the field in complete rout. He left his dead and nearly all his wounded in our hands, and about four hundred prisoners and several hundred horses. On the twelfth he destroyed the railroad from Trevillian Station to Louisa Court-house. This occupied until three o'clock P. M., when he advanced in the direction of Gordonsville. He found the enemy reinforced by infantry, behind well-constructed rifle-pits, about five miles from the latter place, and too strong to successfully assault. On the extreme right, however, his reserve brigade carried the enemy's works twice, and was twice driven therefrom by infantry. Night closed the contest. Not having sufficient ammunition to continue the engagement, and his animals being without forage (the country furnishing but inferior grazing), and hearing nothing from General Hunter, he withdrew his command to the north side of the North Anna, and commenced his return march, reaching White House at the time before stated. After breaking up the depot at that place, he moved to the James river, which he reached safely after heavy fighting. He commenced crossing on the twenty fifth, near Fort Powhatan, without further molestation, and rejoined the Army of the Potomac.

On the twenty-second, General Wilson, with his own division of cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, and General Kautz's division of cavalry of the Army of the James, moved against the enemy's railroads south of Richmond. Striking the Weldon railroad at Ream's station, destroying the depot and several miles of the road and the Southside road, about fifteen miles from Petersburg, to near Nottoway station, where he met and defeated a force of the enemy's cavalry, he reached Burkesville station on the afternoon of the twenty-third, and from there destroyed the Danville railroad to Roanoke bridge, a distance of twenty-five miles, where he found the enemy in force, and in a position from which he could not dislodge him. He then commenced his return march, and on the twenty-eighth met the enemy's cavalry in force at the Weldon rail-road crossing of Stony creek, where he had a severe but not decisive engagement. Thence he made a detour from his left, with a view of reaching Reams' station (supposing it to be in our possession). At this place he was met by the enemy's cavalry, supported by infantry, and forced to retire, with the loss of his artillery and trains. In this last encounter, General Kautz, with a part of his command, became separated, and made his way into our lines. General Wilson, with the remainder of his force, succeeded in crossing the Nottoway river and coming in safely on our left and rear. The damage to the enemy in this expedition more than compensated for the losses we sustained. It severed all connection by railroad with Richmond for several weeks.

With a view of cutting the enemy's railroad from near Richmond to the Anna rivers, and making him wary of the situation of his army in the Shenandoah, and, in the event of failure in this, to take advantage of his necessary with-drawal of troops from Petersburg, to explode a mine that had been prepared in front of the Ninth corps and assault the enemy's lines at that place, on the night of the twenty-sixth of July the Second corps and two divisions of the cavalry corps and Kautz's cavalry were crossed to the north bank of the James river, and joined the force General Butler had there. On the twenty-seventh the enemy was driven from his intrenched position, with the loss of four pieces of artillery. On the twenty-eighth our lines were extended from Deep Bottom to New Market


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