previous next

[339] railroad compelled the enemy to so extend his that it seemed he could have but few troops north of the James for the defence of Richmond. On the night of the twenty-eighth the Tenth corps, Major-General Birney, and the Eighteenth corps, Major-General Ord commanding, of General Butler's army, were crossed to the north side of the James, and advanced on the morning of the twenty-ninth, carrying the very strong fortifications and intrenchments below Chapin's farm, known as Fort Harrison, capturing fifteen pieces of artillery, and the New Market road and intrenchments. This success was followed up by a gallant assault upon Fort Gillmore, immediately in front of the Chapin farm fortifications, in which we were repulsed with heavy loss. Kautz's cavalry was pushed forward on the road to the right of this, supported by infantry, and reached the enemy's inner line, but was unable to get further. The position captured from the enemy was so threatening to Richmond that I determined to hold it. The enemy made several desperate attempts to dislodge us, all of which were unsuccessful, and for which he paid dearly. On the morning of the thirtieth General Meade sent out a reconnoissance, with a view to attacking the enemy's line if it was found sufficiently weakened by withdrawal of troops to the north side. In this reconnoissance we captured and held the enemy's works near Poplar Spring Church. In the afternoon troops moving to get to the left of the point gained were attacked by the enemy in heavy force, and compelled to fall back until supported by the forces holding the captured works. Our cavalry under Gregg was also attacked, but repulsed the enemy with great loss.

On the seventh of October the enemy attacked Kautz's cavalry north of the James, and drove it back with heavy loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners, and the loss of all the artillery--eight or nine pieces. This he followed up by an attack on our intrenched infantry line, but was repulsed with severe slaughter. On the thirteenth a reconnoissance was sent out by General Butler, with a view to drive the enemy from some new works he was constructing, which resulted in very heavy loss to us.

On the twenty-seventh the Army of the Potomac, leaving only sufficient men to hold its fortified line, moved by the enemy's right flank. The Second corps, followed by two divisions of the Fifth corps, with the cavalry in advance and covering our left flank, forced a passage of Hatcher's run, and moved up the south side of it toward the Southside railroad, until the Second corps and part of the cavalry reached the Boydton plank-road where it crosses Hatcher's run. At this point we were six miles distant from the Southside railroad, which I had hoped by this movement to reach and hold. But finding that we had not reached the end of the enemy's fortifications, and no place presenting itself for a successful assault, by which he might be doubled up and shortened, I determined to withdraw to within our fortified line. Orders were given accordingly. Immediately upon receiving a report that General Warren had connected with General Hancock, I returned to my headquarters. Soon after I left, the enemy moved out across Hatcher's run, in the gap between Generals Hancock and Warren, which was not closed as reported, and made a desperate attack on General Hancock's right and rear. General Hancock immediately faced his corps to meet it, and after a bloody combat drove the enemy within his works, and withdrew that night to his old position.

In support of this movement General Butler made a demonstration on the north side of the James, and attacked the enemy on the Williamsburg road, and also on the York River railroad. In the former he was unsuccessful; in the latter he succeeded in carrying a work which was afterward abandoned, and his forces withdrawn to their former positions.

From this time forward the operations in front of Petersburg and Richmond, until the spring campaign of 1866, were confined to the defence and extension of our lines, and to offensive movements for crippling the enemy's lines of communication, and to prevent his detaching any considerable force to send south. By the seventh of February our lines were extended to Hatcher's run, and the Weldon railroad had been destroyed to Hicks' ford.

General Sherman moved from Chattanooga on the sixth of May, with the armies of the Cumberland, Tennessee, and Ohio, commanded respectively by Generals Thomas, McPherson and Schofield, upon Johnston's army at Dalton; but finding the enemy's positions at Buzzard Roost, covering Dalton, too strong to be assaulted, General McPherson was sent through Snake G(ap to turn it, while Generals Thomas and Schofield threatened it in front and on the north. This movement was successful. Johnston, finding his retreat likely to be cut off, fell back to his fortified position at Resaca, where he was attacked on the afternoon of May fifteenth. A heavy battle ensued. During the night the enemy retreated south. Late on the seventeenth his rear guard was overtaken near Adairsville, and heavy skirmishing followed. The next morning, however, he had again disappeared. He was vigorously pursued, and was overtaken at Cassville on the nineteenth, but during the ensuing night retreated across the Etowah. While these operations were going on, General Jefferson C. Davis' division of Thomas' army was sent to Rome, capturing it with its forts and artillery, and its valuable mills and foundries. General Sherman, having given his army a few days' rest at this point, again put it in motion, on the twenty-third, for Dallas, with a view of turning the difficult pass at Allatoona. On the afternoon of the twenty-fifth the advance, under General Hooker, had a severe battle with the enemy, driving him back to New Hope Church, near Dallas. Several sharp encounters occurred at this point. The most

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1866 AD (1)
October 7th (1)
May 15th (1)
May 6th (1)
February 7th (1)
29th (1)
27th (1)
23rd (1)
19th (1)
13th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: